The Rowley Poems - INTRODUCTORY ACCOUNT OF THE SEVERAL PIECES CONTAINED IN THIS VOLUME.

INTRODUCTORY ACCOUNT OF THE SEVERAL PIECES CONTAINED IN THIS VOLUME.

ECLOGUE THE FIRST.

ECLOGUE THE SECOND.

ECLOGUE THE THIRD.

These three Eclogues are printed from a MS. furnished by Mr. Catcott, in the hand-writing of Thomas Chatterton. It is a thin copy-book in 4to. with the following title in the first page. "Eclogues and other Poems by Thomas Rowley, with a Glossary and Annotations by Thomas Chatterton."

There is only one other Poem in this book, viz., the fragment of "Goddwyn, a Tragedie," which see below.

ELINOURE AND JUGA.

This Poem is reprinted from the Town and Country Magazine for May 1769, p. 273. It is there entitled, "Elinoure and Juga. Written three hundred years ago by T. Rowley, a secular priest." And it has the following subscription; "D. B. Bristol, May, 1769." Chatterton soon after told Mr. Catcott, that he (Chatterton) inserted it in the Magazine.

The present Editor has taken the liberty to supply (between hooks) the names of the speakers, at ver. 22 and 29, which had probably been omitted by some accident in the first publication; as the nature of the composition seems to require, that the dialogue should proceed by alternate stanzas.

VERSES TO LYDGATE.

SONGE TO ÆLLA.

LYDGATE'S ANSWER.

These three small Poems are printed from a copy in Mr. Catcott's hand-writing. Since they were printed off, the Editor has had an opportunity of comparing them with a copy made by Mr. Barrett from the piece of vellum, which Chatterton formerly gave to him as the original MS. The variations of importance (exclusive of many in the spelling) are set down below: <1>

THE TOURNAMENT.

This Poem is printed from a copy made by Mr. Catcott, from one in Chatterton's hand-writing.

Sir Simon de Bourton, the hero of this poem, is supposed to have been the first founder of a church dedicated to oure Ladie, in the place where the church of St. Mary Ratcliffe now stands. Mr. Barrett has a small leaf of vellum (given to him by Chatterton as one of Rowley's original MSS.), entitled, "Vita de Simon de Bourton," in which Sir Simon is said, as in the poem, to have begun his foundation in consequence of a vow made at a tournament.

THE DETHE OF SYR CHARLES BAWDIN.

This Poem is reprinted from the copy printed at London in 1772, with a few corrections from a copy made by Mr. Catcott, from one in Chatterton's hand-writing.

The person here celebrated, under the name of Syr Charles Bawdin, was probably Sir Baldewyn Fulford, Knt. a zealous Lancastrian, who was executed at Bristol in the latter end of 1461, the first year of Edward the Fourth. He was attainted, with many others, in the general act of Attainder, 1 Edw. IV., but he seems to have been executed under a special commission for the trial of treasons, &c. within the town of Bristol. The fragment of the old chronicle, published by Hearne at the end of Sprotti Chronica, p. 289. says only; "Item the same yere (1 Edw. IV.) was takin Sir Baldewine Fulford and behedid att Bristow." But the matter is more fully stated in the act which passed in 7 Edw. IV. for the restitution in blood and estate of Thomas Fulford, Knt. eldest son of Baldewyn Fulford, late of Fulford, in the county of Devonshire, Knt. Rot. Pat. 8 Edw. IV. p. 1. m. 13. The preamble of this act, after stating the attainder by the act 1. Edw. IV. goes on thus: "And also the said Baldewyn, the said first yere of your noble reign, at Bristowe in the there of Bristowe, before Henry Erle of Essex William Hastyngs of Hastyngs Knt. Richard Chock William Canyng Maire of the said towne of Bristowe and Thomas Yong, by force of your letters patentes to theym and other directe to here and determine all treesons &c. doon withyn the said towne of Bristowe before the vth day of September the first yere of your said reign, was atteynt of dyvers tresons by him doon ayenst your Highnes &c." If the commission sate soon after the vth of September, as is most probable, King Edward might very possibly be at Bristol at the time of Sir Baldewyn's execution; for, in the interval between his coronation and the parliament which met in November, he made a progress (as the Continuator of Stowe informs us, p. 416.) by the South coast into the West, and was (among other places) at Bristol. Indeed there is a circumstance which might lead us to believe, that he was actually a spectator of the execution from the minster-windows as described in the poem. In an old accompt of the Procurators of St. Ewin's church, which was then the minster, from xx March in the 1 Edward IV. to 1 April in the year next ensuing, is the following article, according to a copy made by Mr. Catcott from the original book.

Item for washynge the church payven ageyns Kynge Edward 4th is comynge} iiij d. ob.

ÆLLA, a tragycal enterlude.

This Poem, with the Epistle, Letter, and Entroductionne, is printed from a folio MS. furnished by Mr. Catcott, in the beginning of which he has written, "Chatterton's transcript. 1769." The whole transcript is of Chatterton's hand-writing.

GODDWYN, a Tragedie.

This Fragment is printed from the MS., mentioned above, in Chatterton's hand-writing.

ENGLYSH METAMORPHOSIS.

This Poem is printed from a single sheet in Chatterton's hand-writing, communicated by Mr. Barrett, who received it from Chatterton.

BALADE OF CHARITIE.

This Poem is also printed from a single sheet in Chatterton's hand-writing. It was sent to the Printer of the Town and Country Magazine, with the following letter prefixed:

"To the Printer of the Town and Country Magazine.

SIR,
If the Glossary annexed to the following piece will make the language intelligible; the Sentiment, Description, and Versification, are highly deserving the attention of the literati.

July 4, 1770.
D. B."

BATTLE OF HASTINGS, No 1.
BATTLE OF HASTINGS, No 2.

In printing the first of these poems two copies have been made use of, both taken from copies of Chatterton's hand-writing, the one by Mr. Catcott, and the other by Mr. Barrett. The principal difference between them is at the end, where the latter has fourteen lines from ver. 550, which are wanting in the former. The second poem is printed from a single copy, made by Mr. Barrett from one in Chatterton's hand-writing.

It should be observed, that the Poem marked No 1, was given to Mr. Barrett by Chatterton with the following title; "Battle of Hastings, wrote by Turgot the Monk, a Saxon, in the tenth century, and translated by Thomas Rowlie, parish preeste of St. Johns in the city of Bristol, in the year 1465.-- The remainder of the poem I have not been happy enough to meet with." Being afterwards prest by Mr. Barrett to produce any part of this poem in the original hand-writing, he at last said, that he wrote this poem himself for a friend; but that he had another, the copy of an original by Rowley: and being then desired to produce that other poem, he, after a considerable interval of time, brought to Mr. Barrett the, poem marked No 2, as far as ver. 530 incl. with the following title; "Battle of Hastyngs by Turgotus, translated by Roulie for W. Canynge Esq." The lines from ver. 531 incl. were brought some time after, in consequence of Mr. Barrett's repeated sollicitations for the conclusion of the poem.

ONN OURE LADIES CHYRCHE.

ON THE SAME.

The first of these Poems is printed from a copy made by Mr. Catcott, from one in Chatterton's hand-writing.

The other is taken from a MS. in Chatterton's hand-writing, furnished by Mr. Catcott, entitled, "A Discorse on Bristowe, by Thomas Rowlie." See Note 2 to the Preface.

EPITAPH ON ROBERT CANYNGE.

This is one of the fragments of vellum, given by Chatterton to Mr. Barrett, as part of his original MSS.

THE STORIE OF WILLIAM CANYNGE.

The 34 first lines of this poem are extant upon another of the vellum-fragments, given by Chatterton to Mr. Barrett.

The remainder is printed from a copy furnished by Mr. Catcott, with some corrections from another copy, made by Mr. Barrett from one in Chatterton's hand-writing. This poem makes part of a prose-work, attributed to Rowley, giving an account of Painters, Carvellers, Poets, and other eminent natives of Bristol, from the earliest times to his own. The whole will be published by Mr. Barrett, with remarks, and large additions; among which we may expect a complete and authentic history of that distinguished citizen of Bristol, Mr. William Canynge. In the mean time, the Reader may see several particulars relating to him in Cambdens Britannia, Somerset. Col. 95.-- Rymer's Fúdera, &c. ann. 1449 & 1450.-- Tanner's Not. Monast. Art. BRISTOL and WESTBURY.-- Dugdale's Warwickshire, p. 634.

It may be proper just to remark here, that Mr. Canynge's brother, mentioned in ver. 129, who was lord mayor of London in 1456, is called Thomas by Stowe in his List of Mayors, &c.

The transaction alluded to in the last Stanza is related at large in some Prose Memoirs of Rowley, of which a very incorrect copy has been printed in the Town and Country Magazine for November 1775. It is there said, that Mr. Canynge went into orders, to avoid a marriage, proposed by King Edward, between him and a lady of the Widdevile family. It is certain, from the Register of the Bishop of Worcester, that Mr. Canynge was ordained Acolythe by Bishop Carpenter on 19 September 1467, and received the higher orders of Subdeacon, Deacon, and Priest, on the 12th of March, 1467, O.S. the 2d and 16th of April, 1468, respectively.

ON HAPPIENESSE, by WILLIAM CANYNGE.

ONNE JOHNE A DALBENIE, by the same.

THE GOULER'S REQUIEM, by the same.

THE ACCOUNTE OF W. CANYNGE'S FEASTE.

Of these four Poems attributed to Mr. Canynge, the three first are printed from Mr. Catcott's copies. The last is taken from a fragment of vellum, which Chatterton gave to Mr. Barrett as an original. The Editor has doubts about the reading of the second word in ver. 7, but he has printed it keene, as he found it so in other copies. The Reader may judge for himself by examining the Fac Simile in the opposite page.

He has also appeared above as an actor in both the tragedies, and as the author of one of the Mynstrelles songes in Ælla. His connexion with Mr. Canynge is verified by a deed of the latter; dated 20 October, 1467, in which he gives to trustees, in part of a benefaction of £.500 to the Church of St. Mary Redcliffe, "certain jewels of Sir Theobald Gorges Knt." which had been pawned to him for £.160.

He has also appeared above as an actor in both the tragedies, and as the author of one of the Mynstrelles songes in Ælla. His connexion with Mr. Canynge is verified by a deed of the latter; dated 20 October, 1467, in which he gives to trustees, in part of a benefaction of £.500 to the Church of St. Mary Redcliffe, "certain jewels of Sir Theobald Gorges Knt." which had been pawned to him for £.160.

NOTES.

Verses to Lydgate.

In the title for Ladgate, r. Lydgate.

ver. 2. r. That I and thee.

3. for bee, r. goe.

7. for fyghte, r. wryte.

Songe to Ælla,

The title in the vellum MS. was simply "Songe toe Æelle," with a small mark of reference to a note below, containing the following words --"Lord of the castelle of Brystowe ynne daies of yore." It may be proper also to take notice, that the whole song was there written like prose, without any breaks, or divisions into verses.

ver. 6. for brastynge, r. burstynge.

11. for valyante, r. burlie.

23, for dysmall, r. honore.

Lydgate's answer.

No title in the vellum MS.

ver. 3. for varses, r. pene.

antep. for Lendes, r. Sendes.

ult. for lyne, r. thynge.

Mr. Barrett had also a copy of these Poems by Chatterton, which differed from that, which Chatterton afterwards produced as the original, in the following particulars, among others,

In the title of the Verses to Lydgate.

Orig. Lydgate -- Chat. Ladgate.

ver. 3. Orig. goe. -- Chat. doe.

7. Orig. wryte. -- Chat. fyghte.

Songe to Ælla.

ver. 5. Orig. Dacyane -- Chat. Dacya's.

Orig. whole lockes -- Chat. whole hayres.

11. Orig. burlie -- Chat. bronded.

22. Orig. kennst -- Chat. hearst.

23. Orig. honore -- Chat. dysmall.

26. Orig. Yprauncynge -- Chat. Ifrayning.

30. Orig. gloue. -- Chat. glare.

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