Obrázky stránek


BESIDES the great personages whose lives we

have already given in treating of the town, where they received their birth, this county has produced the following eminent characters.

JOHN LYDGATE was born in this county, but in what year we are not certainly informed. He became a monk in the abbey of St. Edmondsbury, and was a disciple and admirer of Chaucer, whom he far excelled in versification. He spent some time in France and Italy, where he became acquainted with the greatest men of that age. We have

perused an old edition of his works, and his verses appear so smooth to a modern ear that there is no wonder his cotemporaries should have said that he was fashioned by the muses themselves.

After his return to England he retired to his convent, and became a tutor to many sons of the nobility, whom he trained up in learning and virtue.:

Still turn'd to moral virtue was his speech,

And humbly would he learn, and meekly teach.

He died in the year 1440, and was buried in the 'church of his convent.

JOHN BALE was born in Suffolk, and brought up by some Carmelite friars, who sent him to Jesus College, Oxford When the reformation was beginning to break out in England, he renounced the Roman catholic persuasion, which would have brought him into great trouble, had he not been protected by Lord Cromwell.

King Edward VI. promoted him to the bishopric of Ossory in Ireland, and in March, 1552, he was consecrated by the archbishop of Dublin; but underwent such a variety of persecutions as are hardly to be met with in the life of any one person. Being a man of a meek obliging temper, many had a real esteem for him, but his foes pursued him with the


most unrelenting malice; and they would certainly have murdered him with their own hands, had he not made his escape to Dublin, from whence he took shipping for England, but was driven on shore on the coast of Cornwall, and robbed of all his effects. He procured his passage in a ship sailing for Dover, where he met with no better fate, for the captain of the vessel put him ashore in Holland, where he was thrown into prison, and kept till he sent to his friends in England for money to pay his ransom, which was thirty pounds.

During the reign of Queen Mary he resided at Basil in Switzerland, and returned to England on the accession of Queen Elizabeth, but declined entering on his office, as a bishop, contenting himself with being a prebendary of Canterbury. He died in the year 1563.

WILLIAM SANCROFT was born at Freshingfield, in this county in the year 1616. He received his first rudiments of learning at St. Edmondsbury, from whence he was removed to Emanuel College in Cambridge. When he had taken his master of arts degree, he was elected fellow. In the year 1648, he took his degree of batchelor of divinity, and was in every science a most accomplished scholar.

In the year 1649 he refused to take the covenant, for which he was ejected from his fellowship, and travelled abroad, where he became acquainted with the most learned men at that time, and returned to England at the restoration of Charles the Se-. cond, possessed of every literary accomplishment. Dr. Cosins, bishop of Durham, made him rector of Houghton-le-Spring, and a prebend in his own cathedral.

In 1622 he was created Doctor of Divinity by royal mandate, and the next year elected master of Emanuel College, where he had received his education. He was the next year appointed dean of


York, and soon after promoted to that of St. Paul's, which he held till the death of Doctor Sheldon, when he was advanced to the archiepiscopal see of Canterbury.

Burnet tells us, that he was a man of great austerity, and that his nomination to the archbishopric was by the recommendation of the duke of York.

On the accession of the James the Second, he was named one of the commissioners of the high commission court, but refused to act in it because it was contrary to law; this brought upon him the indignation of the king; for when the declaration suspending the execution of the penal laws was appointed to be read, it was directed to Dr. Sancroft, who, with six more of the bishops, refused to comply with it, for which they were imprisoned in the Tower, and tried in the court of King's Bench.

When the act of establishment took place, Sancroft refused to comply with the revolution settlement, for which he was suspended, and Dr. Tillotson appointed in his room. Upon this he retired to Freshingfield, where he spent the remainder of his days, in laying out his money in the most advantageous manner that he could. le died on the 24th of November, 1693, and was buried privately in Freshingfield church yard, in a spot of ground he had chosen for the purpose, many years previous to his death.

JAMES BOYCE was born in this county in the year 1560. His father was a country clergyman, who instructed bim in Latin and Greek; after which he was sent to St. John's College, Cambridge, where he became a great proficient in the Greek language, and read public lectures in the University. He entered early into public orders, and succeeded his father in his vicarage, where he discharged the pastoral office consistent with the duties of primitive christianity.

When King James the First directed that a new translation

translation of the Bible should be made by the most learned men in the kingdom, Mr. Boyce was one of those chosen from Cambridge to perform that arduous undertaking, and he went through several books of the New Testament with the greatest a pplause not sinking into meanness on the one hand, nor straining the sense to favour novelties on the other. He was afterwards advanced to a prebendary in the cathedral church of Ely, and died in the year 16 43.

LAWRENCE EACHARD was born in Suffolk some time in the last century, and educated in the University of Cambridge. Whilst very young, he entered into holy orders, and became rector of Elkinton in Lincolnshire, where he resided above twenty years, applying himself chiefly to the study of the history and constitution of England. He likewise wrote an epitome of ecclesiastical history, from the birth of Christ to the time of Constantine the Great, which is still in very great esteem.

In the year 1712, he was made a prebendary of Lincoin, archdeacon of Stow; and King George the First presented him to the rich livings of Rendlesham and Alford in Suffolk, where he resided eight years in a continual ill state of health. He died at Lincoln, in his way to Scarborough, for the benefit of of the waters, in 1730. He translated the six comedies of Terence, and three written by Plautus.

RICHARDSON PACK, Esq. was born in this county, his father having served the office of high sheriff in the year 1697. He was educated in Merchant Taylor's school, London; and at the age of sixteen, removed to St. John's College, Oxford, where he finished his studies, and was entered in the Middle Temple, London, his parents having designed him for the profession of the law. Being of a sprightly genius, and not partial to a sedentary life, he turned his thoughts to the army, and procured the com mand of a company of foot in the year 1705.

In this station he continued several years, and

was concerned in most of the engagements in Spain, under the command of General Stanhope; and before the conclusion of the peace of Utrecht, he became acquainted with John, duke of Argyle, who procured him a major's commission in a regiment of dragoons, which was the highest preferment he ever obtained in the army.

After the peace of Utrecht, he continued with his regiment, and wrote many ingenious pieces, both in prose and verse, which have been since published in one volume; but being ordered to march into Scotland, he was seized with a fever at Aberdeen, where he died in the year 1728.

« PředchozíPokračovat »