The PoemsI This poem was originally printed in the 1590 London edition of Ascham’s Epistolae Familiares. It is also quoted (inaccurately, and doubtless from memory) by Robert Burton at the beginning of his contribution to Camdeni Insignia (Oxford, 1624), a University anthology mourning Camden’s death, sig. A4.
In the Renaissance the word silva (obviously derived from Statius Silvae) was used to designate any reasonably short, non-narrative hexameter poem, as for example in George Buchanans volume of poems entitled Elegiarum liber I; Sylvarum liber I; Endecasyllabon lib. I (Paris, 1579, which may be downloaded here).
I.1 In antiquity Parian marble was the purest kind available: Horace, Odes I.xix.6, Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto IV.viii.31, Metamorphoses III.419, Seneca, Phaedra 797, etc.
I.4 Fama is called memor at Ovid, Fasti II.380.
I.8 The association of Juno with the constellation Draco is explained by Pherecydes ap. Hyginus Astronomus, Astronomica II.iii:
Ait enim Pherecydes, Iunonem cum duceret Iuppiter uxorem, Terram venisse ferentem aurea mala cum ramis. Quae Iunonem admiratam petisse a Terra ut in suis hortis sereret, qui erant usque ad Atlantem montem. Cuius filiae cum saepius de arboribus mala decerperent, Iuno dicitur hunc ibi custodem posuisse; hoc etiam signi erit, quod in sideribus supra eum draconem Herculis simulacrum ostenditur, ut Eratosthenes monstrat; quare quodvis licet intellegere hunc maxime draconem dici.
For Pherecydes says that when Jupiter wed Juno, Earth came bearing golden apples with branches. Admiring these, Juno requested of Earth that she sow these in her garden, which were near Mt. Atlas. When his daughters had often plucked apples from these trees, Juno is said to have placed the serpent here as a guardian, and in token of this Hercules constellation is placed in the stars above Draco, as Eratosthenes demonstrates, so that however you want to interpret it, this constellation is called the Great Serpent.
I.13 Cyllenius (the god of Mt. Cyllene) is a cult-title of Apollo.
I.22 The Brigantes, the largest tribe of Celtic Britain, occupied much of northern England including North Yorkshire. Ascham was born in 1515 at Kirby Wicke near Northallerton (between York and Durham).
I.26 Although Juno was not favorable at the birth of Hercules, sending snakes to attack him in his cradle.
I.35 Cecrops was an early king of Attica, hence Cecropian = Attic.
I.48 The first comparison was suggested by Vergil, Eclogue i.24f. (writing of Rome):
verum haec tantum alias inter caput extulit urbes
quantum lenta solent inter viburna cupressi.
I.50 Desiderius Erasmus [1469 - 1536].
I.51 The Humanist Longolius (Christophe Longuiel) of Malines, a noted Ciceronian. Erasmus and Longolius are also linked in Book II of Aschams The Scholemaster. Writing of Cicero, Ascham observes:
Erasmus, beyng more occupied in spying other mens faultes, than declaryng his own aduise, is mistaken of many, to the great hurt of studie, for his authoritie sake. For he writeth rightlie, rightlie vnderstanded: he and Cicero. Longolius onelie differing in this, that the one seemeth to giue ouermoch, the other ouer litle, to him, whom they both, best loued, and chiefly allowed of all other.
It is probably not coincidental that a several of these other Humanists are discussed by Ascham in the same Book.
I.52 The German educator and Humanist Johann Sturm [1507 - 1589], author of de Nobilitate Literata et de Amissa Dicendi Ratione.
I.53 Aldus Manutius [1449 - 1515].
I.54 Bishop Jeronimo Osorio de Fonseca [1506 - 1580].
I.55 Cardinal Jacopo Sadoleto [1477 - 1547], author of De Liberis Recte Instituendis (1535), Pietro Cardinal Bembo ([1470 - 1547].
I.56 Petrus Bunellus [Pierre Bunel, 1499 - 1546], a Ciceronian, author of such works as Epistolae Ciceroniano Stylo Scripta, published in 1581.
I.58 Mercury was, among other things, the god of eloquence. For Suadae medulla cf. Cicero, de Senectute xiv.50.
I.61 Supereminet omnes comes from Ovid, Tristia I.ii.49 (also at line-end).
I.73 Cirrha is a poetic synonym for Delphi.
I.79f. Cf. Propertius III.ii.25f., at non ingenio quaesitum nomen ab aevo / excidet.
I.80ff. The poem ends with praise of Aschams alma mater, Cambridge: the Granta (here personified as a protective river deity) is another name for the river Cam. Ascham had matriculated from St. Johns in 1530, and was subsequently a Fellow of the College.
II.1ff. In heaven, personified Ireland beseeches Jupiter on behalf of herself and her sister, personfied Ireland (first mentioned in line 5).
II.3f. In the context of an allegorical epyllion such as this, it is not always easy to settle on a satisfactory interpretation of the details. Evidently Ireland is somehow hoping that, under Elizabeth, her legitimacy as a wife and mother (as opposed to a degraded status as a concubine?) will be acknowledged, i. e., possibly, that she will achieve genuine nationhood.
II.5 Endling Irelands barbarism and Englands troubles under the Marian persecution.
II.8 The book begins a new sentence with non.
II.11 An obvious echo of Isaiah 2:4, and they shall beat their swords into plowshares.
II.17 Elizabeth used to say that the reason she did not marry was that she was married to the English people. This is probably the marriage Camden has in mind.
II.18ff. This propecy is so generalized that one cannot be quite sure what specific events Camden has in mind, although the most likely is Tyrones rebellion in the 1590s.
II.25 The Thracian Getae and the Scythian Geloni were two notoriously savage tribes in antiquity.
II.30 Absent a lexicon of Renaissance Latin, I can only assume that Oustmanni means Men of the West and refers to the Vikings who harried Ireland during the Dark Ages.
II.38f. Cf. Vergil, Aeneid IV.7, voluenda dies en attulit ultro.
II.41 Cf. Aeneid I.402, Dixit et auertens rosea cervice refulsit.
II.45 For the phrase honor frontis cf. Martial III.ii.8, Statius, Silvae I.ii.113, II.i.26, Thebais IX.705, and X.255.
II.48 Machina mundi is a phrase foundat Lucretius V.96 (imitated by Lucan I.80).
II.49ff. The sisters descend from heaven through the seven spheres of the cosmos in the Ptolemaic model of the universe.
II.53 The Arcadian god is Arcadian-born Mercury.
II.54 Cf. such phrases as Vergil, Aeneid VI.202, liquidumque per aera lapsae.
II.56 A campus is called herbosus at Horace, Odes III.xviii.9.
II.57 Perhaps suggested by Ovid, Amores III.viii.47, turritis incingere moenibus urbes.
II.59 The Wain are called dry because these constellations never sink beneath the sea: cf. Lucan IX. 540f., tu sicca profundo / mergi Plaustra putas.
II.61f. Again, because of the lack of a lexicon of Renaissance Latin, I have no idea what the adjectives divexior and vergivium mean. Raucum murmur is used to describe the sound of rushing river water by Vergil, Georgics I.109 (imitated by such later poets as that of the pseudo-Vergilian Copa 12).
II.64 Cf. Lucan IV.435, cursu crescat dum praeda secundo.
III Written for the 1598 - 1600 edition of Richard Hakluyts The Principal Navigations of the English Nation.
III.1 An echo of Vergil, Eclogue i.66, et penitus toto divisos orbe Britannos.
IV Written for Sir Clement Edmundes Observations upon the five first books of Caesars Commentaries (1600).
IV.8 An obvious paraphrase of the familiar Latin maxim si vis pacem, para bellum.
XIII.2 Although the second line makes good sense, its ending is violently unmetrical. Either this was a lapse on Camdens part, or the printer has omitted some final disyllabic word that began with a vowel. Una is only supplied exempli gratia.
XIV.1 From Glocester 16. According to the 11th ed. of the Encyclopedia Britannica:
Thames, the chief river of England, rising in several small streams among the Cotteswold Hills in Gloucestershire. Its souirce is generally to held to be at a place known as Thames Head, in the parish of Coates, 3 m. W. by S. or Chirencester.
XIV.1.1 Lanigeros greges Cf. Vergil, Georgics III.287, Ovid, Metamorphoses III.585, VI.395, VII.540, and Statius, Silvae IV.v.17.
XIV.1.2 Dobunos As discussed by Camden in Britannia, Dobuni were the ancient Celtic tribe that inhabited Glocestershire and Oxfordshire.
XIV.1.3 a Fossa The Fosse Way was the Roman road leading from Exeter to Lincoln. Cf. longo spelunca recessu at Ovid, Metamorphoses XI.592.
XIV.1.5 resplendent limina tophis Some of the building materials for this scene come from Metamorphoses VIII.562, pumice multicavo nec levibus atria tophis.
XIV.1.6 Atria tegit ebur Cf. ebur atria vestit at Lucan X.119. At Yorkshire 43 Camden discusses the jet of Yorkshire.
XIV.1.8 Materiam sed vincit opus Cf. materiam superabat opus at Ovid, Metamorphoses II.5.
XIV.1.10 moderatrix Cynthea regni There may be an allusion here to Elizabeth and the subtle deviousness of her statecraft.
XIV.1.14 binominis Istri The river is called both the Ister and the Danube.
XIV.1.17 Clara triumphatis…Gallis England had not fought against France since the early 1560’s, when Camden was still a boy, but this probably shows that the present poem was written before England came into conflict with Spain. In the previous line there may be a sarcastic allusion to the alliance formed by Henry VIII and François I at the Field of the Cloth of Gold in 1520.
XIV.1.18 regnator aquarum Cf. Aeneid VIII.77.
XIV.1.20 Caeruleo gremio A phrase taken from Vergil’s description of the Nile at Aeneid VIII.713.
XIV.1.21 arundine cinctus Cf. Ovid, Ars Amatoria I.223, Hic est Euphrates, praecinctus harundine frontem.
XIV.1.23 prospexa in pectore barba Cf. Ovid, Fasti I.256.
XIV.2 From Oxfordshire 2. In a sidenote Camden dates this romantic adventure involving Robert (not Richard) de Vere, ninth Earl of Oxford, to 1387, but gives no source. He was defeated while resisting Bolingbroke, for which he was banished to France
XIV.2.1 notissimus apro The boar was his badge.
XIV.2.5 Tinnituque strepit…cassis Cf. Aeneid IX.808f.:
strepit adsiduo caua tempora circum
XIV.2.6 Se dedit in fluvium Cf. ib. IX.816f.
XIV.3 From Oxfordshire 18. According to the 11th ed. of the Encyclopedia Britannica,
The Thames about Oxford is often called the Isis. Camden gave currency to the derivation of the word from the combination of the names Thame and Isis. But it can be shown conclusively that the river has borne its present designation from the earliest times.
XIV.3.5 Hymenaeus The Roman marriage-god.
XIV.3.8 Qualem nec Lydia In mythology Mt. Siplyus in Lydia was the ancestral home of Pelops and his father Tantalus, and Lydia was supposed to be fabulously wealthy because of its gold-bearing streams.
XIV.3.9 Cleopatro, marito Marc Antony.
XIV.3.10 quas Brutus Achivi Brutus, the eponymous founder of Britain, was a Trojan refugee. Brennus the Gaul invaded Greece in the third century B. C. Gurmundus was a legendary early invader of Ireland. Further in the passage is an allusion to Edward I’s campaigns against Scotland.
At Britannia 8 Camden exhibits obvious skepticism about the legendary history of Britain, as set forth by romancing historians of the Geoffrey of Monmouth type. Here, for poetic purposes he is willinng to accept such traditions uncritically.
XIV.3.16 Catechlanum…montibus The name of the Chiltern Hills comes from the Cattieuchlani, the ancient Celtic tribe who inhabited Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, and Hertfordshire.
This must have been a critical moment in the poem: the Isis now comes to the point where it becomes (or is married to) “Tama,” thus becoming Tamisis, or the Thames. According to the 11th ed. of the Encyclopedia Britannica,
Hitherto from Oxford its course, though greatly winding, has lain generally in a southerly direction, but now it bends eastward,and breaches the chalk hills in a narrow gap, dividing the Chilterns from the downs of Berkshire or White Horse Hills.
XIV.3.22 Norrisiis geminans salvete, valete This is explained by Glocester 17:
Inde Tama prope Ricot aedes elegantes defertur, quae olim ad Quatremannos illos spectarunt, quorum stirps mascula cum defecisset, venditionibus subinde alienatae a Fouleris et Heronis demum ad dominum illum Gulielmiadem sunt devolutae, et per eius filiam ad dominum Henricum Norrisum, quem Elizabetha regina baronem Norrisium de Ricot dixit.
From hence Tame runneth downe neare unto Ricot, a goodly house which in times past belonged to those Quatremans, whose stocke failing to bring forth Males, it was devolved at length after many sailes and alienations passed by the Foulers and Herons unto the said Lord Williams, and so by his daughter fell to Sir Henrie Lord Norris, whom Queene Elizabeth made Baron Norris of Ricot, a man of good marke in regard of his noble birth and parentage.
In view of this, it is clear that in the phrase Notamque suo iam nomine, suo refers to the Norris family.
XIV.3.23 Cernitur et tandem Dorcestria Cf. further down in the paragraph just quoted, Demum Tama Dorcestriam adiit.
XIV.3.25 Nexa comam spicis The idea may be that at this point in the river’s course, the nature of the crops grown nearby changes.
XIV.3.27 Pestanae non rosae Paestum was famous for its roses: see such passages as Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto II.iv.28, Martial V.xxxvii.9, and Columella, De Re Rustica X.x.1.3.
XIV.3.40 multifori…tibia buxi Cf. Seneca, Agamemnon 348, multifora tibia buxo (and in the Renaissance wind instruments such as recorders were indeed often made of boxwood).
XIV.3.42 ducuntque choreas The idiom seems to come from Ovid, Fasti III.537.
XIV.3.43 Dum pede concutiunt alterno Cf. Horace, Odes I.ii.8f.:
iunctaeque Nymphis Gratiae decentes
alterno terram quatiunt pede.
XIV.3.44 Permulcent volucres cf. Aeneid VII.33f. and Ovid, Fasti I.155.
XIV.3.45 reparabilis Echo Cf. Persius i.102.
XIV.3.47 per inania vecti Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses III.538.
XIV.3.50 toto diducta Britannia mundo Camden was aware of the idea that England had originally been part of the Continent, and had then been separated from it by the incursion of the sea (Kent 31).
XIV.3.52 Et cur Neptuni The source of this fable is explained by Britannia 35:
Ad littus Galliae Narbonensis, ubi Herculem et Albionem concertasse fabulantur, lapides adeo multi passim et late iacent ut lapides pluisse credas, unde Littus lapideum et Campus lapideus ab authoribus nuncupatur, Gallis hodie le Craux dicitur.
About the Sea side of that part of France which was called Narbonensis, where (as the fabulous report goeth) Hercules and Albion fought together, there lie so many stones every where all abroad, that a man would verily thinke it had rained stones there: whereupon writers name it the Stonie Stond and Stonie Field.
XIV.3.55 Quas huc adveniens Cf. Britannorum Mores 12:
An Ulysses huc penetrarit, quem in Caledonia appulsum ara Graecis literis inscripta, ut habet Solinus, menefastivit, dubitat Brodaeus, et potius in Ulyssis honorem quam ab Ulysse positam iudicarim . . .
Whether Ulysses entred thus farre, whose arrivall in Caledonia a certaine altar engraven with Greek letters, as Solinus saith, has testified, Brodaeus maketh doubt; and I would judge that erected it was rather in the honour of Ulysses, than by Ulysses himselfe…
Camden calls him the Achates of Brutus (i. e., compares him to Aeneas’ most faithful companion in the Aeneid).
XIV.3.56 Utque Corninaeo Corinaeus is supposed to have been an early king of Cornwall, who defeated the giant Gogmagog in a wrestling match.
XIV.3.57 ut Caesar anhelus Camden chooses to interpret Julius Caesar’s expeditions to Britain in 55 and 54 B. C., which led to no acquisition of territory for Roma, as a humiliating defeat. This line (and the assessment it contains) = Lucan II.572.
XIV.4 From Barkshire 12.
XIV.4.1 Chawsey A village south of Dorcester, directly across the river from North Stoke.
XIV.4.3 Aelfredi nostri victricia signa This is explained by the entry in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for the year 871:
This year came the army to Reading in Wessex; and in the course of three nights after rode two Earls up, who were met by Alderman Ethelwulf at Englefield; where he fought with them, and obtained the victory. There one of them was slain, whose name was Sidrac. About four nights after this, King Ethered and Alfred his brother led their main army to Reading, where they fought with the enemy; and there was much slaughter on either hand, Alderman Ethelwulf being among the skain; but the Danes kept possession of the field. And about four nights after this, King Ethered and Alfred his brother fought with all the army on Ashdown, and the Danes were overcome. They had two heathen kings, Bagsac and Healfden, and many earls; and they were in two divisions; in one of which were Bagsac and Healfden, the heathen kings, and in the other were the earls. King Ethered therefore fought with the troops of the kings, and there was King Bagsac slain; and Alfred his brother fought with the troops of the earls, and there were slain Earl Sidrac the elder, Earl Sidrac the younger, Earl Osbern, Earl Frene, and Earl Harold. They put both the troops to flight; there were many thousands of the slain, and they continued fighting till night.
XIV.4.10ff. Heu dira piacula Cf. Barkshire 10:
In cuius vicinia diruta virginum sacrarum aedicula quam ad expianda sua scelera Alfritha regina olim posuerat, templum magnificentissimum monachis construxit maginisque redditibus locupletavit rex Henricus Primus…In hoc sepultus erat ipse conditor Henricus una cum filia Matilde.
Nigh whereunto King Henrie the First, having plucked downe a little Nunnerie that Queene Alfrith had founded in former times to make satisfaction for her wicked deeds, built for Monks a stately and sumpteous Abbay, and enriched it with great revenewes…In this Abbay was the founder himselfe, King Henrie, buried with his wife, both vealed and crowned for that shee had beene a Queene and a professed Nunne, and with them their daughter Mawde.
At a number of points in Britannia Camden expresses his disapproval at Henry VIII’s demolition of britengeries (probably this was motivated by the antiquarian’s love of things old rather than his religious views). Cf., for example, Britanniae Divisio 16:
Fuerunt etiam regnante Henrico Octavo (fas sit meminisse) avitae pietatis monumenta ad Dei honorem, fidei Christianiae, bonarumque literarum propagationem et pauperum sustentationem domus religiosae, scilicet monasteria sive abbatiae et prioratus numero 645, e quibus cum pontificis Clementis VII permissu 40 fuerint suppressae in gratiam cardinalis Wolsaei, qui tunc duo collegia, alterum Oxoniae, alterum Ipswichi inchoaverat, statim circa annum 36 Henrici VIII in republicam Angliae ecclesiasticam quasi torrens rupto aggere irruit, qui gentis ecclesiasticae partem maxima, orbe stupente et Anglia ingemente, cum pulcherrimis aedificiis funditus prostravit.
There were also, in the reigne of Henrie the Eight (I hope without offence I may speake the truth) many religious places, Monuments of our forefathers pietie and devotion, to the honor of God, the propagation of Christian faith and good learning, and also for the reliefe and maintenance of the poore and impotent, to wit, Monasteries or Abbaies, and Priories, to the number of 645: of which when, by permission of Pope Clement the Seventh, fortie were suppressed by Cardinall Wolseies meanes, who had then begun to found two Colleges, one at Oxenford, the other at Ipswich, straightwaies, about the xxxvj yeere of the reigne of the said Henrie the Eight, a sudden floud (as it were) breaking thorow the banks with a maine streame, fell upon the Ecclesiasticall State of England, which while the world stood amazed, and England groned thereat, bare downe and utterly overthrew the greatest part of the Clergie, together with their most goodly and beautifull houses.
XIV.4.7 Cornipedes Cf. Barkshire 12:
Monasterium hoc in quo Henricus ille Primus sepultus iam in regias aedes conversum est, quibus ἱπποστάσιον sive equile pulcherrimum adiunctum, regiis et generosissimis equis refertum.
This Monastery wherein that noble King Henry the First was buried is now converted to be the Kings house, which hath adjoining unto it a very goodly stable stored to the full with princelike and most generous steeds.
XIV.4.14 Auri sacra fames The phrase is taken from Aeneid III.57.
XIV.5 From Berkshire 16.
XIV.5.2 vertice coelum For this phrase at the end of a hexameter line, cf. Germanicus, Aratea 583 and Lucan VI.644.
XIV.5.3 doctae gratatus Etonae Eton is situated directly across the river from Eton.
XIV.5.4 Orbiliis Orbilius was Horace’s teacher of grammar, who liked to whip his boys (Epistulae II.i.71). The name is used here to designate schoolmasters in general.
XIV.5.5 Caeruleum caput Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses XII.838, and Seneca, Oedipus 729. For farier infit cf. Aeneid XI.2442.
XIV.5.6 Aerias moles Cf. Statius, Silvae V.iii.48. Ovid was fond of the image of a temple made loftier by a staircase approach: Heroides xxi.105, Metamorphoses I.375, VI.99, VII.583, and Tristia VII.587.
XIV.5.12 Cappadocis quanquam sis clara Georgi Windsor Castle and its Chapel of St. George of Cappedocia serve as the headquarters for the Knights of the Garter.
XIV.5.16ff. Ut iam Phryxaeum spernat Camden enumerates some of the other knightly orders of Europe:the Order of the Golden Fleece (Burgundy), the Order of St. Michel (France), the Knights of St. John (Rhodes), the Order of Alcantara (Spain). The allusion to Elba probably refers to the Knights of Malta.
XIV.5.20 Desine mirari Cf. Martial VI.lxxxix.8 and Spectacula xxv.2.
XIV.5.28 Melibocco A mountain range mentioned by Ptolemy, Geography II.xi.5 and 10, Camden has manufactured a variant on the idea of “piling Pelion atop Ossa.”
XIV.5.37 non servit Scotia Gallo In 1560, a French expedition had been sent to Scotland under Martigues, to support the rule of the Mary of Guise, the Regent, and to enforce the claim of François II (in the name of his consort Mary Queen of Scots). to the Scottish throne. With English military aid, the Scots managed to defeat Mortigues, and this together with the early death of François put an end to this French initiative.
XIV.5.38f. Exuit atque suos This probably refers to the submission to Elizabeth made by Shan O’Neal of Ulster in 1561. The word criniger is used because Irishmen wore their hair long. For line 39 cf. mitescere discat at Vergil, Eclogue x.61.
XIV.5.47 immotam mentem Cf. Aeneid IV.449.
XIV.5.48 semper…sibi The Queen’s motto.
XIV.6 From Suthrey 7.
XIV.6.1ff. A dextra nobis Richmondia Cf. Barkshire 6:
In proximo etiam reges sibi locum habitandi delegerunt, quem a splendore Shene dixerunt, nunc vero Richmond vocatur, in quo Edwardus Tertius rex longe potentissimus, cum satis gloriae satisque naturae visisset, diem ex dolore obiit, quem in filii bellicosissime morte hausit, qui ipsi et universae Angliae tantus erat ut omnem consolationem vinceret. Et iustus sane hoc tempore si unquam alias Angliae dolor. Intra unim enim annum solidam rei militaris cumultae virtutis laudem amisit, uterque etenim victricia arma per Galliam circumferendo tentum terrorem incusserunt ut pater cum Antiocho Fulminis, filius cum Pyrrho Aquiliae nomen meritissime gereret.
Tami7s, now turning his course directly Northward, visiteth another place, which the Kings chose for themselves sometime to sojourne at, which of the shining brightnesse they called Shene, but now it is named Richmond, wherein the most mighty Prince King Edward the Third, when he had lived sufficiently both to glorie and Nature, died, with sorrow that he hee conceived for the death of that most valiant and Martiall Prince his sonne, which sorrow pierced so deepe and stucke so neere to him and all England beside, that it farre exceeded all comfort. And verily at this time if ever else England had good cause to grieve. For within one yeere after, it lost the true praise of militarie prowesse and of accomplished vertue. For both of them by bearing their victorious armes through all France strucke so great a terror wheresoever they came that, as the father might most worthily with King Antiochus carrie the name of thonder-bolt, so his sonne with Pyrrhus deserved to be named the Aegle.
XIV.6.7 sedes…supernas Cf. Seneca, Phaedra 845.
XIV.6.8 ferrea fata Cf. the Vergilian Catalepton, xvi.4.
XIV.6.11 Tamisis alternum sentit This is all a poetic way of saying that at this point the river becomes a tidal estuary. The third line refers to the location of the moon in the eighth heaven in the Ptolemaic, geocentric model of the cosmos. I am not quite sure of the accuracy of my translation of pronos iugales (for the phrase cf. Statius, Thebais III.368).
XIV.7 From Midlesex 2. Runnimede, being on the south bank of the river, is actually in Surrey, at Egham.
XIV.7.4 Edwardi sancti Edward the Confessor (i. e., they wanted to restore the rights of Anglo-Saxon times). For tenebroso…carcere in the next line cf. Lucan II.79.
XIV.7.7 refugus…Lodovicus The signing of Magna Charta did not satisfy the majority of Barons, and they invited Prince Louis of France (the future Louis VIII) to replace King John. Louis came over to England with an armyin 1216, but after a year and a half of inconclusive fighting he agreed to sign the Treaty of Lambeth, abjuring all right to the throne of England and granting power to Henry III.
XIV.8 Also from Midlesex 2, where Camden writes:
Postea Hampton Court allabitur regiam, in verae magnificentiae admiratione a Thoma Wolsaeo cardinale ad opes ostentandas, cum alioqui prudentissimus prae insolentia sui impotens esset, extructam, et ab Henrico Octavo auctam et perfectam.
Afterwards it runneth hard by Hampton Court, a royall palace of the Kings, a worke in truth of admirable magnificence built out of the ground by Thomas Wolsey Cardinall, in ostentation of his riches, when for very pride, being otherwise a most prudent man, he was not able to mannage his minde. But it was made an Honor, enlarged, and finished by King Henrie the Eighth.
XIV.9 From Middlesex 19, a description of Whitehall.
XIV.9.3 niveo…marmore Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses XIV.313.
XIV.9.5 rauco…aestu Cf. the Vergilian Copa 5.
XIV.10 From Middlesex 26.
XIV.10.6 Britannorum…Britannia At Middlesex 4 Camden calls London Britanniae epitome.
XIV.10.7 Ormus A port city on the Straits of Hormuz that in Camden’s day controlled the sea-trade with India.
XIV.10.8 Chysaea I have been unable to identify an actual city with this name (“Gold City”). Unless contemporary writers used it to identify one of those mythological American cities of the Eldorado type, it would seem to be Camden’s own invention.
XV.7 Panchaia The utopian island allegedly visited by the philosopher Euhemerus.
XV.21 Baetis A river in Spain.
XVI Gratulatory poem printed at the front of Thomas Watson’s Latin translation of Sophocles’ Antigone (London, 1581).
1 Presumably this epitaph is written for Sir William Hewet, who served as Lord Mayor of London in 1582 (cf. John Nichols, The Processions, and Magnificent Festivities, of King James the First, His Royal Consort, Family, and Court, London, 1828, II.100 n.2).
2 It is likely that Camden wrote this epitaph at the time the body of Mary Queen of Scots was brought from Peterborough Cathedral to the Abbey (June 1612). In his introduction, Smith speculated that it may have been written at the request of King James, but noted that another and inferior epitaph making the same points was put up in the Abbey. If this epitaph seems outspoken, it pales in comparison with the far more scathing one one temporarily put up at Peterborough soon after her execution, recorded by Camden in his Annales Rerum Gestarum Angliae et Hiberniae Regnante Elizabetha for the year 1587:
MARIA SCOTORUM REGINA, REGIS FILIA, REGIS GALLORUM VIDUA, REGINAE ANGLIAE AGNATA ET HAERES PROXIMA, VIRTUTIBUS REGIIS ET ANIMO REGIO ORNATA, IURE REGIO FRUSTRA SAEPIUS IMPLORATO, BARBARA ET TYRANNICA CRUDELITATE ORNAMENTUM NOSTRI SECULI ET LUMEN VERE REGIUM EXTINGUITUR: EODEMQUE NEFARIO IUDICIO ET MARIA SCOTORUM REGINA MORTE NATURALI, ET OMNES SUPERSTITES REGES PLEBEII FACTI MORTE CIVILE MULCTANTUR. NOVUM ET INAUDITUM TUMULI GENUS, IN QUO CUM VIVIS MORTUI INCLUDUNTUR, HIC EXTAT: CUM SACRIS ENIM DIVAE MARIAE CINERIBUS OMNIUM REGUM ATQUE PRINCIPUM VIOLATAM ATQUE PROSTRATAM MAIESTATEM HIC IACERE SCITO, ET QUIA TACITUM REGALE SATIS SUPERQUE REGES SUI OFFICII MONET, PLURA NON ADDO VIATOR.
MARY QUEENE OF SCOTTS, A KINGS DAUGHTER, THE KING OF FRANCE HIS WIDDOW, THE QUEENE OF ENGLANDS KINSWOMAN AND NEXT HEIRE, A PRINCESSE ACCOMPLISHED WITH ROYALL VERTUES AND A ROYALL MIND, HAVING MANY TIMES (BUT IN VAINE) CRAVED HER ROYALL PRIVILEDGE, IS BY BARBAROUS AND TYRANNOUS CRUELTY EXTINCT, BEING THE ORNAMENT OF OUR AGE, AND A LIGHT TRULY ROYALL; AND BY ONE AND THE SAME WICKED SENTENCE IS BOTH MARY QUEENE OF SCOTTS DOOMED TO A NATURALL DEATH, AND ALL SURVIVING KINGS, BEING MADE AS COMMON PEOPLE, ARE SUBJECTED TO A CIVILL DEATH. A NEW AND UNEXAMPLED KINDE OF TOOMBE IS HEERE EXTANT, WHERIN THE LIVING ARE INCLUDED WITH THE DEAD; FOR KNOW THAT WITH THE SACRED HERSE OF SAINT MARY HERE LIETH VIOLATE AND PROSTRATE THE MAJESTY OF ALL KINGS AND PRINCES; AND BECAUSE (READER THAT TRAVAILEST THIS WAY) THE UNREVEALABLE SECRET OF KINGS DOTH MOST SUFFICIENTLY ADMONISH KINGS OF THEIR DUTY. I SAY NO MORE.
3 Sir William Peryam [1534 - 1604]; life in D. N. B. Sir William was buried at Lttle Fulford Church near Crediton, Devonshire. Peryam had four daughters, Mary (m. Sir William Pole), Elizabeth (m. Sir Robert Basset), Jane (m. Thomas Poyntz), and Anne (m. William Williams), and the information in the subscript must be in error.
4 Bishop John Young [1514 - 1604]; life in D. N. B. He was buried near the Bishops Palace at Bromley.
5 Bishop John Still [1534? - 1608], a possible author of Gammer Gurtons Nedle, was consecrated Bishop of Bath and Wells in February 1593, and so had occupied the See for fifteen years. He was buried in Wells Cathedral.
6 Bishop Thomas Ravis [1560? - 1609]; life in D. N. B. He was buried at Toxteth Park Chapel, Liverpool. Ravis died on 14 December, 1609.
In the text, one would expect dum…vigilarat, or perhaps vigilasset, but during the Renaissance rules governing the proper use of subjectives barely grasped.
7 Sir Hugh Beeston of Beeston was Receiver-general for the Crown in Cheshire and North Wales (Nichols I.112 n. 8); in the inscription the date of his death was left blank because he survived Camden for the better part of three years, dying in 1626.
8 Sir Richard Carew of Antony House, Cornwall [1555 - 1620]; life in D. N. B. He was buried at the Antony Church. Sir Richard is best remembered as the writer of works such as The Survey of Cornwall and a partial translation of Torquato Tassos Gerusalamma Liberata. The interested reader may care to consult F. E. Halidays edition of Carews The Survey of Cornwall (London, 1953), which provides a detailed biography of this highly attractive man. He was a friend of Camdens from the time that they were undergraduates together at Broadgates Hall, Oxford (from which Camden matriculated in 1566).
Since Camden personally drew up the pedigree for Carews neighbor Sir Anthony Rous of Halton that served as the basis for the one used in the 1620 College of Arms visitation, it is not unlikely that he did the same favor for Carew. Carew was married to Juliana, daughter of John Arundel of Trerice, and his son, Sir Richard, who wrote on educational and language matters. Carew died 6 November, 1620.
9 Bishop James Montagu [1568? - 1618]; life in D. N. B. He was buried in Bath Abbey.
10 Camden records the Queens death as occurring on IV nonas Martias (March 4). Sources are divided in recording the day of her death as March 1 (so Camden in his diary), or March 2 (so, for example, the D. N. B.), a discrepancy that is easily understood by thinking she died during the night between the 1st and the 2nd. But March 4th is obviously impossible, and the easiest solution is to assume that IV nonas Martias is a printers error for VI nonas Martias.
As the Queen was born in 1574, here Camden is correct in stating that she lived 44 years (in the same diary entry he wrongly writes that she died at age 45).