« AnteriorContinuar »
written various miscellaneous pieces, besides the works which bear his name.
Sir John Hawkins states, on the authority of a deed in his possession, that in 16a4 "Walton dwelt on the north side of Fleet Street, in a house two doors west of the end of Chancery Lane, and abutting on a messuage known by the sign of the Harrow, and that his house was then in the joint occupation of himself and a hosier called Jobn Mason." 8 Before that time the celebrated Dr Donne became vicar of St Dunstan in the West; and an intimacy arose between Walton, who was then one of his parishioners, and himself, which ended only with Donne's life. The veneration which Walton entertained for his learned friend is exhibited in the memoir which he prefixed to the publication of his sermons, as well as in the elegy which he wrote upon his decease.
It was probably through Dr Donne that Walton became acquainted with Sir Henry Wotton, Dr Henry King, son of the Bishop of London, Jobn Hales of Eton, and some other eminent persons, particularly divines. He was also slightly known to Ben Jonson ; 0 he speaks of Drayton, on one occasion, as his "honest old friend," and on another as his "old deceased friend ; " 1 and he appears to have lived on terms of intimacy with many of the most distinguished literary men of his age.
Such part of his time as was not occupied by his business, seems, therefore, to have been passed in the society of men whose acquaintance is sufficient proof of the esteem in which his talents were held; whilst the friendship of Donne, King, and Wotton, is ample evidence of his moral worth. As some of the individuals alluded to were fond of the amusement of angling, it is probable that many of his leisure hours were passed with them in piscatory excursions on the banks of the river Lea; and his amiable and placid temper, his agreeable conversation, and unaffected benevolence, inspired them with esteem and regard.
After having been more than ten years in business, Walton thought himself justified in incurring the expense and cares of married life. His biographers have fallen into great mistakes respecting his wives; for, according to Sir Jobn Hawkins and Dr Zouch, he was only once married; and the latter describes him to have de- * rived an hereditary attachment to the Protestant religion, from his
8 Sir Jobn Hawkins's Life of Walton, edited by Sir Henry Ellis K.H., and prefixed to the edition of the Complete Angler published by Bagster in 1815. » Vide postea. 1 Vide pp. 1a4, 197, postea.
mother having been the daughter of Edmund Cranmer, Archdeacon of Canterbury, and niece of Archbishop Cranmer. Subsequentwriters have doubted the accuracy of these statements; and whilst they have indulged in various conjectures on the subject, without arriving at the fact, every edition of "The Complete Angler," except the first, has contained proof of the name of his wife.2
It is not unlikely that Walton's acquaintance with Dr King was the cause of his being introduced to the family of Floud of Canterbury, which was closely connected with that of Cranmer, whom King, many years afterwards, called his "old friends."3 Susannah, daughter of Thomas Cranmer of Canterbury (son of Edmund Cranmer, Archdeacon of Canterbury, and grand-nephew of Archbishop Cranmer), was horn in August 1579, and married a gentleman of the name of Floud,4 who is presumed to have been Robert, the son of Jobn Floud, fifth son of Sir Thomas Floud, of Milgate, in the parish of Bradsted, in Kent, and the descendant of a family of considerable antiquity in Shropshire.5 He died before his wife, leaving two sons, Jobn and Robert Floud, and a daughter of the name of Rachel.
Of the sons very little is known. Robert, the eldest, was of Jobn's College, Cambridge, where he proceeded B.A. in 16a7: 8 he was executor to his mother in 1635; and wrote the commendatory verses to his "dear brother-in-law, Mr Is. Walton, on his Complete Angler"J which were prefixed to the second edition of that work, in 1 r5'5 5. John Floud, the second son, was under twenty-eight years of age at the death of his mother in 1635; and in 1655, at which time he was Master of Arts, he also addressed verses to his "dear brother-in-law, Mr Iz. Walton, upon his Complete Angler."
Their sister, Rachel Floud, who was probably horn about the year 16o5, was married to Izaak Walton, in the Church of St Mildred, at Canterbury, on the a7th of December 16a6.8 Soon after Walton's marriage, Mrs Floud, his wife's mother, appears to
* This f.tct was first pointed out in the New Series of the Retrospective Review, vol. ii. p. 341, by the Author of this Memoir.
8 Vide postca.
* Vide the accompanying pedigree of Cranmer, for which the Editor is indebted to George Frederic Bcltz, Esq., Lancaster Herald.
5 Harleian MS. 1548, f. 6ab, and Additional MS. 55o7, in the British Museum. « Additional MS. 5885, fo. 93.
7 To his signature to these verses the letter " C " is added, the meaning of which has not been discovered.
8 Extract from the Register of " Maryagyes" in the parish of St Mildred, Canterbury, for the year 16a6. "Isaack Walton and Rachel Floudd wearc maryed the a7th day of December."
have removed to London; and there is reason to believe that she resided with them until her decease. In the following passage in the Life of Hooker, Walton thus speaks of his connection with the Cranmer family ; 9 and the two sisters of William Cranmer, with whom he says he had a "happy cohabitation/' were probably his mother-in-law, Mrs Floud, and the widow of Dr Spencer:
"About forty years past (for I am now in the seventieth of my age) I began a happy affinity with William Cranmer (now with God), grandnephew unto the great archbishop of that name, a family of noted prudence and resolution. With him and two of his sisters I had an entire and free friendship; one of them was the wife of Dr Spencer, a bosom friend, and some time com-pupil with Mr Hooker in Corpus Christi College in Oxford, and after president of the same. I name them here, for that I shall have occasion to mention them in this following discourse ; as also their brother, of whose useful abilities my reader may have a more authentic testimony than my pen can purchase for him, by that of our learned Camden and others. This William Cranmer and his two forenamed sisters had some affinity and a most familiar friendship with Mr Hooker, and had had some part of their education with him in his house when he was parson of
* The connections of the Cranmer family afford informanon ahout some of the persons to whom Walton became known, and elucidate many points in his history. George, the eldest son of Thomas Cranmer, and uncle of Mrs Walton, was horn in 1578 : he was educated by Richard Hooker, the author of the Ecclesiastical Polity; became a scholar of Christ Church, Oxford; and afterwards entered the service of his relation, William Davison, secretary of state to Queen Elizabeth. Upon the fall of that statesman, Cranmer became secretary to Sir Henry Killigrew in ins embassy to France: and, after Killigrew's drath, he accompanied Sir Edwyn Sandys in his travels into Germany and Italy, and was at Florence and Vienna ahout November 1596. [See a letter from Francis Davison, the eldest son of the secretary, to his father, printed in the memoir prefixed to Davison's Poetical Rhapsody, ed. 18a6, p. xxxii.J Soon after his return ha accepted the appointment of secretary to Lord Muuntjoy in Ireland, but was slain in an action with the Irish at Carlingfnrd on the 13th of November 16oo, and died unmarred [Athen. Oxon. ed. Bliss, I. 7.x:]. Camden and Llovd speak in strong terms of his abilities and learning, and he is often mentioned by Walton. The second son, Thomas Cranmer, was living in 1617. William Cranmer, the third son, who was a particular friend of Walton's, was a merchant in London, and left a son, Sir William Cranmer, who was governor of the Merchants Adventurers of England, and died unmarried in bis sixty-seventh year, on the a1st of September 1697. [Vide the inscription on the monument erected to his memory in the Church of St Mildred, Canterbury, by his nephew and executor, Mr Jobn Kenrick.J The daughters of Thomas Cranmer were Dorothy, horn in 1575, married to an individual of the name of Field (possibly Dr Richard Field, Dean of Gloucester, the friend of Hooker, who is mentioned as "that great schoolman " in Walton's introduction to the collected edition of the Lives of Donne, Wotton, Honker, and Herbert), she was living in 1635. Rachel, the second daughter, was horn in 1577, married in 15o7 John Blowficld, gentleman, and died in August 16oo, leaving one son of the name oi' George [M. I- in Margate Church, printed in Cozens' Tour through the Isle of Thanet, p. 45a]. Elizabeth, the third daughter, was hom in 1574. married in 159a Alexander Norwood, gentleman, and was living in 1617: Susannah, the fourth daughter, married Mr Floud; Jane, the fifth daughter, was horn in 158o; the sixth daughter, Anne, married in 1581 Jobn Sellar, had issue, and was living in 1617; and Margaret, the youngest daughter, who was horn in 1585, was living in 16o4. It is supposed that two of the daughters married peisons of the names of Boote and Parry; but it is certain that one of them was the wife of Dr Jobn Spencer, president of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, the hosom friend and fellow-pupil of Hooker, and the editor of his works. Dr Spencer died in 1614 [Athen. Oxon. ed. Bliss. II. 145], and was probably the father of the Dr Jobn Spencer who is described in the will of Mrs Floud in 1635 as "her cousin."
Bishopsbourne, near Canterbury, in which city their good father then lived. They had, I say, a great part of their education with him, as myself, since that time, a happy cobabitation with them." 1
The maiden name of the mother of Mrs Walton has not been positively ascertained; but it is nearly certain that she was Anne, the sister of John Carpenter, second son of Jobn Carpenter, of Rye, in Sussex, who married Anne, the sister of Secretary Davison, which alliance would explain the connection that is known to have existed between the families of Davison and Cranmer,1 and may have induced Walton to insert " The Beggars' Song," which, he says, in the " Complete Angler," was written by Francis Davison, the secretary's eldest son.
On the 31st of March 1631, Walton lost his revered friend, Dr Donne. About three weeks before his death, Donne, to use Walton's words, "sent for many of his most considerable friends, with whom he took a solemn and deliberate farewell, commending to their considerations some sentences useful for the regulation of their lives, and then dismissed them, as good Jacob did his sons, with a spiritual benediction." s It would seem that Walton was not one of the friends there alluded to; but with Dr King, Dr Winniff (afterwards Bishop of Lmcoln), and Dr Montfort, then a residentiary of St Paul's, he attended Donne in almost his last hours, and received his dying wishes. This fact may be inferred from King's letter to Walton upon his Lives of Donne, Wotton, Hooker, and Herbert, which will be again noticed, wherein he said, "I shall begin with my most dear and incomparable friend, Dr Donne, late Dean of St Paul's Church, who not only trusted me as his executor, but three days before his death delivered into my hands those excellent sermons of his, now made public; professing before Dr Winniff, Dr Montfort, and, I think, yourself, then present at his bedside, that it was by my restless importunity that he had prepared them for the press; together with which (as his best legacy) he gave me all his sermon-notes, and his other papers, containing an extract of near fifteen hundred authors. How these were got out of my hands, you, who were the messenger for them, and how lost hoth to me and yourself, is not now season
1 Walton's Lives, ed. Zouch, 1817. vol. i. pp. 3o4, 3o5. In another place (p. 446) Walton says, " Dr Spencer's wife was my aunt, and sister to George Cranmer, of whom I have spoken."
2 A letter is preserved in the State Paper Office from Jobn Carpenter to his brotherin-law. Secretary Davison, dated 7th October 1586. in which he speaks of his "brother Cranmer" to whom he had written respecting his son George, who was the George Cranmer mentioned in the preceding page.
8 Life of Donne, ed. Zouch, I. 155.
able to complain."4 As the younger Donne bequeathed his father's collection of extracts to Bishop King to be given to the son of Izaak Walton,5 it may be inferred that Dr Donne's eldest son was the person who desired Walton to claim his father's MSS. from King.
Some time before his death, Dr Donne caused several seals to be made of helitropium, or blood-stone, and engraved with a representation of the Saviour extended on an anchor, instead of the cross—a beautiful emblem of the Christian faith—which he presented to his most intimate friends, among whom were Sir Henry Wotton, Dr Hall, then Bishop of Exeter, Dr Duppa, afterwards Bishop of Salisbury, Dr King, afterwards Bishop of Chichester, George Herbert, the author of "The Temple," 6 and Walton. Donne adopted this device instead of the crest of his family, a sheaf of snakes; and the seal sent by him to Herbert was accompanied by some verses on the subject, which, with Herbert's reply, were printed by Walton in his Life of Donne. They are full of the quaint conceits with which the poetry of the time ahounded, and however agreeable to the taste of that age, they have few charms for the present. Walton always used the seal7 that was given to him by Donne, of which an accurate engraving will be found in a subsequent page.
Walton wrote the following Elegy upon Donne, and, with similar tributes to his worth by Dr King, Sir Lucius Carey, Endymion Porter, and several other persons, it was printed at the end of an edition of Donne's Poems, in 1633, of which work it is not improbable that Walton was the editor.8 The Elegy is more remarkable for fervour than elegance; but it contains a few passages illustrative of the writer's own feelings and situation, which render it of interest:
"Is Donne, great Donnp, deceased? then, England, say
* Life of Donne, ed. Zouch, I. pp. az-a4. * Vide postea, p. Ixx.
6 Ibid. pp. 1a4-1a6.
7 It is impressed on his will, and also on that of his son.
8 The work was printed for Jobn Marriott, and contained an address "from the Printer to the Understanders," which does not bear sufficient resemblance to Walton's style to justify its being positively attributed to his pen; but it is not unlikely that the following "Hexastichon Bibliopolae" was written by Walton, notwithstanding that the name of the publisher is affixed to it:
"I see in his last preach'd and printed hook,
0 The following variations occur in the next edition of Donne's Poems, which was printed in 1635:
"Our Donne is dead: England should mourn, may say