Female and Male Voices in Early Modern England: An Anthology of Renaissance Writing

By Betty S. Travitsky; Anne Lake Prescott | Go to book overview

11
Anne Vaughan Lock [Dering, Prowse]
(c. 1534–after 1590)
Henry Lock (1553?–1608?)

Anne Vaughan Lock [Dering, Prowse] Meditates on Sin

Anne Lock (c. 1534–after 1590) was the older daughter of Stephen Vaughan, a businessman and diplomat in the time of Henry VIII with strong Protestant leanings. Her first husband, Henry Lock, to whom she was married sometime before 1557, was also a staunch Protestant. As a result of a close friendship with the Scottish preacher John Knox, Anne Lock journeyed to Geneva with two young children in 1557—leaving her husband behind—and remained there about two years; she then returned to London. Letters to her by Knox, often considered to be a dour man, show his warmer side; even though Lock's letters to him are lost, Knox's letters also shed light on her interiority. The sonnet sequence appended to her translation of Sermons of John Calvin upon the Song that Ezechias Made (1560) plus the creation by her son, Henry, of more than two hundred religious sonnets, caused William Stull to dub her “literally the mother of English religious sonneteering.”1

After her husband's death in 1571, Anne Lock remarried twice. Her second husband, Edward Dering, was a rising young Puritan preacher, ten years her junior, who died in 1576 at the age of thirty-six. Her third husband, John Prowse, was an important merchant and political figure in Exeter, where she lived after their marriage (c. 1583). Anne Lock's unwavering faith shows in her translation of Jean Taffin's Of the Marks of the Children of God (1590); in her introduction she

____________________
1
“'Why Are Not Sonnets Made of Thee?': A New Context,” Modern Philology 80 (1982): 132.

-114-

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