Edmund Spenser, the Critical Heritage

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170.

Robert Johnston

before 1639

Robert Johnston (1567?-1639) was educated at Edinburgh University, but made his fortune in the South.

From Historia Rerum Britannicarum…ab Anno 1572, ad Annum 1628 (Amsterdam, 1655), p. 249 (Lib. VIII):

In the year 1598 was taken from the English the greatest ornament of the age, Edmund Spenser, who was born in London of undistinguished parentage. He excelled by a long way all English poets of the century before, and went with the Lord Deputy Gray to Ireland, to forestall poverty, and that he might give his energies to Apollo and the Muses in peace and leisure. There he lost his estate and his goods to predatory brigands, and returned penniless to England. Dying in misery (because it was believed that in Mother Hubbards Tale he had savagely maligned the Chancellor Cecil), he was buried in Westminster Abbey next to Chaucer, at the expense of the Earl of Essex. 1

1Annus & hic abstulit, apud Anglos, Maximum hujus aetatis Ornamentum, Edmundum Spenserum, Londini in re tenui natum; qui omnes superioris Seculi Poetas Anglicos longe superavit; & ad declinandam Paupertatem, in Hiberniam cum Graio Prorege secessit; ut per Otium ac Requiem, Apollini & Musis operam daret: ubi a Praedonibus Laribus ejectus, & Bonis spoliatus, Inops in Angliam redijt; & Mestitia rebus humanis exemptus, in Vestmonasterij Caenobio sepultus est, apud Chaucerum, impensis Essexiae Comitis; quiautCreditur, in Cecilium Quaestorem acriter invehitur, in Fabula Hubartae Vetulae. (Mother Huberts tale).

-319-

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