From ‘A Discourse of English Poetry’ by William Webbe (f1. 1586-91), published by John Charlewood in 1586 (STC 25172), C iiiv. Webbe was a friend of Spenser. His comments on Skelton occur during a survey of the history of English poetry, in which it becomes clear that his sympathies lie with more recent sixteenth-century poetry rather than with Skelton’s.
Since these I knowe none other tyll the time of Skelton, who writ in the time of kyng Henry the eyght, who as indeede he obtayned the Lawrell Garland, so may I wyth good ryght yeelde him the title of a Poet: hee was doubtles a pleasant conceyted fellowe, and of a very sharpe wytte, exceeding bolde, and would nyppe to the very quicke where he once sette holde.
Extracts from ‘The Arte of English Poesie’ by George Puttenham (1529? -90), published in 1589 (STC 20519). This was one of the most important Elizabethan treatises on the history and practise of poetry.
(a) Book I, Chapter xxxi: ‘Who in any age haue bene the most commended writers in our English Poesie, and the Authors censure vpon them’, V I iv.
Skelton a sharpe Satirist, but with more rayling and scoffery then became a Poet Lawreat, such among the