cordage, and straining the lengths to extension; a rough worker at rough work. Strong, rough Skelton! We can no more deride him than my good lord cardinal could.
From ‘The Lives of the Queens of England’ (1842), IV, pp. 103-4, by the historian Agnes Strickland (1796-1874). This extract is from her life of Katharine of Aragon.
Skelton the poet laureate of Henry VIII.’s court, composed verses of the fall of the Scottish monarch. ( 1)
In part of this poem he thus addresses the deceased king in allusion to the absence of Henry.
[Quotes lines 143-50.]
He then breaks into the most vulgar taunts on the unconscious hero, ‘who laid cold in his clay’ abusing him as ‘Jemmy the Scot’ with a degree of virulence which would have disgusted any mind less coarse than that of his master. The beautiful lyric, called the ‘Flowers of the Forest,’ in which Scotland bewailed her loss of Flodden, forms a noble contrast to this lampoon. But the laureated bard of Henry knew well his sovereign’s taste, for it is affirmed that Skelton had been tutor to Henry in some department of his education. How probable it is that the corruption imparted by this ribald and ill-living wretch laid the foundation for his royal pupil’s gravest crimes.