See also No. 158.
From De Re Poetica: or, Remarks upon Poetry…with Characters and Censures of the most Considerable Poets (1694), II. 213-16:
A Famous English Poet, born in the City of London, and brought up in Pembroke-Hall in Cambridge; He flourish'd in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth. His great Friend was Sir Philip Sidney, by whose mean he was preferr'd to be Secretary to his Brother Sir Henry Sidney, who was sent Deputy into Ireland, where he is said to have written his Fairy-Queen; but upon the return of Sir Henry, his Employment ceasing, he also return'd into England, and having lost his great Friend Sir Philip, fell into Poverty; whereupon he addrest himself to Queen Elizabeth, presenting her with a Poem, with which she was so well pleas'd, that he had order'd him 500 l. for his support, which nevertheless was abridg'd to One Hundred Pounds by the Lord Treasurer Cecil, who hearing of it, and owing him a grudge for some Reflections in Mother Hubbard's Tale, cry'd out to the Queen, What all this for a Song? This he is said to have taken so much to Heart, that he contracted a deep Melancholy, which soon after brought his life to a Period, Anno Dom. 1598.
Edward Phillips, in his Theatrum Poetarum, says, That Spencer was the first of our English Poets that brought Heroick Poesie to any perfection; his Fairy-Queen being for great Invention and Poetick Heighth, judg'd little Inferiour, if not Equal to the Chief of the Ancient Greeks and Latins, or Modern Italians; But the first Poem that brought him into Esteem, was his Shepherds Kalendar. This Piece was highly admir'd by Sir Philip Sidney.
Cambden, in his History of Queen Elizabeth, says, That Edmund Spencer was a Londoner by Birth, and a Scholar also of the University