Hessilheid, as Pont states, but in Germany, as he says himself; and he further incidentally mentions that his birth took place "on Eister-day at morne"; but in what year the world is left to guess -perhaps in 1554.

Of the early habits and education of Montgomery little is known for certain. His aunt Marian, sister of his father, married for her third husband John Campbell of Skipnish, in Argyleshire. It is supposed from what Hume of Polwart says, in one of their flyting epistles, that he had passed some portion of his boyhood at Skipnish; and Dempster remarks that he was usually designated eques Montanus, a phrase synonymous to "Highland trooper." The poet himself alludes to his residence in the Highlands in his epistle to Robert Hudson :

"This is no life that I live vpaland,*

On raw red herring reisted in the reik; Syn I am subject sometyme to be seik, And daylie deeing of my auld diseise." As to his personal appearance, Montgomery says, "I schame not of my schape;" and adds, "though I be laich, I beir a michtie mynd." He is invariably styled Captain, and, from Melville's Diary, it would appear that he was captain of one of the companies maintained in Edinburgh under the regency of Morton in 1576. It is curious, at the same time, that his name does not occur in the Treasurer's Accounts, either during the regency or the reign of James VI. There are, to be sure, several volumes wanting-as for example from 1574 to 1579, and from 1584 to 1590. There are at least six captains, with their companies, mentioned the germs of a standing army-during the regency of Morton-almost all of whom disappear after the accession of the king. At the same time it is universally understood that the poet was a favourite at court. He had a pension of five hundred merks, payable out of the rents of the archbishopric of Glasgow, given by the king, at Falkland, 27th September, 1583. This pension he seems to have quietly enjoyed until 1586, when he obtained the royal licence to travel abroad for the space of five years. The best account, perhaps, of this affair, and his consequent troubles, is supplied by the Privy Seal itself.

"Ane lettre maid, makand mentioun that our souerane lord, ffor divers guid causes and consideratiounis moving his hienes, and for the gude, trew, and thankfull service done and to be done to his Maiestie be his gude servitour Capitane Alex Montgomerie, with avise and consent of the lordis of his Maiesties secreit Counsall, gevand, grantand and disponand to him ane zeirlie pensioun, during all the dayis of his lifetyme, of the soume of fyve hundreth merks money of this realme, to be zeirlie tane, and vpliftit furth of the reddiest maills, &c. of the Bishoprick of Glasgow.. Beginnand the first payment thairof off the crope and zeir of God Jaj Ve four according to the quhich the said

scoir tua zeiris

[ocr errors]

* A mountainous country.

Capitane Alexander obtainit decreit of the Lordis of Counsall, with letters in the foure formes thairupoun, be vertew of the quhilkis he become in peacabill possessioun of vplifting and intrometting with his said pensioun fra the tenentis and otheris addebtit, in payment thairof, continuallie quhile the zeir of God Jaj Ve four scoir sex zeiris, at the quhilk tyme, upoun speciall and guid respects moving our said souerane lord, his hienes gave and grantit to the said Capitane Alexr his Maiesties licence to depairt and pass of this realme to the pairtis of France, Flanderis, Spaine and otheris bezond sey, for the space of fyve zeiris thaireftir, during the quhilk space our said souerane lord tuik the said Capitane Alex and his said pensioun under his Maiesties protectioun, mantenance and beiris, according to the quhilk he depairtit of this realme saifgaird, as the protectioun maid thairupoun at mair lenth to the pairtis of Flanders, Spaine, and otheris beyond sey, quheras he remanit continewallie sensyne, deteynit and halden in prison and captivitie, to the greit hurt and vexatioun of his persoun, attour the lose of his guidis. In the menetyme, notwithstanding of the said licence and protectioun, the said Capitane Alex', his factouris and servitouris, has bene maist wranguslie stoppit, hinderit and debarrit in the peceabill possessioun of his said pensioun, but ony guid ordour or forme of justice, to his greit hurt, hinder and prejudice, quhairas his guid service merited rather augmentatioun nor diminisching of the said pensioun, his hieness thairfoir, movit with the premises, and willing the said Capitane Alexander sall have better occasioun to continew in his said service to his maiestie in all tyme heireftir, now efter his hienes lauchfull and perfyte aige of xxi zeiris compleit, and generall revocatioun maid in Parliament, ratefeand, apprevand and confermand to the said Capitane Alex all and haile the lettres of pensioun above specifeit.... In the meantyme, and speciallie the restitution of James Bishop of Glasgow, out of the quhilk our said souerane lord now as then speciallie exceptis and reservis to the said Capitane Alex the said pensioun, sua that he may bruik the samin siclyke as gif the said present restitutioun had never bene grantit ; attour his hienes of new gevis, grantis and disponis to the said Capitane Alex', during all the dayis of his lyfetyme, all and haill the said zeirlie pensioun of fyve hundreth merkis money foirsaid. Beginnand the first terme's payment of the crope and zeir of God Jaj Ve fourscoir aucht zeiris, fourscoir nyne zeiris approacheand, and siclyke zeirlie and termelie in tyme cuming."

[ocr errors]

Thus we see that the poet's pension had been illegally interfered with during his absence, notwithstanding the king's protection, and he himself thrown into prison. In his sonnets the author makes heavy complaint on the subject, and hesitates not to accuse the Lords of Session of a perversion of justice.

"The Cherrie and the Slae," on which the fame of Montgomery chiefly rests, was first printed by Robert Waldegrave in 1597; and although it seems inferable that he resided in or about Edinburgh, yet no memorial of this is to be found. It is supposed that he died between 1605 and 1615. At all events he certainly was dead before the latter year. He appears never to have possessed any landed property, hence the impossibility of tracing him in the public records. That he was married, and had at least two of a family-Alexander and Margaret-is the problem we shall now attempt. to demonstrate.

[ocr errors]

A trial for witchcraft took place in Glasgow, on the 22nd March, 1622. Margaret Wallace was accused of having consulted the late Cristiane Grahame, a notorious witch, for various purposes; and a somewhat voluminous charge was made against her, amongst other things for having bewitched the child of Alexander Vallange, or Vallance, burgess of Glasgow, and Margaret Montgomery, his spouse. The verdict sufficiently explains the accusation:—

"And siclyk, all in ane voice, ffyles hir of the fourt poynt of dittay, and haill circumstances mentionet thairintill, anent the consulting with umquhile Cristiane Grahame, ane notorious witche, for cureing of hir selff of ane suddane

disease, he taking the samyn off hir, and laying it vpone Alexander Vallange bairne: and thairefter cureing the said bairne of the said disease, in forme and manner specifiet in the dittay."

[ocr errors]

“Mr. Alexander Montgomery," brother of Mrs. Vallance, had been called as a witness regarding the trouble of the child, but he absented himself, on the ground of sickness, and forwarded a certificate to that effect. In the pleadings it was urged specially that "his (Mr. Alexander's) deposition could nocht have been ressauvit gif he had compeirit, becaus it wald haife bene objectit contrair him, that he and Margaret Montgomerie (Mrs. Vallance) are brother bairns of the hous of Hessilheid, quhaís dochter is allegit to haif bene witchit," &c. Now, there was no one to whom the expression "brother bairns" could apply save to the children of Captain Alexander Montgomery, whose elder brother, John, succeeded to the family estate of Hessilheid. True, when the trial took place, in 1622, Robert, the grand-nephew of the poet, was in possession of the property; but the passage does not state the precise relationship of the parties; it merely says that they were BROTHER BAIRNS


of the HOUS of HESSILHEID;" and there are no others in the pedigree of that family to whom such a reference could be made but to the brothers

John and Alexander.

The Glasgow city parish register in so far confirms the prolocutor's statement at the trial:

"5th May 1614. Alexander Vallance, Margaret Montgomerie, ane laufull dochter, Margaret. Godfatheris, Mr. Johnne Huchesoune, William Cleland."

This apparently was their first child. In 1617 they had a son baptised Robert, at whose baptism one of the godfathers was "Mr. Robert Montgomerie," for whom the child was no doubt called. This Mr. Robert must have been the minister of Symington, who surrendered the archbishopric of Glasgow in 1587. He was a younger brother of Captain Montgomery. There was, indeed, only one other Mr. Robert Montgomery, described in his latter will, which is recorded 4th April, 1611, as It therefore "sumtyme minister at Stewartoun."

* Criminal Trials.

could not be this Mr. Robert. Alexander Vallance and Margaret Montgomery had several other children: Marie in 1619, and Christiane in 1621. The poet seems to have been dead before his daughter's marriage to Vallance-hence his name does not occur as a witness at any of the baptisms The presence, however, of "Mr. Robert," his younger brother, shows the connection. Did the parish register of Glasgow or Beith go far enough back, we might have found the marriage of Vallance and his spouse.

"Mr. Alexander Montgomery," brother of Mrs. Vallance, was no doubt the same party who afterwards became "prebend of Do." That his father, Captain Alexander Montgomery, was an Episcopalian is to be presumed from his being a courtier of James VI., and from his intimacy with "Bishop Beton" (Archbishop of Glasgow from 1552 to 1560, and again from 1598 to his death in 1603): hence the fact of his son being also an Episcopalian, "prebend of Do." He had every inducement to go to Ireland. The Viscount of Ardes was his cousin, by the mother's side, and the houses of Braidstane and Hessilheid were descended from the same source. Nor had he reason to complain of the reception he met with from the viscount. These facts are confirmed by the Hessilheid arms, which, as given in Pont's MSS., Advocates' Library, are: Azure, two lances of tournament, proper, between three fleurs-de-lis, or, and in the chief point an annulet, or, stoned, azure, with an indentation in the side of the shield, on the dexter


The arms of the poet, being a younger son, were slightly different-two lances, with three fleurs-de-lis in chief, and three annulets in basewhich he and his family seem to have cherished. They are found on a tombstone at Do, where "Mr. Alexander" was prebend, united in a shield with those of the Conynghams-now Marquis of Conyngham-descended from the Earls of Glencairn, together with this inscription:

"Here lyeth the body of Margaret Montgomery, Alis Coningham, who was the wife of Alexander Montgomery, whoe deceased the 18 of June, Anno Domeny 1675."

Margaret Coningham had thus outlived her husband seventeen years.

The arms attached to the will of Major John Montgomery, in 1679, with the initials "A. M." must have belonged either to his father or grandWith the exception of his son, the poet father. was the only one of the Hessilheid branch called Alexander, and the probability is that he himself had the seal engraved when he went abroad in 1586. In his day it was customary for gentlemen going on a tour to carry with them proofs of their descent, if from a noble or ancient family-and coats of arms were considered amongst the most effective. "Mr. Alexander," on joining his relations in Ireland, did not need such evidence of his descent.

[blocks in formation]

I have met with a coloured drawing of the figures upon a very interesting old drinking glass of the date of 1596, which at the time when the drawing was made (1818) was in the possession of the Comte François de Thiennes, at Ghent. The glass measured ten inches in height and fifteen and six-eighths in circumference. The following inscription runs round the top of the glass :

"Die_Romische Kayserliche Majestat Sammt den Sieben Churfte: In Frey [illegible] durg ampt und Sitz."

Below these words, the emperor appears in the middle, seated on his throne, wearing his imperial robes and crown, and holding a globe and sceptre, with an escutcheon before him emblazoned with the black double-headed eagle displayed. On his right, stand three prince-bishop electors, with the arms of each on a shield before him, and each holds the insignia of his office. These are, Trier, holding a roll of parchment; Cöln, holding a glove; and Maintz, bearing a deed, to which a seal is appended, in one hand, and a pointer, or puncturing style, in the other.

On the left hand of the emperor are four other figures. The first is the King of Bohemia, crowned, and carrying a covered golden vase and a sceptre;

and above him is inscribed behem. Next comes the Count Palatine, bearing three cushions piled up, and bound with a broad band, and long sleeves or legs depending from his wrists. Over his head is the word Pfal. The Duke of Saxony stands next, bearing a sword of state, and the word Sachsen appears over his head. Last is the Margrave of Brandenburg, holding a huge golden key, from the bow of which hang three small keys. Above him is the word brandenburg. These, like the other three, have each arms on their shields before them, that of Brandenburg being argent, a red eagle, single-headed, displayed.

Underneath the emperor's throne is the following inscription:

"Also in all ihren ornat,
Sitzet kayserliche Majestat,

Sampt den sieben Chüfürste...} illegible.

Wie den ein jeder

In churfüstelicher kleidung sein

Mit an Zeygung der ampts hin.

Under the three prince-bishop electors are these lines:

"Der Ertzbischoff zu Mentz bekandt
ist cantzler in dem Deutzschen landt,

So is der Bischoff zu Cöln gleich Auch Cantzler durch gantz Frankreich, dar nach der Ertzbischoff zu Trier ist Cantzler in Welches resiers."

Below the four figures on the other side are inscribed the following verses: —

"der könig in bohmen der ist

des reiche ertzshenck zu aller frist
darnach der Pfaltzgraff bey den rein
des heyligen reichs truchfass thut fein.
der Herzog zu Sachsen geboren
ist des Reiches marschalth auserkorn
der Margraff von Brandenburg gutt
der Reichs ertzkammer fein thut."

Between the two groups of electors rises a very conventional lily of the valley. But what is most striking is to consider what the Margrave of Brandenburg, who ranks here the last, has since be


F. C. H.



I have before me a little volume of consider

able rarity, which undoubtedly came from the prolific pen of Anthony Munday, although it only

bears his initials.

It is not mentioned in Mr. J.

Payne Collier's "List of Anthony Munday's Works," prefixed to John a Kent and John a Cumber, printed for the Shakespeare Society in 1851; nor in the same gentleman's valuable Bibliographical Account of Early English Literature. The copy about to be described I purchased some eight or ten years back of Mr. Bumstead the bookseller. It has the book-plate of "Edward Winstanley," and, as far as I can learn, is the only known exemplar. Until a slight mention of it appeared in Mr. W. Carew Hazlitt's Hand-book of Popular English Literature, it had entirely escaped notice.

The title of this rarity is as follows:

folens, in the Prouince of Poictiers: that for the space of "A True and admirable Historie of a Mayden of Conthree yeeres and more hath liued, and yet doth, without receiuing either meate or drinke. Of whom his Maiestie in person hath had the view, and (by his commaund) his best and chiefest Phisitians haue tryed all meanes to find whether this fast and abstinence be by deceit or no. In many dayes, moneths, or yeeres, without receiuing any this Historie is also discoursed, whether a man may liue sustenance. Published by the Kings especiall Priviledge. At London, Printed by J. Roberts, and are to be sold at his house in Barbican. Anno Dom. 1603."

The tract consists of 102 pages in octavo, exclusive of title-page and preliminary matter, occupying 16 pages more. It is dedicated

"To the Worshipfull M. Thomas Thorney, Maister. M. William Martin, M. Edward Rodes, and M. Thomas Martin: Gouernours of the Misterie and Cominaltie of the Barber Chirurgians. And to the whole Assistants of the clothing: happie success in all their actions most hartily wished."

In the dedication, which is subscribed "Your worships in true affection, A. M.," the writer says:

"The author of this labour in French, as (by reading) I am sure your selues will say no lesse, is both an excellent Philosopher, Phisitian, Chirurgian, and a skilfull Anatomiste, and of all these hath made good witnesse in this discourse. I could not be-thinke me, to bestowe my paines any where more desertfullie, then on such as are answerable to the first Authours qualitie: which neither I would not ouer-boldly presume to doo, till (by a kinde examen) of some of your selues, the worke was thought worthie your entertayning. It hath cost me good paines, and therefore may merit the kinder acceptaunce: which if it do finde at your hands, as I would be sorie but it should, I remaine yours in my more serious imploy


The dedication is followed by an address "To the Reader," which commences thus:


Friendly Reader, hauing seriously read ouer (and with no meane admiration) this present Historie: I made stealth of some priuate houres, from my more weightie imployments, to let thee haue the same in thine owne familiare language. Wherein (I hope) thou wilt thankfully accept, if not my paines yet (at least) the kinde affection I beare thee, in acquainting thee with one of the rarest meruailes which can be found among the histories of elder ages, or those more recent and of later times."

We have then the testimonies in Latin and French (sometimes Englished) of many "worthie, grave, and credible persons," in favour of the "marvel." These include the names of N. Rapinus, F. Citois, M. Vidard, Pasch. Le Coq, L. De la Roque, and others

"Who have all seene the Maiden now in question, and (by his Majesties commaundement, they beeing his best and cheefest Phisitians) they haue made triall to their verie vttermost, to finde out the least scruple of deceite heerein to be imagined. They haue committed her from her Parents, to diuers Noble and woorthie persons, some of which haue kept her close lockt vp, some foure, fiue, or sixe weekes, some for as many and more monethes together, where not so much as the sent of any foode was to bee felt and notwithstanding, they found her in the verie same estate as when they shut her vp vpon this proofe."


[ocr errors]

After these testimonies we have a poetical epistle, in French and English, "To Monsieur Lescarbot, vpon the traducing of this history; and another in English (by far the most interesting thing in the book), which I shall make no apology for transcribing in full:—

"To his good friend A. M.

"Wonder, bee dumb: and (now) no more prefer,
(Like to some selfe lou'd, boasting Trauailer)
Thy past Aduentures: for an Age is borne,
Upon whose forhead, caracters are worne
So strangely, that ee'ne Admiration stands
Amazde to read them (with heau'd eyes and hands).
Times oldest Chronicle proues it most cleere,
England neere spent such a miraculous yeere,
And (Fraunce!) thy maiden child-birth goes (by far)
Beyond all those, bred in thy ciuill warre:

The wonder being (by thus much) greater growne,
Last day she spake no language but her owne,
Yet now shee's vnderstood by Englishmen,
Such Magick waites (deere friend) vpon thy pen.

If any doubt existed as to this brochure being the work of Anthony Munday, that doubt must vanish after reading the testimony of Dekker to his "good friend." The two poets were associated in 1598 (in conjunction with Robert Wilson) in a play called Chance Medley; and again in 1602, in another play entitled The Two Harpes [Harpies?] (in conjunction with Middleton, Webster, and Drayton). Both plays are mentioned by Henslowe, but they have not come down to our time. We now come to the text of the book itself, which may be very briefly dispatched. It is made up of copious extracts from the ancients, intermixed with the experience and opinions of the moderns, as to the possibility of human and animal life being sustained without food-an experiment which I feel assured that none of the readers of "N. & Q." will care to try. The story of the maiden "who for the space of three years, and even till this day, hath lived and doth," without any bodily food or sustenance, is briefly this:

"The Maiden is about 14 yeeres of age, and is named Jane Balan, her Father John Balan, a Locksmith, and

her Mother Laurencia Chambella: her stature is answerable to her age, somewhat Country-like of behauiour, a natiue of the Towne of Confolans, vpon the Riuer of Vienna, in the confines of Limosin, and also of Poictu. In the eleuenth yeere of her age, being seazed on by a continuall Feauer, the 16 day of Februarie, 1599, shee hath since then been assailed with the accesse of diuers other sicknesses: and beyond all the rest, with a continuall casting or vomiting for the space of 20 dayes together. The Feauer hauing somewhat left her, she grew to be speechlesse, and continued so 28 dayes, without the deliuerie of any one word: at the end of which time, she came to her selfe againe, and spake as she had done before (sauing that her words were full of feare, and void of good sence). Nowe came vppon her a weakenes, and benumming of all her sences and bodilie moouings, from beneath the head, in such sort, that Oesophagus it selfe, duct for passage of meate and drink, into that which we (beeing that part of the stomack, which serues as conterme the little bellie) being dissolu'd, it lost the force attractiue. Since which time, could not any one perswade this Mayden (in any manner) to eate, albeit they made trial, to haue her but suck or lick meates, delicate fruits, and sweet things, agreeable to such young yeeres. Notwithstanding, the vse and motion of her members, came to her againe about fiue months after: except in one hippe, on which side yet she goes with some difficultie. One onely impotencie remaineth to her, that she cannot swallow or let down any thing, for she altogether loathes and abhors mightily, both meates and drinkes."

Whether the maiden's secret was ever discovered, as doubtless it was, I have no present means of knowing. The more recent instances of pretended abstinence from food - viz. that of Martha Taylor, "the fam'd Darbyshire damsel,"



1669; the Swedish maid, Estrid, "who lived six years without food," 1711; and the celebrated Ann Moore of Tutbury, 1813-are, I believe, well-known cases of imposture. EDWARD F. RIMBAULT.

LAMBETH LIBRARY AND ITS LIBRARIANS. At a moment when the whole world of letters is watching with anxiety the fate of this remarkable library, a few notes on its origin and contents, and on the eminent scholars to whose care it has been from time to time entrusted, will, I hope, not be considered inopportune.

Archbishop Bancroft was the first founder of this library, who by his will dated 28th October, 1610, gave all his books to his “ successors and the Archbishops of Canterbury for ever," provided they bound themselves to the necessary assurances for the continuance of such books to the archbishops successively; otherwise the books were bequeathed to His Majesty's College at Chel"if it be erected within these six years," or otherwise "to the publique library of the University of Cambridge."


Bancroft's immediate successor used all proper means to secure and perpetuate this generous bequest to the succeeding Archbishops of Canterbury, as will be seen by a remarkable document drawn up by him in October 1612, and which Ducarel has printed in his History of Lambeth, pp. 48-52. From this we learn that

"James the First, conceiving it to be a monument of fame within his kingdome, and of great use to himselfe and his successors, as well as to the Church of God, that in a place so neare unto his royall palace these bookes should be preserved, did, after mature deliberation, commend the care and consideration hereof unto Sir Francis Bacon, Knight, his majesties solliciter, that he should thinke upon some course how the custody of the library might be established, and that by the negligence of those that came after so excellent a work might not be frus

trated to the hurt of the Church and Commonwealth."

Bacon first directed that a catalogue of the books "should be carefully and exquisitely made," that it might be known in the ages to come what were the books so left to successive archbishops, and that this catalogue should be sent to the Dean and Chapter, to be there laid up in archivis, and that a duplicate should remain in the library at Lambeth, that each succeeding archbishop might know what books were in his custody, and carefully look to the conservation of them.

The document then recites the difficulties which Bacon saw in the way of binding each successive archbishop by bond, and the steps which Archbishop Abbot took to carry out, as far as possible, Bancroft's wishes. Catalogues were duly made, the books compared with them, and the accuracy of the catalogues attested by the subscription of the compilers.

[merged small][ocr errors]

The words with which this interesting document concludes are too important to admit of being abridged.

"It remaineth now that I do pray and beseech those that shall succeede me in this archbishopricke, which by these presents I do, and in the bowells of Christ Jesus do adjure, as they will answer unto me and to my predecessor in that fearful day of God, that with the like care and diligence they looke to the preservation of this Library, and setting aside all subteltie, or fraude, or pretence, which worldly wisedome may devise to the contrary, they do suffer them, as farre as lyeth in them, to descend from age to age, and from succession to succession, to the service of God and his Church, of the Kings and Commonwealth of this realme, and particularly of the Archbishops of Canterbury. And God, who knoweth herein the integritie of my harte, blesse this purpose and endeavour of my predecessor and myselfe, and blesse all them to whom the care of this may any wayes appertaine, to the honour of his name, the good of his Church, and their own everlasting comfort.

"October 15th, 1612."




The library thus constituted by the munificence and piety of Bancroft and Abbot, continued at Lambeth till, as Ducarel tells "the approach of the troublesome times when (Chelsea College having failed, and the order of bishops being voted down) Selden, to secure their preservation (they had been seized by the Parliament and transferred to Sion College) suggested to the University of Cambridge their right to the books; and eventually, by his advice and with his assistance and that of Dr. Hill, Master of Trinity and ViceChancellor, they were delivered to the University.

After the Restoration, they were reclaimed by Archbishop Juxon; but he dying before the books were restored, it was left to his successor Sheldon to see them replaced at Lambeth, who, moreover, by his will bequeathed a portion of his own library "towards the encrease and improvement of the publique library of the See of Canterbury, now settled at Lambeth house."

Archbishop Sancroft had actually placed his valuable collection of books and MSS. in the

library for the use of his successors; but upon

There are but few of Laud's books at Lambeth; his entire library, both of books and MSS. which he had in

the Palace having (according to Ducarel) been plundered by Colonel Scott about the year 1644.

« ElőzőTovább »