Phineas Fletcher (1582–1650)

Verse

Against a rich man despising povertie (‘If well thou view'st us with no squinted eye’)

First published in The Purple Island (Cambridge, 1633). Boas, II, 236-7.

FlP 1

Copy in: A small quarto book of ‘Dayly Obseruations both Diuine & Morall / The First part by Thomas Grocer Florilegius. 1657’, on 215 pages (paginated irregularly, plus five preliminary leaves). A commonplace book of quotations from largely devotional or philosophical texts under subject headings, neatly written in a single hand, with a title-page and table of contents. 1657.

Inscriptions in the MS including ‘Crescentius Matherus 1680’, ‘Crescentii Matheri Liber 1682’, ‘Nathanaelis Matheri Liber 1683’, ‘By Mr Oakes’, ‘Elijah Warings Book 1734’, ‘Jne Daniell 1832’, and ‘Thos Alexander -- 1847’.

Huntington, HM 93, p. 151.

Brittain's Ida

See FlP 16-17.

Epithalamium (‘harke gentle sheppeardes that on Norwiche plaines’)

First published in Seaton (1926), pp. 21-9.

FlP 2

Copy in: A folio composite volume of mathematical, theological, and other tracts and papers, in several hands, ff. 235r-67r in a single formal secretary hand, 267 leaves, in old half-calf marbled boards. c.1616-28.

Formerly in the library of Sion College, London.

Edited from this MS in Seaton.

Lambeth Palace Library, MS ARC L 40.2/L 40, ff. 243r-7r.

An Hymen at the Marriage of my most deare Cousins Mr. W. and M.R. (‘Chamus, that with thy yellow-sanded stream’)

First published in The Purple Island (Cambridge, 1633). Boas, II, 223-5.

FlP 3

Copy, untitled, beginning at stanza 12 (here ‘Oh, Happie paire! wher nothing wants to either’).

In: the MS described under FlP 1. 1657.

Huntington, HM 93, p. 149.

Locustae, vel pietas Jesuitica (‘Panditur Inferni limen, patet intima Ditis’)

First published in Cambridge, 1627. Boas, I, 97-123.

*FlP 4

Autograph, with a dedicatory epistle to James Montagu, Bishop of Bath and Wells, on 57 duodecimo pages. [1611].

This MS discussed in Boas, I, x-xvi, and collated I, 278-87.

Facsimiles of the dedication in Boas, I, following p. 96; in Greg, English Literary Autographs, plate L(d); and in DLB, vol. 121, Seventeenth-Century British Nondramatic Poets, First Series, ed. M. Thomas Hester (Detroit, 1992), p. 138.

British Library, Sloane MS 444.

*FlP 5

Autograph MS, with a dedicatory epistle to Prince Henry. [1611-12].

In: A small octavo volume comprising two independent works (the first a theological treatise in two hands, c.1636), ii + 179 leaves, in old vellum.

The second item, by Phineas Fletcher, inscribed on f. 179v ‘E libris J. Meriton. Meus est hic liber’ [i.e. probably John Meriton, of St John's College, Cambridge, rector of St Mary Bothaw, Londin, in 1666-96]. The whole volume later owned by the Rev. Alexander Balloch Grosart (1827-99), literary scholar and theologian, and afterwards by Bertram Dobell (1842-1914), literary scholar and bookseller.

Discussed in Boas, I, x-xvi and collated I, 279-87. Facsimile of the third leaf in Boas I, following p. 96.

British Library, Egerton MS 2875, ff. 153r-79r.

*FlP 6

Autograph, with a dedicatory verse epistle to Prince Charles (ff. 4r-5r) after a preliminary largely prose epistle to the Prince's tutor, Thomas Murray (ff. 2r-3v), signed ‘Phinees Fletcher’, the text in a formal italic script throughout, on 32 octavo leaves, in modern morocco gilt. c.1612-13.

This MS discussed in Boas, I, x-xvi, and collated I, 279-87.

Facsimile of part of the epistle to Murray in Boas, I, following p. 96, and in DLB, vol. 121, Seventeenth-Century British Nondramatic Poets, First Series, ed. M. Thomas Hester (Detroit, 1992), p. 140.

British Library, Harley MS 3196.

On womens lightnesse (‘Who sowes the sand? or ploughs the easie shore?’)

First published in The Purple Island (Cambridge, 1633). Boas, II, 239.

FlP 7

Copy in: the MS described under FlP 1. 1657.

Huntington, HM 93, pp. 156-8.

Piscatorie Eclogues. II (‘Myrtil, why idle sit we on the shore?’)

First published in The Purple Island (Cambridge, 1633). Boas, II, 180-6.

FlP 8

Copy of stanzas 5-25, headed ‘Ecloga. Thomalin. Thirskill’ and here beginning ‘Thirsil what wicked Chaunce or luckeles starre’.

In: the MS described under FlP 2. c.1616-28.

Edited from this MS in Seaton, p. 55-64.

Lambeth Palace Library, MS ARC L 40.2/L 40, ff. 260r-3r.

—— IV (‘Chromis my joy, why drop thy rainie eyes?’)

Boas, II, 192-8.

FlP 9

Copy, headed ‘Ecloga. Thelgon. Chronis’.

In: the MS described under FlP 2. c.1616-28.

Edited from this MS in Seaton, pp. 33-41.

Lambeth Palace Library, MS ARC L 40.2/L 40, ff. 251r-4v.

—— V (‘The well known fisher-boy, that late his name’)

Boas, II, 199-204.

FlP 10

Copy, headed ‘Ecloga. Algon. Daphnis. Nicaea’.

In: the MS described under FlP 2. c.1616-28.

Printed from this MS in Seaton, pp. 65-76.

Lambeth Palace Library, MS ARC L 40.2/L 40, ff. 264r-7r.

—— VI (‘A fisher-boy that never knew his peer’)

Boas, II, 205-12.

FlP 11

Copy, headed ‘Ecloga. Thomalin. Thirsil’ and here beginning ‘A gentle boye whoe never knew his peere’.

In: the MS described under FlP 2. c.1616-28.

Edited from this MS in Seaton, pp. 42-54.

Lambeth Palace Library, MS ARC L 40.2/L 40, ff. 255r-9r.

The Purple Island, or The Isle of Man (‘The warmer Sun the golden Bull outran’)

First published in Cambridge, 1633. Boas, II, 1-171.

FlP 12

Extracts, the first headed ‘On mans bodie’ (beginning ‘Man's bodies like a house’); others untitled, beginning at Canto I, stanza 36 (here ‘Vaine men too fondly wise, who plough the seas’), and at Canto XII, stanza 75 (here ‘There sweet delights which know nor end nor measure’).

In: the MS described under FlP 1. 1657.

Huntington, HM 93, pp. 160b, 162-5.

To Mr. Jo. Tomkins (‘Thomalin my lief, thy musick strains to heare’)

First published in The Purple Island (Cambridge, 1633). Boas, II, 233-5.

FlP 13

Copy, headed ‘Non invisa Cano’.

In: the MS described under FlP 2. c.1616-28.

Edited from this MS in Seaton, pp. 30-2.

Lambeth Palace Library, MS ARC L 40.2/L 40, ff. 249r-50r.

A translation of Boëthius, book 2 verse 7 (‘Who onely honour seeks with prone affection’)

First published in The Purple Island (Cambridge, 1633). Boas, II, 245.

FlP 14

Copy, headed ‘Equality’.

In: the MS described under FlP 1. 1657.

Huntington, HM 93, pp. 158-9.

Upon the B. of Exon. Doct. Hall his Meditations (‘Most wretched soul, that here carowsing pleasure’)

First published in The Purple Island (Cambridge, 1633). Boas, II, 246.

FlP 15

Copy, untitled.

In: the MS described under FlP 1. 1657.

Huntington, HM 93, p. 159.

Venus and Anchises: Brittain's Ida (‘In Ida Vale (who knowes not Ida Vale?)’)

First published, as Brittain's Ida, ascribed to Edmund Spenser, [London], 1628. Boas, II, 343-63. Elizabethan Minor Epics, ed. Elizabeth Story Donno (London, 1963), pp. 305-24.

FlP 16

Copy of a version with two new introductory stanzas beginning ‘Thirsil (poore ladd) whose Muse yet scarcely fledge’.

In: the MS described under FlP 2. c.1616-28.

Edited from this MS in Seaton, with a facsimile of f. 235r as the frontispiece. Facsimile of f. 235r also in DLB, vol. 121, Seventeenth-Century British Nondramatic Poets, First Series, ed. M. Thomas Hester (Detroit, 1992), p. 136.

Lambeth Palace Library, MS ARC L 40.2/L 40, ff. 235r-42v.

FlP 17

Extract, untitled and beginning at Canto II, stanza 7 (‘Fond men, whose wretched care the life soone ending’).

In: An octavo miscellany of verse and prose, closely written in possibly several minute predominantly secretary hands, 291 leaves (ff. 212-16 bound out of order after f. 24), in modern calf. c.1640s.

Inscribed (f. 1r) ‘Joseph Hall’ (not the bishop). Later owned by John Payne Collier (1789-1883), literary scholar, editor and forger, who has entered in pseudo-17th-century secretary script copies of various ballads on ff. 39r-41r, 107v-79r, 181r-v, 227r-8v, 243r-6r, as well as adding foliation (1-284) before the more recent foliation (1-291, used below). Quaritch's sale catalogue ‘of English Literature’ (August-November 1884), item 22350, Collier's transcript of the MS made c.1860 being item 22352. Formerly Folger MS 2071.7.

Discussed, with facsimile examples, in Giles E. Dawson, ‘John Payne Collier's Great Forgery’, SB, 24 (1971), 1-26.

Folger, MS V.a.339, f. 188r.

Dramatic works

Sicelides, A Piscatory

Performed at King's College, Cambridge, 13 March 1614/15. First published in London, 1631. Boas I, 187-264.

FlP 18

Copy, in a small neat italic hand, 34 quarto leaves, in half-morocco gilt. Early 17th century.

Inscribed on a flyleaf by Thomas Birch (1705-66), biographer and historian, ‘Tho. Birch March 15th. 1736/7’. Probably the MS once owned by Peter Le Neve (1661-1729), Norroy King of Arms and antiquary, sold by Wilcox, 22 February 1730/1, lot 467.

This MS discussed in Boas, I, xvi-xix, and collated I, 288-309.

British Library, Add. MS 4453.

FlP 19

Copy, in a small secretary hand.

In: An octavo miscellany of drama and amatory songs, in at least three hands, written from both ends, in contemporary panelled calf (rebacked). Mid-late 17th century.

This MS discussed in Boas, I, xvi-xix, and collated I, 288-309.

Bodleian, MS Rawl. poet. 214, ff. 1r-65r.

FlP 20

Copy of the Epilogus, headed ‘A Comedy’ and beginning ‘As in a Feast, so in a Comedy’.

In: A sextodecimo verse miscellany, written from both ends in several hands (two principal ones on ff. 6r-40r, 41r et seq. respectively), 102 leaves (plus blanks), in contemporary calf, with remains of metal clasps. Including 45 poems by Strode and three poems of doubtful authorship. c.1630s.

Formerly Box 22, item II.

Cited in IELM, II.ii (1993) as the ‘Osborn MS II’: StW Δ 30.

Yale, Osborn MS b 205, f. 42r.

Printed Exempla of The Purple Island Inscribed by Fletcher

The Purple Island...together with Piscatorie Eclogs and other Poetical Miscellanies (Cambridge, 1633)

FlP 21

This volume has bound in at the beginning a leaf, evidently extracted from some other book, bearing the inscription ‘Ex dono Phineae ffletcheri authoris’ and, in a different hand, two lines in Latin subscribed ‘Phinees ffletcher’, but none of this writing is in Fletcher's hand. The volume once had bindings stamped with the arms of Edward Benlowes (1603?-76), the dedicatee of the work. 1633.

See Boas, I, xii; II, vii.

British Library, C. 34.g.33.

FlP 22

The author's dedication exemplum presented to Edward Benlowes, inscribed on the title-page ‘Phineas Fletcher’ and including in the same roman hand a ten-line marginal note on page 59 of the Poetical Miscellanies (by Benlowes?), a quarto, in contemporary calf with Benlowes's arms in gilt. 1633.

Bookplate of Clarence S. Bemens.

Harvard, Widener Collection, HEW 6.10.6.

*FlP 23

Autograph inscription and autograph annotations by Fletcher on two pages in the printed text of The Purple Island: a marginal note on page 147 and a textual correction on page 177. 1633.

King's College, Cambridge, Keynes C.3. 11.

*FlP 24

Autograph presentation inscription in Latin verse, ‘To Mrs A. Wilughby’. 1633.

The ‘Sykes-Britwell copy’) which in 1940 was in the possession of Maggs Brothers. Christie's, New York, 16 November 1984, lot 126, with a facsimile of the inscription in the sale catalogue. Donated by John F. Fleming.

Recorded in The Carl H. Pforzheimer Library: English Literature 1475-1700 (New York, 1940), I, 360.

Pierpont Morgan Library, 78848.

*FlP 25

Autograph inscription. 1633.

Owned before 1909 by Mr F.T. Sabin.

Facsimile of the inscription in Boas, II, frontispiece.

Untraced, [Purple Island (I)].

*FlP 26

Autograph presentation inscription, ten lines of verse, to Roger Townshend, beginning ‘Man is a lesser world: th' Alls rapsodie’. 1633.

Later owned by John Fane (1784-1859), eleventh Earl of Westmorland. Sotheby's, 14 July 1887, lot 505, to Bain for fifth Earl of Rosebery. Sotheby's, 29 October 2009 (Earl of Rosebery sale), lot 50, with facsimiles in the sale catalogue.

Untraced, [Purple Island (II)].

Documents

Document(s)

*FlP 27

Autograph entries by Fletcher in the register of baptisms, burials, and marriages of All Saints Church, Hilgay, Norfolk, for 1583-1674, while he was rector there from 1621 to 1650. c.1621-50.

Norfolk Record-Office, PD 382/1.