George Peele


(1) Poems by Peele

Anglorum Feriae (‘Descende ye sacred daughters of King Jove’)

No contemporary publication known. First published by W. Stevenson Fitch, of Ipswich [privately printed, c.1830].

*PlG 1

Autograph quarto MS, imperfect (damaged in the 19th century by a corrosive substance). 1595.

Edited from this MS in Fitch and by D.H. Horne in Prouty, I, 265-76.

Facsimile of f. 10v in Croft, Autograph Poetry, I, 16. Facsimile examples of f. 9r in DLB, vol. 62, Elizabethan Dramatists, ed. Fredson Bowers (Detroit, 1987), p. 245, and in DLB, vol. 167, Sixteenth-Century British Non-Dramatic Writers. Third Series, ed. David A. Richardson (Detroit, 1996), p. 167. Facsimile page also in Chris Fletcher et al., 1000 Years of English Literature: A Treasury of Literary Manuscripts (British Library, 2003), p. 53.

British Library, Add. MS 21432.

The Honour of the Garter (‘About the time when Vesper in the West’)

First published London, [1593]. Edited by D.H. Horne in Prouty, I, 245-59.

PlG 2

Copy of an adaptation of Peele's poem (without the prologue), 19 quarto leaves. Entitled ‘The Honour of the Garter. Displaied in a Poeme gratulatory: Entitled to the right honorable and worthy, Sir Robert Karre knight, viscount Rochester, Created Knight of that Order, and install'd att windsore. Anno regni Iacobi 9. Anno Dom: 1611’. c.1611.

Inscribed with the name ‘Ed. Webbe’.

This MS recorded in Horne, p. 174.

Bodleian, MS Rawl. B. 30.

The Hunting of Cupid

Probably published c.1581-91, but no complete text is known: see Prouty, I, 153-4. For an argument that the work was probably not a play, as has been traditionally supposed, but a pastoral poem or entertainment, see John P. Cutts, ‘Peele's Hunting of Cupid’, SR, 5 (1958), 121-32.

PlG 3

Extracts from Peele's lost ‘Pastoral’, here beginning ‘On the snowie browes of albion. sweet woodes sweet running’.

In: A folio composite miscellany of verse and prose, compiled entirely by William Drummond, 403 leaves, in 19th-century calf gilt. c.1606-14.

Among the working papers and collections of William Drummond of Hawthornden: Hawthornden Vol. VII.

Drummond's extracts (91 lines) first published from this MS in The Works of George Peele, ed. Alexander Dyce, 2 vols (London, 1828). Edited from this MS, with a facsimile, in W.W. Greg, ‘The Hunting of Cupid, a lost play by George Peele’, Collections, I, parts IV and V, Malone Society (Oxford, 1911), 307-14. Edited from this MS in Prouty, I, 204-7.

National Library of Scotland, MS 2059, ff. 352r-3r.

—— Song: (‘What thing is love for (wel I wot) love is a thing’)

Prouty, lines 12-20, 25-6. This song published separately, in an eight-line version, in The Wisdom of Doctor Dodypoll (London, 1600), and in John Bartlet, A Book of Ayres (London 1606).

PlG 4

Copy of an eleven-line version, untitled, here beginning ‘What thinge is loue? for since loue is a thinge’, subscribed ‘Finis M G. Peelle’.

In: A quarto miscellany chiefly of verse, largely in a single secretary hand, compiled by a Cambridge student, vii + 130 leaves, in later calf. c.1586-91.

This volume is edited in Cummings, who suggests that the compiler is Sir John Finett (1571-1641), of Fordwich, Kent: hence it is often cited as ‘The John Finett miscellany’. The hands do not appear to be his, however, and this attribution is questionable.

Edited from this MS in Greg, p. 313; recorded in Horne, pp. 153-276.

Bodleian, MS Rawl. poet. 85, f. 13r.

PlG 5

Copy of an 11-line version, headed ‘A Discription of loue’ and here beginning ‘What thinge is loue for sure loue is a thinge’.

In: A folio composite volume of verse and some prose, in various hands, v + 179 leaves, in early 18th-century half-calf.

With a few additions in Rawlinson's hand.

This MS collated in Doughtie, Lyrics from English Airs, pp. 546-7.

Bodleian, MS Rawl. poet. 172, f. 2v.

PlG 6

Copy of an eleven-line version, untitled and here beginning ‘What thinge is loue? for sure loue is a thinge’.

In: A quarto composite verse miscellany, comprising three miscellaneous MSS in different hands, 151 leaves, in modern half-morocco gilt. Fols 11r-78r, largely in a single secretary hand, comprising a verse miscellany compiled by the antiquary St Loe Kniveton, of Gray's Inn. c.1585-90s.

British Library, Harley MS 7392, f. 69r.

—— Song (‘Melampus, when will Love be void of feares?’)

This song published separately in Englands Helicon (London, 1600). Horne, p. 207.

PlG 7

Copy of the song of Coridon and Melampus.

In: A folio composite miscellany compiled entirely by William Drummond of Hawthornden, including (ff. 165r-6v, 246r-7v) copies of, or brief extracts from, nineteen poems by Donne, 300 leaves, in 19th-century calf gilt. c.1618-20s.

Among the collections of William Drummond of Hawthornden: Hawthornden Vol. VIII.

Cited in IELM, I.i (1980), as the Drummond Miscellany: DnJ Δ 66. Some extracts from this MS edited in Laing (1831), pp. 78-82. ‘Drummond's Catalogue of Comedies’ (ff. 122-3). Recorded in MacDonald, Library of Drummond, pp. 231-2.

National Library of Scotland, MS 2060, f. 236r.

Polyhymnia (‘Therefore, when thirtie two were come and gone’)

First published in London, 1590. Edited by D.H. Horne in Prouty, I, 231-43.

PlG 8

Copy, in two hands. c.1590-1625.

This MS collated in The Works of George Peele, ed. Alexander Dyce, 2 vols (London, 1828), and in Horne.

St John's College, Oxford, MS 216.

PlG 9

Extract, in a secretary hand.

In: A folio composite volume of state letters, tracts, and verse, collected by, and mostly in the hand of, William Parkhurst (fl.1604-67), Sir Henry Wotton's secretary in Venice and later Master of the Mint, including various works in verse and prose attributed to Donne, chiefly in a scribal hand, partly in Parkhurst's hand, 373 leaves (including blanks), in old calf.

Among the papers of the Finch family of Burley-on-the-Hill, Rutland. Mistakenly reported by Grierson and Logan Pearsall Smith to have been destroyed in a fire at Burley c.1908.

Cited in IELM, I.i (1980), as the ‘Burley MS’: DnJ Δ 53. Recorded in HMC, 7th Report (1879), Appendix, p. 516. A complete microfilm of the MS is at the University of Sheffield, Microfilm 737.

A neat transcript of parts of the Burley MS (including principally poems on ff. 255r-v, 278v, [279r]-288v, 342v-3r, 294r-300r, 301r-8v), made before 1908, on 35 leaves, is in the Bodleian, MS Eng. poet. c. 80.

Leicestershire Record Office, DG. 7/Lit. 2, f. 320r.

(2) Poems of Doubtful Authorship

A Sonet (‘His Golden lockes, Time hath to Silver turn'd’)

First published as an appendix to Polyhymnia (London, 1590). Edited by D.H. Horne in Prouty, I, 244. The sonnet probably written by Sir Henry Lee: see Horne, pp. 169-70, and Thomas Clayton, ‘“Sir Henry Lee's Farewel to the Court”: The Texts and Authorship of “His Golden Locks Time Hath to Silver Turned”’, ELR, 4 (1974), 268-75.

PlG 10

Copy, headed ‘Sr H. lea’.

In: A verse miscellany, including 55 poems which have been attributed to Wyatt (one copied twice) as well as his Penitential Psalms, in several hands, originally compiled by, or for, John Harington of Stepney (1520?-82) and continued by his son, Sir John Harington of Kelston (1560-1612), whose hand occurs frequently in the MS, imperfect, once comprising 228 leaves of which 145 remain. Mid-late 16th century.

This volume described, and the full text edited, with facsimile examples of ff. 53r and 66v, in Hughey. Also discussed in Ruth Hughey, ‘The Harington Manuscript at Arundel Castle and Related Documents’, The Library, 4th Ser. 15 (1934-5), 388-444.

A transcript of the whole MS made c.1810 for George Frederick Nott is in the British Library, Add. MS 28635.

Edited from this MS in Hughey, I, No. 199, pp. 243-4, and collated II, 322-7. Collated in Clayton. from the Nott transcript, which is also recorded in Horne, p. 170.

The Duke of Norfolk, Arundel Castle, MSS (Special Press), ‘Harrington MS. Temp. Eliz.’, f. 147v.

PlG 11

Copy of the incipit, here ‘His golden locks’, in a musical setting by John Dowland.

In: A virginal book. Compiled by one ‘R: Cr.’ (Robert Creighton). c.1635-8.

This setting first published in John Dowland, First Booke of Songes or Ayres (London, 1597).

Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, Département de la Musique, MS Conservatoire Rés. 1186, f. 11r.

PlG 11.5

Copy, in a four-part musical setting by John Dowland.

In: A MS songbook. Once owned by one Thomas Myriell. Early 17th century.

Bibliothèque Royale, Brussels, Belgium, MS II. 4. 109 (Fétis 3095), pp. 16-17.

PlG 12

Copy, headed ‘Certain verses causd to bee songe to the Queenes Matie by Sr Hen: Lea Kt. when hee yealded vp his Helmit & Launce to the Earle of Cumberland at The tilt yard An. do: 1590’ and here beginning ‘My goulden lockes Time hath to siluer turnd’.

In: A folio verse miscellany, comprising nearly 250 poems, in five hands, vii + 135 leaves (with a modern index), in contemporary calf gilt (rebacked), with remains of clasps. Including 16 poems (plus second copies of two) by Carew, 19 poems by or attributed to Herrick (and second copies of six of them), 23 poems (plus second copies of two and four of doubtful authorship) by Randolph, 18 poems (plus two of doubtful authorship) by Strode, and eleven poems by Waller. c.1630s-40s.

Inscribed on a flyleaf ‘Peeter Daniell’ and his initials stamped on both covers. Later scribbling including the names ‘Thomas Gardinor’, ‘James Leigh’ and ‘Pettrus Romell’. Owned in 1780 by one ‘A. B.’ when it was given to Thomas Percy (1768-1808), later Bishop of Dromore. Sotheby's, 29 April 1884 (Percy sale), lot 1. Acquired from Quaritch, 1957.

Cited in IELM, II.i-ii (1987-93), as the ‘Daniell MS’: CwT Δ 5, HeR Δ 2, RnT Δ 1, StW Δ 5, WaE Δ 9. Briefly discussed in Margaret Crum, ‘An Unpublished Fragment of Verse by Herrick’, RES, NS 11 (1960), 186-9. A facsimile of f. 22v in Marcy L. North, ‘Amateur Compilers, Scribal Labour, and the Contents of Early Modern Poetic Miscellanies’, EMS, 16 (2011), 82-111 (p. 106). Betagraphs of the watermark in f. 65 in Ted-Larry Pebworth, ‘Towards a Taxonomy of Watermarks’, in Puzzles in Paper: Concepts in Historical Watermarks, ed. Daniel W. Mosser, Michael Saffle and Ernest W. Sullivan, II (London, 2000), pp. 229-42 (p. 241).

This MS collated in Clayton.

Bodleian, MS Eng. poet. c. 50, f. 59r.

PlG 13

Copies, in a musical setting by John Dowland, untitled.

In: A set of four oblong quarto music part books (Cantus, Quintus, Altus, Tenor and Bassus), including verses, ranging from 24 to 30 leaves each, in half-red calf marbled boards. Compiled chiefly by Thomas Hamond (d.1662), of Cressners, in the parish of Hawkdons, Suffolk. c.1630s.

Also inscribed ‘Marie Hammond’.

This MS version collated in Clayton.

Bodleian, MS Mus. f. 7-10, (i) fol. 11r; (ii) fol. 10v; (iii) fol. 11r; (iv) fol. 13r.

PlG 14

Copy of the last stanza (beginning ‘And when he saddest sits in homely Cell’) written as the last stanza of a poem headed ‘In yeeldinge up his Tilt staff: hee sayd’, beginning ‘Tymes eldest sonne, old age the heire of ease’, and subscribed ‘qd Sr Henry Leigh’.

In: A quarto verse miscellany, in a single hand, 114 leaves, bound with a printed exemplum of Thomas Watson's <GREEK> or Passionate Centurie of Love (London, [1581?]). Compiled by John Lilliat (c.1550-c.1599). c.1590s.

This MS volume printed in full, with facsimile examples, in Liber Lilliati: Elizabethan Verse and Song (Bodleian MS Rawlinson Poetry 148), ed. Edward Doughtie (Newark, DE, 1985).

This MS recorded in Horne, p. 170.

Bodleian, MS Rawl. poet. 148, f. 75v.

PlG 15

Copy, in two styles of roman script, untitled, on a small piece of paper attached to a leaf nearing a 19th-century note ‘The following Lines I found on the fly leaf of Morny's Work “of the trewe Relligion”’ [translated supposedly by Sir Philip Sidney and Arthur Golding (1587)]. c.1600.

In: A large folio composite volume of miscellaneous letters and papers, mounted on guards, in half red morocco.

This MS collated in Clayton and in Hughey; recorded in Horne, pp. 169-70.

British Library, Add. MS 33963, f. 109r.

PlG 16

Copy of lines 1-5, untitled, written at the end of a stave of music.

In: MS volume of musical pieces. Late 16th-early 17th century.

This MS collated in Clayton and in Hughey.

British Library, Add. MS 36526A, f. 9r.

PlG 17

Copy, in an italic hand, that of Oliver St John (1584-1646), first Earl of Bolingbroke, headed ‘Sr Henrye Lee’, subscribed ‘St John’.

In: A folio volume of state letters and tracts, chiefly in secretary hands, 24 leaves, in vellum wrappers from a ?15th-century document within a modern binding. Early 17th century.

This MS collated in Clayton and in Hughey.

British Library, Stowe MS 276, f. 2r.

PlG 17.5

Copy, untitled.

In: A quarto miscellany of English and Latin verse and prose, largely in a neat secretary hand, 91 leaves, in limp vellum. Early 17th century.

Among the papers of the Gell family, of Hopton Hall, Derbyshire, including those of the Parliamentary commander and MP Sir John Gell, first Baronet (1593-1671). Formerly D258/60/26a.

Derbyshire Record Office, D258/34/26/1, f. [90r].

PlG 18

Copy, headed ‘Sr Henry Lea his Farewell to the Court’, under a general heading ‘Panegyricks’.

In: A quarto verse miscellany, arranged (Part I) as an anthology, under genre headings, the reverse end (Part II) largely occupied by a later series of Latin verses, epistles, and other exercises, 168 leaves, in old calf (rebacked). Part I probably in several hands, the predominant italic hand that also responsible for the ‘Welbeck MS’: DnJ Δ 57), and including 21 poems by Donne. c.1630 [-1677].

Part I inscribed (f. 1r) ‘John Smyth his Book 1640’, ‘Charles Smyth 1674’, ‘Hugh Smyth 1676’; (f. 23v) ‘J Smyth 1677 / 1676’. Part II inscribed several times ‘Thomas Smith’, on f. 19r also ‘Die: Maij 12o Ano 1659’, with a reference on f. 58v to Balliol College, Oxford, 1659/60. Later inscribed (f. [ir]) by James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps (1820-89), who records buying ‘this very curious and interesting MS. of Messrs Boone’. Afterwards in the library at Warwick Castle. Formerly Folger MS 1. 28.

Cited in IELM, I.i, as the ‘Thomas Smyth MS’: DnJ Δ 48.

This MS collated in Clayton and in Hughey.

Folger, MS V.a.103, Part I, f. 52r.

PlG 19

Copy in the italic hand of Simon Willis.

In: A folio volume of state letters, speeches and verse, in probably two professional secretary hands, compiled chiefly by Simon Willis, a secretary (until 1602) of Robert Cecil (1563-1612), first Earl of Salisbury, and inscribed ‘Mr Robert Cecilles booke’, 32 leaves (including blanks). [c.1600-12].

The Marquess of Salisbury, Hatfield House, Cecil Papers 286, f. [32r].

PlG 20

Copy, in a secretary hand, untitled, on one side of a single folio leaf, once folded as a letter or packet. Early 17th century.

In: A bundle of unbound verse MSS, in various hands.

Among papers of the Sackville and Cranfield families, Earls of Dorset and of de la Warr, of Knole Park, Kent.

Recorded in HMC, 4th Report (1874), Appendix, pp. 303-4.

This MS collated in Clayton, ELR.

Centre for Kentish Studies, Maidstone, U269 F36, [unnumbered].

PlG 21

Copy, headed ‘Sr Henry Lea his Farewell to the Court’.

In: A small quarto verse anthology, in a single minute hand (but for p. 206), arranged under genre headings (‘Epitaphs’, ‘Satyricall’, ‘Love Sonnets’, etc.), probably associated with Oxford University, possibly Christ Church, 382 pages (including numerous blanks), in contemporary calf gilt. Including 13 poems by Donne and 14 (plus one of uncertain authorship) by Corbett; the scribe is that mainly responsible also for the ‘Thomas Smyth MS’ (DnJ Δ 48). c.1630s.

Later owned and used extensively as a notebook by Dr William Balam (1651-1726), of Ely, Cambridgeshire, who also annotated Cambridge University Library MS Add. 5778 and Harvard fMS Eng 966.4. Bookplate of N. Micklethwait. Owned in 1931 by the Rev. F.W. Glass, of Taverham Hall, near Norwich (seat in the 17th century of the Sotherton family and later of the Branthwayt and Micklethwait families).

Cited in IELM, I.i (1980) and II.i (1987), as the ‘Welbeck MS’: DnJ Δ 57 and CoR Δ 11. Discussed in H. Harvey Wood, ‘A Seventeenth-Century Manuscript of Poems by Donne and Others’, Essays & Studies, 16 (1931), 179-90. For Taverham Hall, see Thomas B. Norgate, A History of Taverham from Early Times to 1969 (Aylsham, 1969).

University of Nottingham, Pw V 37, p. 107.

Dramatic Works

The Battle of Alcazar

First acted 1589. First published in London, 1594. Edited by John Yoklavich in Prouty, II, 294-347.

PlG 22

‘The Plott of the Battell of Alcazar’, made by a playhouse scribe, prepared for a revival of the play by the Admiral's Company, a large broadsheet.

Later owned by Richard Heber (1774-1833), book collector. Sotheby's, 1836 (Heber sale), lot 1640. c.1598-9.

In: Four playhouse ‘plots’.

The ‘Plott’ first published by W. W. Greg in Henslowe Papers (London, 1907), pp. 138-41. Revised transcripts and facsimiles in Greg, Two Elizabethan Stage Abridgements: The Battle of Alcazar and Orlando Furioso, Malone Society (Oxford, 1922); in Greg, Dramatic Documents, I, 44-59, and II, Plate VI; and in Yoklavich, facing p. 280.

British Library, Add. MS 10449, f. 3r.

Edward I

First published in London, 1593. Edited by Frank S. Hook in Prouty, II, 1-212.

PlG 23

Imperfect exemplum of the printed quarto edition of 1593 with the text of some damaged leaves (sigs B2r-v, H1v, L3v) supplied in MS, transcribed from the edition of 1599, in modern half-calf. ?early 18th century.

In the Bute Collection of English Plays purchased in April 1956 from Major Michael Crichton-Stuart of Falkland.

This item recorded in Yale, III, 445.

National Library of Scotland, Bute 414.

The Hunting of Cupid

See PlG 3-7.

The Old Wives Tale

First published in London, 1595. Edited by Frank S. Hook in Prouty, III, 385-421.

PlG 24

Misquotation from the play.

In: A quarto booklet of chiefly verse, in probably three secretary and italic hands, written over a period of three generations, eight leaves, sewn but unbound, subscribed (f. 8v) ‘finis in the three twentieth yeare of my age Tricessimo septimo Elizabethæ’. Compiled in part probably by Hugh Lottisham (b.c.1572), of Brasenose College, Oxford; one section relating to expenses of Oliver Lottisham in 1616; the last section in the later italic hand of their distant cousin Elizabeth Clarke. c.1595-1650s.

Inscribed (f. 1r) ‘Elizabeth Clarke’ (several times) and ‘Chatham Hordinant’. Formerly Folger MS 1072.1.

Discussed, with facsimiles of ff. 1r and 8v, in Kathryn Dezur, ‘Faire Phillis, The Marchants Wife, and the Tailers Wife: Representation of Women in a Woman's Early Modern Manuscript Commonplace Book’, New Ways of Looking at Old Texts, IV, ed. Michael Denbo (Tempe, AZ, 2008), 155-64, and in Matthew Zarnowiecki, ‘A Blurred Notebook: Ephemeral Literature and the Lyric Moment in Folger Manuscript X.d.177’, EMS, 16 (2011), 48-69, with facsimile examples.

Folger, MS X.d.177, passim.



*PlG 25

Autograph letter signed by Peele, in his predominantly italic hand, to Lord Burghley, docketed as presenting ‘ye tale of Troy in 500 verses by his eldest daughter necessities servante’, on two conjugate folio leaves, endorsed ‘17 Jan. 1595[/6]’. 1596.

In: A large folio composite volume of state letters and papers, in various hands, 280 leaves, in modern half-morocco gilt.

Facsimiles in Greg, English Literary Autographs, Plate XVI; in Shakespeare's England (Oxford, 1917), I, facing p. 290; and in Prouty, I, 106.

British Library, Lansdowne MS 99, ff. 151r-2v.