Thomas Wilson


‘Who, what, and Wher; by what helpe and by whose’

A mnemonic couplet, first published in Wilson's The Arte of Rhetorique ([London], 1553).

WiT 0.5

Copy 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).

Bodleian, MS Rawl. poet. 148, f. 5v.


A Discourse touching this Kingdom's Perils with their Remedies

First published in Albert J. Schmidt, ‘A Treatise on England's Perils, 1578’, Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte, 46 (1955), 243-9.

*WiT 1

Autograph, on two folio leaves, dated 2 April 1578. 1578.

Edited from this MS in Schmidt. Facsimiles of part of f. 2v in IELM, I.ii (1980), Facsimile XXXIII (p. 558), and in DLB, vol. 236, British Rhetoricians and Logicians, 1500-1660. First Series, ed. Edward A. Malone (Detroit, 2001), p. 300.

National Archives, Kew, SP 12/123/17.

Speeches and Orations

Oratio de Clementia


*WiT 2

Autograph fair copy of a Latin New Year's address presented to Queen Elizabeth on 1 January 1566/7, on seventeen quarto leaves. Copy. 1567.

British Library, Royal MS 12 A. L.



WiT 3

Copy of a long Latin oration on English commercial grievances delivered by Wilson on 30 October 1567 in his embassy to the King of Portugal, attested by Edward Wilson, notary public, with related papers.

In: A folio composite volume of state papers relating primarily to England and Portugal from the middle ages to the 16th century, in various hands.

British Library, Cotton MS Nero B. I, f. 13 1r.

*WiT 4

Copy of a parliamentary speech by Wilson, against vagabonds, April 1571.

In: A folio volume of transcripts of parliamentary rolls during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, from 1558 to 1587, in various professional hands, including that of Ralph Starkey (c.1569-1628), antiquary, 295 leaves, in modern half-morocco gilt. c.1620s.

British Library, Cotton MS Titus F. 1, f. 152v.

WiT 5

Summary of a speech in parliament by Wilson against usury, April 1571.

In: the MS described under WiT 4. c.1620s.

British Library, Cotton MS Titus F. 1, ff. 163r-4v.

WiT 6

Copy of a speech in parliament by Wilson against Mary Queen of Scots, headed ‘Actio contra Mariam Scotorum reginam’, [1572?]. Late 16th century?

A MS ‘Actio contra Mariam Scotorum reginam’ ascribed to Wilson is preserved in the Pierpont Morgan Library (MA 41).

Pierpont Morgan Library, MA 41.

WiT 7

Copy of a speech by Wilson against Mary Queen of Scots, in a journal of proceedings in the Parliamentary session from 8 May 1572. c.1572.

In: A folio composite volume of state papers, tracts and speeches, in various hands, 298 leaves (plus blanks), in old reversed calf.

Old pressmark N. 2. 12.

Trinity College, Dublin, MS 1045, item 1.