Samuel Daniel



The Complete Works in Verse and Prose of Samuel Daniel, ed. Alexander B. Grosart, 5 vols (privately printed, 1885; reprinted New York, 1963).

Pitcher, Brotherton MS

John Pitcher, Samuel Daniel: The Brotherton Manuscript: A Study in Authorship, Leeds Texts and Monographs, NS No. 7 (1981).


H. Sellers, ‘A Bibliography of the Works of Samuel Daniel 1585-1623’, Proceedings and Papers of the Oxford Bibliographical Society, 2 (1927-30), 29-54, 341-2.


Samuel Daniel, Poems and A Defence of Ryme, ed. Arthur Colby Sprague (Cambridge, Mass., 1930; reprinted Chicago & London, 1965).


Autograph Manuscripts

A small number of Daniel's original manuscripts have been located; there are also reasons for believing that others may have survived. The autograph manuscript of his Panegyrike Congratulatorie to the King presented to James I is still among the Royal MSS in the British Library (*DaS 21). A presentation copy of his pastoral drama Hymens Triumph with autograph additions is preserved (*DaS 49); and one of the surviving copies of The Civile Wars contains autograph marginalia, corrections and revisions (*DaS 1). A working copy of part of Daniel's unpublished Appendix to The Collection of the History of England with some autograph headings has also come to light (*DaS 43). Other known examples of Daniel's handwriting include his student signature in 1581 in the Oxford University Archives (*DaS 63) and his will in 1619 (*DaS 64).


There are also a small number of surviving letters by Daniel, chiefly autograph (DaS 55-62). Although suspicions about the authenticity of a letter to Sir Thomas Egerton (*DaS 57) can be shown to be unwarranted, another letter supposedly written by Daniel is quite certainly spurious. Besides printing the genuine letter to Egerton, Collier printed in his New Facts regarding the Life of Shakespeare (London, 1835), pp. 48-9, the text of what he claimed was another letter from Daniel to Egerton found in the Bridgewater Library, a letter which refers, among other things, to Drayton and Shakespeare. Not merely the disappearance of Collier's ‘original’ but the total implausibility of the text leave no doubt that this is one of Collier's fabrications.

Autograph Corrections in Printed Works

Other genuine examples of Daniel's hand can be identified in certain printed exempla of his Works (London, 1601). An exemplum once owned by John Buxton contains minor autograph corrections and a revision (*DaS 2, *DaS 5, *DaS 7, *DaS 9, *DaS 44, *DaS 48). This volume is one of the large paper exempla which Daniel evidently had prepared for special presentation, although there is no indication that this particular volume was presented to anyone and it may have been retained for his personal use. Certain other exempla, which were presented to friends and patrons, contain special printed dedicatory poems on inserted leaves, a feature which Daniel evidently regarded as a more prestigious alternative to simply writing inscriptions on flyleaves. The poem inserted in the volume presented to Sir Thomas Bodley contains Daniel's autograph corrections (*DaS 22). Another instance (but without corrections) is an exemplum containing, on two inserted leaves, a printed poem (otherwise unpublished). To the right Honourable Ladie, the Ladie Francis Countess of Hertford (beginning ‘Faire Branch of Honor, sprung from Worthines’); this volume was sold at Christie's, 13 June 1979 (Arthur A. Houghton, Jr. sale), Lot 156, to Maggs, and is now privately owned. It is possible that more exempla with special features of this kind will come to light in due course.

Printed Books Owned by Notable Readers

Other volumes of printed works by Daniel that are known to have interesting associations (though lacking special presentation leaves) are found in the Pierpont Morgan Library (15592 (Works (1601) bound for Queen Elizabeth I) and 6044 (Certaine Small Workes (London, 1611) bound for Queen Anne of Denmark)); in Edinburgh University Library (Works (1602) owned by William Drummond; formerly in the library of the late Bent E. Juel-Jensen, Oxford (The Civile Wares (1609) bound for James I or Charles I), the binding illustrated in Sotheby's sale catalogue, 9 May 1955, Lot 378); in the Victoria and Albert Museum, Dyce Collection (Works (1602) owned by Sir Henry Wotton); in Westminster Abbey (CB.13(4) (Tethys Festival (1610)) and CB. 49a (The First Part of the Historie of England (1612)), both owned by William Camden); and at Yale (Ig D226 B602b copy 3 (Works (1602) owned by Ben Jonson) and in Ij W175 Zz609D (The Civile Wares (1609) and Works (1623) owned by Izaak Walton). An exemplum of Daniel's Panegyrike Congratulatorie to the King (1603) in the Pierpont Morgan Library (16312) bears the ‘signature’ of Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke, but this signature may be a forgery. An exemplum of the two-volume 1718 edition of Daniel's Works loaned to Charles Lamb by S.T. Coleridge and bearing many marginal notes and corrections by them was sold at Sotheby's, 29-30 February 1932, lot 148, to Spencer.

Scribal Manuscripts

Some scribal manuscripts recorded in the entries below are also likely to have been closely associated with Daniel, if not made under his personal supervision. What may be the presentation copy of a poem addressed to Bishop Montagu, for instance, is preserved among the State Papers (DaS 28), and Daniel's commendatory poem to John Florio is inscribed (not by Daniel himself) in Florio's autograph manuscript of his Giardino di recreatione (DaS 18). Various copies of particular poems (for instance, the elegy on Robert Cecil (DaS 15-16) and the Letter from Octauia to Marcus Antonius (DaS 19), the last in a miscellany of Daniel's friend Sir John Harington), though not necessarily direct transcripts of Daniel's holographs, are likely to be substantive early witnesses to his texts. A particularly interesting manuscript which appears to be a working copy of a poem originally addressed to Margaret, Countess of Cumberland, is the ‘Hatton MS’ (DaS 27). Although it is not true (as was claimed at the time of its discovery in 1970) that this manuscript contains Daniel's hand, it has a series of revisions entered by a scribe chiefly in the margin as if in preparation for transcribing a new text of the poem addressed to Lady Elizabeth Hatton. The nature of these revisions, even though not autograph, leaves little doubt that they derive from Daniel himself.

The Brotherton Manuscript

Another scribal manuscript of special importance is the ‘Brotherton MS’, which came to light, as a series of anonymous writings, in a sale in 1976. The texts (DaS 17, DaS 24-6, DaS 30) were all subsequently identified by John Pitcher as unpublished works by Daniel and as representing a collection which Daniel probably compiled in 1616 for the disgraced Earl of Somerset.

Dispersed Papers

The provenance of certain Daniel manuscripts, including those most recently located, is of considerable interest. The family papers which ought to offer the greatest possibilities for the discovery of his manuscripts are clearly those of the Clifford family, whose patronage Daniel enjoyed for many years. Lady Anne Clifford (1590-1676), to whom Daniel was tutor, is reported to have had manuscripts of works by Daniel among her ‘evidences’ and to have quoted on occasions from (evidently unpublished) works of his, but details of these manuscripts are unfortunately few (see DaS 3, DaS 14, DaS 23, DaS 29, and also DaS 45, which was presented to Lady Anne's mother). In a celebrated triptych of the Clifford family (now in the Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal) Lady Anne is depicted standing before a bookshelf, above which is a portrait of Daniel, and the books on the shelves include Daniel's Collection of History and his Works (1623). Reproductions of this this painting include those in George C. Williamson, Lady Anne Clifford (Kendal, 1922), frontispiece, and in Martin Holmes, Proud Northern Lady: Lady Anne Clifford, 1590-1676 (London, 1975), after p. 118. The Cliffords had several family seats (notably Brougham Castle, Appleby Castle and Skipton Castle) and successive generations married into other eminent families. These circumstances, together with later disturbances (including possible rearrangements of manuscripts made before 1922 by George C. Williamson), have resulted in widespread dispersal of the Clifford Papers and in incomplete and sometimes confusing information about them. Some (such as DaS 29) have been sold from time to time; others (such as DaS 45, last seen at Appleby Castle just before 1930) are unaccounted for; but substantial collections are now in the Cumbria Record Offices at Carlisle and Kendal, and in the custody of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society. Except for DaS 29, no manuscripts here relating to Daniel have yet come to light.

Another line of enquiry concerns papers of the Kerr family (Lothian Manuscripts). In a letter to Sir Robert Kerr, 7 June 1621, William Drummond referred to the imperfect manuscript of Hymens Triumph (‘both wanting the Title and hauing no Chorus’) which he possessed (*DaS 49) and asked Kerr ‘if there were a more Perfect Coppye among the authors Papers’ since Daniel ‘dying as I heare bequeathed to you his scrolls’ (National Archives of Scotland, GD40/13, f. 26; printed in Correspondence of Sir Robert Kerr, First Earl of Ancram, ed. David Laing (Edinburgh, 1875), I, 24-5). Papers of the Kerr family (ennobled by the Earldom and, later, the Marquessate of Lothian) have been widely dispersed; some in modern times being sold at auction, some retained at Melbourne Hall, Derbyshire, the Coke Papers now in the British Library, and others (from Newbattle Abbey) now in the National Archives of Scotland and in the National Library of Scotland. One Daniel MS — the Appendix to his Collection of History (*DaS 43) — was discovered by John Pitcher among Lothian manuscripts in the last-named repository.

A third source of relevant manuscripts is the North Papers. Dudley North (1581-1666), third Baron North, had considerable literary interests, as did other members of his family. The family also had links with one of Daniel's patrons, Bishop James Montagu (1568?-1618). Two known Daniel manuscripts — the Hatton MS (DaS 27) and the Brotherton MS — almost certainly derive from the North Papers, and it is not impossible that more may eventually come to light from this source. The North Papers (from Kirtling House and Wroxton Abbey) have been widely dispersed by sales since the 1930s, the most substantial collections now residing in the Bodleian and at the University of Kansas. For more details of the dispersal of these manuscripts see Pitcher, Brotherton MS.


A few miscellaneous manuscripts, not given entries, may be mentioned. Three lines (beginning ‘The fairest land, that from her thrusts the rest’) are quoted from The Civile Wars (Book VI, stanza 42) in William Camden's Remaines (London, 1605), p. 6. Camden's autograph of the quotation (part of the draft of his essay, Britaine) is in the British Library (Cotton MS Julius F. XI, f. 291v), and the lines are also found (? copied from Camden's book) in miscellanies in the Bodleian (MSS Rawl. D. 1171, f. 11v; Rawl. D. 1372, f. 2v rev.) and at Yale (Osborn MS b 208, p. 37). Two poems which are subscribed ‘finis quoth Danielle’ (one beginning ‘Sweet muses come & lend yor helpinge handes’, the other beginning ‘But stay a while thou hast fortold thy parte’) are found in an Elizabethan miscellany compiled principally by William Cynwal of Penmachno, now at Christ Church, Oxford (MS 184, ff. 82r-3r); but, on stylistic grounds, they would appear to have no connection with Samuel Daniel.

For some manuscript music for dances possibly belonging to entertainments by Daniel, see Four Hundred Songs and Dances from the Stuart Masque, ed. Andrew J. Sabol (Providence, Rhode Island, 1978), Nos. 52, 82, 134-5.

Peter Beal