Chidiock Tichborne



Richard S.M. Hirsch, ‘The Works of Chidiock Tichborne’, English Literary Renaissance, 16, No. 2 (Spring 1986), 303-18.


Chidiock Tichborne is known to history as one of the principal Catholic conspirators who was involved in the ‘Babington Plot’ to assassinate Queen Elizabeth in 1586, for which he suffered the full rigours of hanging, drawing and quartering. His few known poems and other writings, including his last letter to his wife (TiC 48-51) and speech on the scaffold (TiC 52-54), all relate to the last few weeks of his life. Most notable is the fine lament ‘My prime of youth is but a frost of cares’, which soon became extremely popular in both single-leaf printed publication and manuscript circulation. At present forty-five contemporary or near-contemporary manuscript copies are recorded (TiC 2-46).

Peter Beal