LITTLE concrete is known about what happened to the translator John Studley after he lost his fellowship at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1573.1 His translation of John Bale’s Acta pontificum Romanorum, with ‘sondrye additions’ and titled The Pageant of Popes, was printed in 1574.2 In the same period he may have joined one of the Inns of Court, as Richard Robinson’s description of Studley among other writers ‘in Th’innes of Court’, and able to ‘fit your whole intents, with stately stile to Pen’ in The Rewarde of Wickednesse (1574) suggests.3 He may also have had some involvement in Thomas Newton’s collection of English translations of Seneca’s tragedies, Seneca his Tenne Tragedies (1581). Studley’s translations of Agamemnon, Hippolytus (Phaedra), Medea, and Hercules Oetaeus appear in the collection, which was printed by Thomas Marsh, both a longstanding associate of Newton’s, and the printer of Studley’s translation The Pageant of Popes seven years previously.4 To date the last known indication of Studley’s activities is probably contained in the register of admissions to Gray’s Inn, which records the entry of Nathaniel Studley, son of John Studley, to the Inn on 7 February 1588.5 The register also notes that this John Studley was a member of Barnard’s Inn, an Inn of Chancery affiliated with Gray’s Inn, so his identity with Studley the translator, also a member of one of the Inns of Court, is probable.6 After 1588, however, the trail seems to go cold. Studley’s demise has been assigned to the end of the decade since the eighteenth century, when William Rufus Chetwood’s The British Theatre (1750) claimed that Studley ‘was killed in Flanders at the Siege of Breda having a Command under Prince Maurice, in 1587’.7 Most subsequent accounts of Studley include this rather exciting story, with more or less scepticism, though there is no evidence to support it.8 On its own merits Chetwood’s claim seems unlikely, not least because, as the authors of the Athenae Cantabrigiensis point out, the siege of Breda was in 1590 rather than 1587.9 In fact Studley may have lived well beyond 1590. There is a will of a John Studley in the National Archives, made on 23 November 1612 and proved in 1619, which corroborates with information currently known about Studley the translator. The Studley in this document describes himself as ‘of Cramborne’ (Cranborne), a village in east Dorset about seventeen miles from Salisbury.10 He was also evidently connected to the nearby market town Wimborne Minster, about ten miles from Cranborne. His will bequeaths twenty shillings to ‘Wimborne Minster Churche’, probably the parish church dedicated to St Cuthberga known as Wimborne Minster, as well as forty shillings to the town’s poor.11 Studley the testator also seems to have been personally acquainted with the preacher of Wimborne Minster, Thomas Norman. His will bequeaths an angel to Norman, and specifies that the forty shillings for the poor are ‘to be delivered by Mr Norman within one moneth after my deceasse’.12 Studley the translator also seems to have had significant connections with Dorset, and particularly with Wimborne Minster. The entry in the register of admissions to Gray’s Inn for Nathaniel Studley gives the market town Wimborne Minster in Dorset as John Studley’s place of residence.13 The Studley family featured in the 1619 Visitation of Kent also includes a John Studley of ‘Emborne [i.e. Wimborne] Minister’.14 Since the John Studley recorded in this Visitation also had a son called Nathaniel, it is probable that the John Studleys in these records refer to the same individual.15 The Visitation of Kent moreover indicates that Nathaniel Studley had a son also called Nathaniel, as did the Nathaniel Studley admitted to Gray’s Inn in 1588. A later entry in the register of admissions records the elder Nathaniel’s son Nathaniel Studley entering the Inn on 1 November 1622.16 If this John Studley is Studley the translator, he seems to have had a son and grandson, both called Nathaniel, who were members of Gray’s Inn in the 1580s and 1620s. The will of Studley the testator reveals that his family corroborates with much of what is known about that of Studley the translator. Studley the testator also had both a son and grandson called Nathaniel. The will appoints his son and heir Nathaniel Studley as executor, and bequeaths his grandson Nathaniel Studley ‘one double Salte, fower Beere Tunnes, twoe little Bolles all parcell guylte and one dozen of playne silver Spoones and Twenty pounds of monye’.17 The will also demonstrates that, like the John Studley in the 1619 Visitation of Kent, Studley the testator had a daughter called Anne, and that his son Nathaniel had three daughters, Elizabeth, Mary, and Jane. The Visitation records that Anne was the wife of Morris Willis, and Anne the daughter of Studley the testator also appears in the will as the wife of Morris Willis.18 Studley’s will instructs that she receive ‘all suche monye as shall happen to be due and vnpayde to me at the tyme of my deathe by Morris Willis her Husband as appeareth by severall Bondes’, in addition to forty shillings each quarter, or a hundred pounds if she is widowed.19 The will bequeaths Nathaniel Studley the elder’s daughters Elizabeth, Mary, and Jane twenty pounds each, carefully specifying that the sum must be ‘over & above that somme which my sonne Nathaniell is bounde to paye them’.20 The will also bequeaths one hundred pounds to ‘Charles Studley my sonnes sonne’, who is not mentioned in the Visitation.21 Since the Visitation specifies that the younger Nathaniel was an only son, it is likely that Charles Studley died at some point between 1612 and 1619.22 The will also shows that Studley had a wife who was still living in 1612, for it instructs that after Studley’s decease she is to ‘have duringe her tyme [i.e. lifetime] the vse and occupacion of all my Howsehould stuff Plate Iewells before not given nor bequeathed’, and ‘all the Coine that shalbe in my Howse and Barne at my deathe’, as well as ‘all suche monye as shee hathe in her owne custodye’.23 Studley the testator’s Dorset connections, particularly to Wimborne Minster, and family suggest quite definitively that he is the same John Studley who features in the register of admissions to Gray’s Inn, and the 1619 Visitation of Kent. Based on Studley the translator’s association with the Inns of Court, and the relative unlikeliness of the possibility of a multitude of identically-situated John and Nathaniel Studleys existing at the same time in early modern England, a reasonable case can be made that the John Studley in both these records is identical with Studley the translator. John Studley the testator is thus very likely to be John Studley the translator. In this case, John Studley’s will refines our understanding of his movements after 1573. Most obviously, the will alters the date of his death by almost three decades. As such it opens the door to further consideration of Studley’s activities after his time at Cambridge and Barnard’s Inn in the 1560s and 1570s. Since by the time of his death in 1619 Studley had not inconsiderable wealth to leave to his descendants, his activities would seem to have been profitable. Footnotes 1 For an overview of Studley’s biography, see T. P. J. Edlin, ‘Studley, John (c. 1545–1590?)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, online ed. <http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/26742>, accessed 9 April 2017; and most recently, Jessica Winston, ‘John Studley (1545–1590)’, in The Literary Encyclopedia <http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=13040>, accessed 9 April 2017. 2 John Bale, The Pageant of Popes, Contayninge the Lyues of all the Bishops of Rome, from the Beginninge of them to the Yeare of Grace 1555, trans. John Studley (London, 1574), title page. 3 Richard Robinson, The Rewarde of Wickednesse Discoursing the Sundrye Monstrous Abuses of Wicked and Vngodlye Worldelinges (London, 1574), sig. Q3r. 4 Agamemnon and Medea had been previously printed individually in octavo by Thomas Colwell in 1566. Studley may also have printed his other translations: the Stationers’ Register records a ‘lycense for pryntinge of iiide part of [Seneca, viz.] Hercules Oote’ to Thomas Colwell in 1571, though no printings earlier than the Tenne Tragedies survives: see A Transcript of the Registers of the Company of Stationers of London; 1554–1640 A.D., ed. Edward Arber, 4 vols (London, 1875–77), I (1875), 327. Marsh printed at least six (excluding reprints and new editions) of Newton’s translations and edited collections between 1569 and 1581 (see ESTC nos. 5294, 5314, 15456, 5274, 18510, 22221). Newton and Studley seem to have possessed an active Protestant faith, which Marsh may have shared: on Marsh see Marcia Lee Metzger, ‘Controversy and “Correctness”: English Chronicles and the Chroniclers, 1553–1568’, The Sixteenth Century Journal, xxvii (1996), 437–51 (441). 5 The Register of Admissions to Gray’s Inn, 1521–1889, together with the Register of Marriages in Gray’s Inn Chapel, 1695–1754, ed. Joseph Foster (London, 1889), 72. Dates are given in new style. 6 Register of Admissions to Gray’s Inn, ed. Foster, 72. The most recent account of Studley and the other translators of Seneca at the Inns of Court is Jessica Winston, Lawyers at Play: Literature, Law, and Politics at the Early Modern Inns of Court, 1558–1581 (Oxford, 2016). 7 William Rufus Chetwood, The British Theatre. Containing the Lives of the English Dramatic Poets; with an Account of all their Plays (London, 1750), sig. A4r. 8 See e.g., in addition to Studley’s recent biographers, Anthony à Wood, Athenae Oxoniensis, ed. Philip Bliss, 4 vols (London, 1815), II, 10, n. 2; G. F. Russell Barker and Alan H. Stenning, The Record of Old Westminsters, 2 vols (London, 1928), II, 894. More sceptical are Thomas Park’s comments in Thomas Warton, History of English Poetry from the Twelfth to the Close of the Sixteenth Century, ed. William Hazlitt, 4 vols (London, 1871), IV, 272, n. 2. 9 Charles Henry Cooper, and Thompson Cooper, Athenae Cantabrigienses, rev. Henry Bradshaw and others, 3 vols (Cambridge, 1858–1913), II, 100. Also significant is the absence of the tale from the eminent antiquary Thomas Tanner’s entry for Studley in his edition of John Leland’s Bibliotheca Britannico-Hibernica, published posthumously two years before Chetwood’s British Theatre: see Thomas Tanner, Bibliotheca Britannico-Hibernica: sive, de scriptoribus, qui in Anglia, Scotia, et Hibernia ad saeculi XVII initium floruerunt, literarum ordine juxta familiarum nomina dispositis commentarius (London, 1748), sig. 8Pr. 10 Kew, The National Archives [TNA], PROB 11/134/428, fol. 76r. In quoting from this document spellings have been retained, with the following conventions of transcription: raised letters have been silently lowered, and contractions, brevigraphs, and tildes silently expanded. ‘And’ brevigraphs are represented by ‘&’. 11 TNA, PROB 11/134/428, fol. 76v. 12 TNA, PROB 11/134/428, fol. 76v. Unfortunately Norman never had the opportunity to receive the legacy, for he died in June 1619, predeceasing the administration of Studley’s will by only a few months. For Norman’s will see Kew, The National Archives, PROB 11/133/711. 13 Register of Admissions to Gray’s Inn, ed. Foster, 72. 14 The Visitation of Kent, Taken in the Years 1619–1621, ed. Robert Hovenden, Publications of the Harleian Society, 42 (London, 1898), 171. 15 So suggests also Evelyn Spearing in John Studley, Studley’s Translations of Seneca’s Agamemnon and Medea, ed. E. M. Spearing (Louvain, 1913), xxii–xxiii. 16 Register of Admissions to Gray’s Inn, ed. Foster, 168. 17 TNA, PROB 11/134/428, fol. 76v. The ‘double Salte’ may be a salt-cellar with two (i.e. ‘double’) compartments. For ‘Salte’ for salt-cellar, see e.g. Volpone’s itemization of ‘one salt of agat’ in Volpone, cited in ‘salt, n.’, 7.a., Oxford English Dictionary, online ed., <http://www.oed.com>, accessed 9 April 2017. ‘Bolles’ probably denotes bowls, in this case partially gilded (‘parcell guylte’) ones. 18 See Visitation of Kent, ed. Hovenden, 171. 19 TNA, PROB 11/134/428, fol. 76v. Since the will also includes bequests of five pounds each to ‘Edith Puxton Katherine Puxton Iohn Puxton and ffrauncis Puxton my daughters Children’, Anne’s marriage to Morris Willis is probably her second marriage at least: TNA, PROB 11/134/428, fol. 76v. 20 TNA, PROB 11/134/428, fol. 76v. 21 TNA, PROB 11/134/428, fol. 76v. 22 See Visitation of Kent, ed. Hovenden, 171 (‘fil. vnicus’). The register of admissions to Gray’s Inn also notes that the younger Nathaniel admitted in 1622 is his father Nathaniel’s son and heir: Register of Admissions to Gray’s Inn, ed. Foster, 168. 23 TNA, PROB 11/134/428, fol. 76v. The Visitation of Kent gives the name of Studley’s wife as Maria Baskerville, of ‘Nethwood’ [i.e. Netherwood] in Herefordshire: Visitation of Kent, ed. Hovenden, 171. © The Author(s) (2018). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: email@example.com
Notes and Queries – Oxford University Press
Published: Mar 1, 2018
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