Francis Quarles was the third son of James Quarles of Romford, Essex; he took his B.A. from Christ’s College Cambridge in 1608 and was admitted to Lincoln’s Inn in 1610. Quarles attended the princess Elizabeth as cup-bearer on her marriage to the Elector of Palatine in 1613; he was later secretary to Archbishop Ussher in Ireland (ca. 1626-30); in 1633 he retired to Essex. Quarles was Chronologer of London from 1639 until his death in 1644. His property was confiscated and manuscripts destroyed by Parliamentary soldiers.
1620 Meditatio Septima.
1633 ca.Shepheards Oracles: Eclogue III. Pan. Gentilla.
1633 ca.Shepheards Oracles: Eclogue IIII. Nullifidius. Pseudo-catholicus.
1633 ca.Shepheards Oracles: Eclogue IX. Iudex. Romastix. Flambello.
1633 ca.Shepheards Oracles: Eclogue V. Virgilius. Evangelus.
1633 ca.Shepheards Oracles: Eclogue VI. Arminius. Philamnus.
1633 ca.Shepheards Oracles: Eclogue VII. Schismaticus. Adelphus.
1633 ca.Shepheards Oracles: Eclogue VIII. Anarchus. Canonicus.
1633 ca.Shepheards Oracles: Eclogue X. Orthodoxus. Catholicus. Nuncius.
1633 ca.Shepheards Oracles: Eglogue I. Gallio. Britannus.
1633 ca.Shepheards Oracles: Eglogue II. Brito. Luscus.
1633 To my deare Friend, the SPENCER of this Age.
1633 To the ingenious Composer of this Pastorall, the Spencer of this Age.
1635 Book 5. II. Stay me with Flowers, and comfort me with Apples, for I am sicke with Love.
1644 The Shepheards Oracle: delivered in an Eglogue.
A feast for wormes: a poem of the history of Jonah. 1620.
Hadassa: or the history of Queene Ester. 1621.
Job militant: with meditations divine and morall. 1624.
Sions elegies, wept by Jeremie the prophet. 1624.
Sions sonets, sung by Solomon the king. 1625.
Argalus and Parthenia. 1629, 1632.
Divine poems: containing the history of Jonah. Ester. Job. Sions sonets. elegies. 1630.
The historie of Samson. 1631.
Divine fancies: digested into epigrammes, meditations, and observations. 1632.
Quarleis [Lusus poeticus poetis]. 1634.
An elegie upon … Sir Julius Caesar, Knt. 1636.
An elegie upon … Mr John Wheeler. 1637.
Hierogplyphikes of the life of man. 1638.
Memorials upon the death of Sir Robert Quarles. 1639.
Sighes at the contemporary deaths of the Countess of Cleaveland and Mistrisse Cicily Killegrue. 1640.
Threnodes on Lady Masham and William Cheyne. 1641.
Observations concerning princes and states upon peace and warre. 1642.
Barnabas and Boanerges: or, wine and oyle for afflicted soules. 1644.
The loyall convert. 1644.
The whipper whipt. 1644.
The new distemper. 1645.
The profest royalist. 1645.
Solomons recantation, entituled Ecclesiastes, paraphrased. 1645.
Judgement & mercy for afflicted soules. 1646.
The shepheards oracles: delivered in certain eclogues. 1646.
Hosanna: or divine poems on the passion of Christ. 1647.
The virgin widow. A comedie. 1649.
Complete works, ed. A. B. Grosart. 3 vols, 1880-81.
Hosana, or divine poems on the passion of Christ and Threnodes, ed. John Horden. 1960.
Alexander B. Grosart, from Introduction in Complete Works in Prose and Verse of Francis Quarles (1880) 1:ix-xxiv.
In the East Anglian — eheu! now defunct — for 1867-8, there appeared several papers on The Quarles Family. The first, by GEORGE W. MARSHALL, Esq., brings together, from various manuscript and printed authorities, not a few new and interesting data. It was followed up by four matterful and reliable papers, by E. J. SAGE, Esq., of Stoke Newington; than whom few or none know more thoroughly the entire Annals of Romford and its surroundings. Prior to these, the pedigree of our Worthy was chaos; e.g., with reference to the opening account by Mr. Marshall, Mr. Sage wrote — “It adds to the value of your correspondent’s note, that all the accounts of the family hitherto published are more or less incorrect — some ludicrously so. One, for example, makes Francis Quarles the grandfather of his brother, Sir Robert. Another confidently asserts that he was the son of James Quarles, of Romford, ob. 1642, quoting the Romford register in proof of the fact. It unluckily happens, however, that this gentleman was nephew, not father, of the poet. Another grave biographer favours his readers with a poetical epitaph inscribed on a monument which, he says, was erected by Francis Quarles over the grave of his wife Ursula — the wife, who not only survived him, but lived to edit, years afterwards, several of his works, and to write the pathetic story of his life and death” (E. A. November 1867.)
When I state that the second offender was no less than the Rev. ROBERT ARIS WILLMOTT, in his charming, if too often careless Lives of the Sacred Poets, it will be conceded that it is about time the facts were correctly given. Even in a recently-issued topographical book, yclept, Memories of Old Romford and other Places within the Royal Liberty of Haveringatte-Bower. By George Terry, B.A., Lond. (Robinson, Romford, 1880) — there are co-equal blunders about Quarles; e.g., “He published a poem called The Loyal, or Royal Convert,” while the book evidently meant, but wrongly entitled, was one of three political-theological tractates! After that, it is scarcely to be wondered at that Mr. Terry enumerates CHRISTOPHER HARVEY’S School of the Heart, among Quarles’s Works.
FRANCIS QUARLES, in his quaint Memorials upon The Death of Sir Robert Quarles, Knight, his “dearely loving, and as dearely beloved Brother” (1639), claims a high antiquity for his family, thus:—
If Antiquity may chalenge honour;
before the martiall Drum
of the victorious Norman
to heat his conquering marches
in this glorious Island.
So truthful a man as our Poet must have had satisfying evidence before he made this claim; but we have to content ourselves with a less remote, though still venerable, antiquity. The Pedigree by Mr. Sage fetched from authentic sources — thus runs, i.e. of the Romford Quarleses, the Norfolk and other branches being merely referred to as found in the Visitation at the Herald’s College:—
WILLIAM QUARLES, of Ufford, in Northants, temp. Henry V., father of Thomas Quarles, of Ufford, father of Henry Quarles and John Quarles, of Ufford, gent, who married Amy Plumsted, and had by her:—
1. George Quarles, of Ufford, Esq., his heir.
2. William Quarles.
3. Henry Quarles, a priest.
4. Elizabeth, married John Norsike.
5. Marg[a]ret, married Richard Wingfield, of Upton, co. Northants., Esq., and died there 4 Feb. 15 GEORGE QUARLES, of Ufford, Esq., Auditor to King Henry VIII., married Margaret, daughter of Thomas Browne, of Walcot, co. Northants, by whom he had
1. Francis Quarles, of Ufford, Esq., son and heir.
2. John Quarles, draper, of London. (See Visitation.)
3. Alice, ux. William Cop; of Ashton, co. Oxford.
4. Dorothy, wife of Mat[t]hew Cornaschall.
FRANCIS QUARLES, of Ufford., Esq, buried there 28 Nov. 1570, married first, Cecilia Crukherne; married second, Bridgett Brampton, who was buried at Ufford, 30 Jun; 1591. By his first wife he had issue:—
1. George Quarles, of Ufford, buried there 17 June 1585. (See Visitation for issue.)
2. John Quarles, of Norwich. (See Visitation.)
3. Francis Quarles, of London.
4. Robert Quarles, died s.p.
5. Thomas Quarles, of Norwich. (See Visitation.)
6. Bryan Quarles.
7. Alice, married Humphrey Welby.
FRANCIS QUARLES, of Ufford, by his second wife, Bridgett Brampton, had issue:—
1. James Quarles, of Stewards, in Romford, Clerk of the Green Cloth to Queen Elizabeth, and Purveyor of the Navy. Bought Stewards in 1588. Died 25th September, 1599, and was buried in Romford church, on the 4th of October following. He married Joan, daughter and heir of Edward (or Eldred) Dalton, of Mores place, Hadham, co. Herts, Esq. She was buried 9 October 1606, at Romford.
2. Humfrey Quarles, ob. s. p.
3. Charles Quarles, married Magdalen, daughter of John Bourne, of London. (See Visitation.)
4. Jonas Quarles, of Portsmouth. (See Visitation.)
5. John Quarles, died s. p.
6. John Quarles, married and had issue. (See Visitation.)
7. Lucy, married Lawrance Lee. (See Visitation.)
8. Isabel, married Humfrey Bogg.
9. Mabel, married Richard Whittingham.
10. Alice, married Humphrey Pole, and second married — Lloyd.
Now we reach our Worthy’s own household.
JAMES QUARLES, of STEWARDS, Esq., by Joan Dalton, his wife, had issue:—
1. Sir Robert Quarles, of Stewards, Knight, son and heir, M. P. for Colchester: he was aged 19 in 1599. Buried 2d February 1639, at Romford.
2. James Quarles, alive in 1599, ob. s. p.
3. FRANCIS QUARLES.
4. Arthur Quarles, bapt. 11th April 1599, at Romford; was of Camwell Hall, co. Herts, ob. s. p.
5. Martha, married Sir Cope Doyley, Knt, of Chiselhampton, married at Romford, 26th May 1597; ob. 1618, leaving issue. He died in 1633.
6. Mary, bapt. 22d May, 1594, at Romford; married John Browne of Tolthorpe, Esq. Buried at Casterton Parva, 22d May 1634. He died in 1633, aged 46.
7. Frances, another daughter.
8. Priscilla, first wife of Sir John Dryden, Bart. of Canons Ashby, uncle to John Dryden, the poet, who was sun of his brother, Erasmus Dryden. Married at Romford, 8 October 1605; died s. p.
SIR ROBERT QUARLES’S marriages and families are similarly detailed; but I relegate them to a foot-note, that we may more speedily get out of this smothering genealogic dust, and back to our main object (or subject) Francis Quarles.
From these “endless genealogies,” as I fear the Apostle should have designated them (cf. I Timothy I. 4), it is seen that Francis Quarles was the third son (and child) of James Quarles of Stewards. He was born at the manor-house of Stewards in 1592. In the Romford Register his baptism is thus recorded:—
1592, May 8. Baptizatus fait Fransciscus [sic] filius magistri Jacobi Quarrilus.
As son of JAMES QUARLES, and JOAN DALTON, our Poet was, in a modest sense, well-born, and his Widow was warranted in her pathetic Memoir, entitled Short Relation of the Life and Death of Mr. Francis Quarles, by Vrsula Quarles his Sorrowfull Widow (prefixed to Solomon’s Recantation … 1645), in describing him as “a Gentleman both by birth and desert: descended of an ancient Family, and yet (which is rare in these last and worst times), he was an ornament to his Ancestors” (p. 2). Consequently, I daresay had she chanced to have heard of it, the good Relict had resented the Matriculation-entry of their son John, at Exeter College, Oxford, as Plebeian. As for Quarles himself he held mere descent for little, as witness in the Memorials of his brother Sir Robert—
birth nor blood,
nor what his Ancestors have done,
can chalenge ought
that might redeeme his Name
from dull oblivion,
had not his undegenerate actions
out-spoke his long-liv’d Genealogie.
(III. p. 29|2).
It was into a home of comfort and refinement young Francis came. His father had, if not “broad acres” in patrician meaning, yet “fair estates” — as his Will shows. From his post at Court news would be brought down to Stewards of “great Queen Bess,” though, we may be sure, no rank scandal. But it was our Worthy’s misfortune to lose his father when he was only in his seventh year. On September 25th, 1599, he died. The following is his Funeral Certificate (from I. 16, fo. 57, College of Arms: E. A. February 1868):—
“James Quarles, Esq., Clerke of the Green Cloth of the Queen’s Majesties household, and Surveyor Generall of the Victualling her Majesty’s Navy, deceased the 20 (25st) daye of September 1599, att his house neere Rumford, in the Countye of Essex. He was the fifth sonne of Frauncys Quarles, of Ufford, in rum. North., esq., and eldest sonne by Brydgett Brampton, his second wife, which James maryed Joane, daughter and sole heire of Eldred Dalton, of Moore place, near Haddam, in the Countye of Hertford, gent., and by her had yssue att the tyme of his Death Lyving Robt. Quarles his sonne and heire, of the age of nineteen, or thereabouts; James, 2d sonne, Francys, 3d sonne; Arthur, fourth sonne; Martha, mar. to Cope Doylye, sonne and heire of John Doylye, of Chislington (sic) in the Countye of Oxford, esq.; Priscilla and Mary unmarried. His Funeralls were, according to his degree, solemnized att the Church of Rumford, where his body lieth interred, the 4th of October following. The Chiefe mourner was Robt. Quarles, his sonne and heire, assisted by Mr. Charles Quarles and Mr. Jonas Quarles, brothers to the Defunct. The pennon borne by John Quarles, sonne of John Quarles, halfe brother to the defunct. The officers that directed the Funerall were Nicholas Haddy, Lancaster herauld of Arms, and Deputy to Clarenceux King of Arms, Robt. Treswell, herald of Arms. In Wytness of the truth of this Certificatt, Wee have hereunto subscribed our Names the daye and yeare above wrytten.
As a fitting accompaniment of this Certificate, Mr. Sage (as before) — who was indebted for the Inquisition to our mutual friend Colonel Chester — further enables me to give his Will and Inquisition, briefly annotated:—
WILL OF JAMES QUARLES.
“In the name of god Amen. I, James Quarles, Esquier, although sick in bodie, yett of good remembrance, thanks be to god, doe make and ordeine this my last will and Testament in form, following. And first, I Commend my soule into the hands of Allmightie god. And touching such Lands and tenements as god hath blessed me withall ffirst, I give to my Welbeloved Wief all my Mannours, Lands, tenements, and hereditaments lieing and being in the parrishe of Hornechurche and Rumford for term of her lief. And I give to my Sonne ffrancys one annuytie or rentcharge of ffiftie Pownds a yeare going owte of my Lands, Tenements and hereditaments in Rawsey (sic), in the Cowntie of Essex. And I giue to my Sone James, one annuitye or rentcharge of ffyftie Powndes a yeare going owte of my Lands and Tenements lieing and being in Stanford Ryvers, in the said Cowntye of Essex. And I giue to my Sone Arthur All my Copiehoulde Lands lieing and being in Hadham, in the Countie of Hertf. according to the Custom of the Mannour there, which is to descend to the Yongest. And I giue to my daughter Priscilla the some of ffifteene hundred Powndes. And I give and bequeath to my daughter Marie the Some of one thousand Pownds. And I nomynate and apointe my Loving wief Johan Quarles, Executrix of this my last Will and Testament. And my Sunne D (sic) Cope Doylie supervisor of the same. Item I giue to Marten Doylie, my daughter’s daughter, Two hundred powndes. And this was published for his last Will and Testament, the one and Twentieth daye of September, One Thowsand ffiue hundreth nynetie and nyne, in the presence of the witnesses hereunder named.
“Proved 9th September, 1600, by Joan Quarles, widow and executrix, in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. Registered Wallup, 57.
“By an Inquisition post mortem, taken at Chelmsford, 31 July, 42 Elizabeth (1600), before John Williams, Esq., Escheator, it was found that James Quarles, Esquire, died holding the following described premises: the Mansion House and capital Messuage in Rumford, called Stewards, and divers Messuages, lands, and tenements in Rumford, called Tanner’s Crofts, Cotefield, Great Bradnocks, Little Bradnocks, Aldwyns alias Albynes, Skynner’s Crofts, Stewards Closes, and Barbars Lands, also a messuage called Pinchbacks, and four acres of land next Harrold’s Wood, in Hornchurch, all of which were held of the Queen, as of her manor of Havering at Bower, at the aggregate annual rental of £30: also, a messuage or tenement called Heathcocks alias Squerrells Heath, in Hornchurch, then or late in the occupation of George Frith or his assigns, which was also held of the Queen at the annual rental of 26 shillings: also, certain parcels of land called Crowlands Snellings Meadows, Crowlands Wood alias Crowlands Grove, Crowlands Kingslands, Great Crowlands, and Little Crowlands, in Hornchurch and Havering at Bower, containing by estimation 60 acres; also, a parcel of land in Hornchurch, adjoining Great Crowlands on the west, and another on the east of Great Crowland Wood, containing by estimation 60 acres; also, 3 acres in Rumford, formerly John Walton’s, or his assigns, and one acre next adjoining; all of which were also held of the Queen, at an aggregate annual rental of £6. 13s. 4d.; also, divers parcels of land in Hornchurch, called Dovers Ryden, Lylands Meade alias Lye Hake Meade, and Lye Lands alias the ten acres adjoining the said croft, called Lyland’s Mead and Nycholls’ Ryden, all being at Harrold’s Wood, and containing by estimation 30 acres, and together of the annual value of £3, but how or of whom held was not ascertained; also, a messuage or tenement in Hornchurch, with 6 acres of land and 4 acres of marsh in Havering marsh, in Hornchurch, which were held of William Ayliffe, Esq., as of his manor of Brettons in Havering at Bower, and were of the annual value of 26s. 8d. also, two messuages or tenements in Romford, then or late in the occupation of Emanuel Martin and Isaac Reynolds, or their assigns, the former being held of George Hervy, as of his manor of Markes, at the annual rental of 10 shillings, and the latter of Anna Cooke, widow, as of her manor of Gyddy Hall, at the annual rental of 6s. 8d.: also, a messuage, &c., called Shepcote Hawe, in Collyrowe, in the said parish of Hornchurch, then or late in the occupation of John Butterfield, or his assigns, and containing by estimation 16 acres, which was held of the Queen, and was of the annual value of 33s. 4d.; also a messuage, &c., in Hornchurch, called Oldberyes, then or late in the occupation of John Hare, or his assigns, which was also held of the Queen, and was of the annual value of £3, 6s. 8d.; also, two messuages and 52 acres, called Potters Roses, and Hodges Crofts, in Hornchurch, then or late in the tenure of Francis Rame, Esq., Agnes Watts, and William More, or their assigns, which were held of the Warden, &c., of New College in Oxford, as their manor of Hornchurch Hall, and were of the annual value of 40 shillings; also, a tenement, &c., in Dagenham called Heard alias Heard’s Stream, then or late in the tenure of Christopher Perte, or his assigns, and divers parcels of land in Dagenham, called Edolls Hatches, Sparkes, and Huntshawe, with one croft, containing by estimation 3 acres, then or late in the occcupation of said Christopher Perte, one grove, containing by estimation 4 acres, and one croft, containing 2 acres, said lands altogether containing by estimation 20 acres, concerning which, the Escheator reported that the parcel called Edwall Haches (sic) was held of the Queen, as of her manor of Barking, and was of the annual value of 6s. 8d., but how or of whom the other parcels were held was not ascertained, and that the annual value thereof was 40 shillings; also, a messuage called Stewards, in Stanford Rivers and other lands there called Highfields, which were held of the Queen, as of her manor of Stanford Rivers, and were of the annual value of £5; also, two other messuages, called Raymonds alias Sandells, and Dallamers alias Dalymers, with other houses, lands, tenements, &c., in Rawreth and Whiteford alias Wickford, the former of which was held of the manor of Rawreth Hall, at an annual rental of £4, and the latter of (blank) Barker, Esq., as of his manor of Bowershall, at the annual rental of £3, 6s. 8d.; also, a capital messuage and tenement, called Nockholts alias Hockholts alias Cleres Farm, in Great Hadham, co. Herts, which was held of the Bishop of London, and was of the annual value of £3 6s. 8d.; also, a messuage called Oldhall, in Great Haddam, and 3 crofts, called Hyde’s Field, Dame Croft, and Woolfe Pinde, with the bottom or the meade plot, which were held of Paul Pope Blunt, Esq., as of his manor of Tytenhanger, and were of the annual value of 46s. 8d.; also, a parcel of land, &c., called Hunts. wood, in Little Haddam, co. Herts., which was held of the Bishop of Ely, as of the manor of Little Haddam Berry, and was of the annual value of 3s. 4d.
“It was also found that said James Quarles and Johanna his wife were seized of one messuage and tenement, &c., in Great Haddam, aforesaid, then or late in the tenure of William Dalton, or his assigns, which was held of the Queen as of her manor of Meltby, and was of the annual value of 10 shillings.
“The said James Quarles made his last will and testament on the 21st day of September, 45 Elizabeth (1599), a portion of which is in these words:—
“And touching such lands and tenements as God hath blessed me withall first I give to my well beloved wife all my manors, lands, tenements, and hereditaments, lying and being in the parish of Hornchurch and Romford, for term of her life.”
“The said James Quarles died on the said 21st day of September, 45 Elizabeth (1599), said Johanna his wife surviving, and Robert Quarles, Gent., was his son and next heir, and was aged 19 years on the 12th day of May preceding the date of the Inquisition, viz., Anno, 1600.”
There was another Inquisition taken at Stratford Langthorne, co. Essex, before the same Escheator, on the 27th November, 43 Elizabeth (1600), which refers only to the Grove and the parcel of land called Sparkes, in Dagenham, before mentioned, when the Escheator again reported that how or of whom the said premises were held could not be ascertained.
“Escheats, 42 Eliz. part 2, old numbers, 37 and 106.”
It is to be noted that Master Francis (ffrancys) was bequeathed “one annuytie or rent-charge of ffiftie Pownds a yeare going owte of my Lands, Tenements, and hereditaments in Rawsey, in the Cowntie of Essex.” That was equivalent to £300 today doubtless. It is pleasant to be able to infer from what Francis tells us of his eldest brother’s education, that he himself had similar advantages. He thus puts it:—
Had all advantage of education
Carefull parents could contrive to give
a sweete ingenuous disposition could take.
We may assume that his first School was in Romford; and one small legacy by the good Parson of the Parish, leads us to conclude that he had taken a special interest in Master Francis. In an extract from the Will of William Tichbourne, Chaplain of Romford, dated April 10th, 1605, which is printed in the East Anglian (May 1868), we read:—
“I doe geve vnto my speciall and most kinde freinde Mistris Quarles, my Clocke now standinge in her howse, and twentie shillinges in money to bestowe vppon a bible. And to Mistris Doyley, her daughter, ffyteene shillinges to bestowe vppon a bible. And to Mistris Priscilla, her daughter, tenn shillinges to bestowe vppon a bible. And to Master James and Master ffrauncis Quarles, her sonnes, each of them Sixe shillinges and eight pence, to buye eyther [i.e. each] of them a booke withall. And to her twoe youngest Children, eache of them a Testament. Item, I bequeathe to Mistris Katherine, my very kinde freinde, a bible of ffyfteene shillinges …. Item, I doe geve and bequeathe to everie man servant whiche shall be dwellinge in howse withe my saide kind freinde Mistris Quarles, att my decease, twentye shillinges a peece. And to euerie Maide servant which shal be then dwellinge in howse with her, ffyfteene shillinges a peece, to be payed within one yeare nexte after my decease.”
From this two things seem to be suggested inevitably (a) that William Tichbourne was partially resident at Stewards. One queries whether it was as “Chaplaine” Teacher or Teacher-chaplain to the household, and especially the young Quarleses? (b) that the man and maid servants are declarative of a stately house, and so all manner of culture and gentle breeding for its inmates. I for one should gladly know more of this Mr. Tichbourne. For I have an impression that he was of the old stock of godly Puritans, and that it was from him our Poet derived his religious principles, if not also the colour of his piety. All Mr. Terry (as before) tells us of him is this: — “William Tichbourne succeeded to the chaplaincy of Romford about 1595. He left his wife a farm in Sussex, and one also to his daughter Mercy, besides copyhold lands in Romford. Books, which at that time were valued as expensive luxuries, figure prominently in Mr. Tichbourne’s will, and his library forms the subject of the following devise: — ‘I doe give to my said sonne Samuell all my books, both printed and written, in hoope he will dispose himself to studye divinitie, as my heartie desyre is that he should.’ … He was buried at Rumford on the 3d of May, 1605, and succeeded by Mr. Perrin (p. 143).” Le Neve’s Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae similarly fails us.
Speedily another broad shadow fell across the Stewards household-in the death of the widowed mother in 1606. Her Will has also been preserved and printed; and as it yields glimpses of our Francis must here be furnished in extenso from East Anglian, April 1868:—
WILL OF MRS. JOAN QUARLES.
“This is the laste Will and Testament of me, Johan Quarles, of Rumford, in the county of Essex, widdowe — made, subscribed, sealed and published the second day of October, one thousand six hundred and six. Imprimis, I comend my soule to Almighty God. Item, I nominate and appointe my sonne Robert Quarles my sole Executor of this my will, hartely and earnestly desininge that he will willingly and Chearefully take vppon him the faithfull execution of the same according to my true meaning therein. Howsoever, if it please God shortely to call me out of this life, the estate which I shall leave him wherewith to performe the same will admitt noe surplusage or benefitt to come vnto him after my will performed. But yet I the rather Challenge and expect it from him in respect, I comcaue (sic) I haue alreadie delt liberallie with him. And also at my greate Charge I have cleared such accomptes with his Majestie as other. wise his estate must haue by (been) charged with. Item, where (as) my late husband maister James Quarles, did by his will give to our two sonnes, James and Frauncis Quarles, vizt., to ech of them one Annuitye of fifty poundes yearely out of certaine ffarmes in the said will mentioned, as by his said will maie appeare, which said Annuitye haue not been whollie paid them, but onely out of the same they haue bene allowed by me yearely towards their education, fifteene poundes a peece till the last yeare past, that ther setlinge at the vniuersitie hath forced me to allow them out of the same forty pounds a peece. Soe as my said sonne Robert Quarles, either as my Executor or tennante of the ffarmes, after my decease, maie be charged to my two sonnes James and ffrancis, or their executor, with the residue and overplus of theire said seuerall Annuities vnpaid. Now my will is and I doe hereby giue and bequeath to my said sonne Robert Quarles, all those my landes, Tenements and hereditaments, called or knowne by the names of Porteffietds, Camwell Hall and Inksales, together with all the landes, Tenements and hereds or profitts to them or any of them belonginge or appertayninge or vsed, occupied, taken or enioyed as part, parcell, or member of them, or any of them, To hold the said premyses called Porteffields to the said Robert Quarles his heires and assigns for ever. And the said landes, tenements and hereds, and other things called or knowne by the name of Camwell and Inksales, or vsed or enioyed as parte of them or eyther of them to the said Robert Quarles his Executors and assigns, till such tyme as Arthur my sonne shall or mighte, if he should soe longe lyve, accomplishe his full age of one and twentie yeares, to the intent that my said sonne Robert, his heires, Executors and Administrators, maie satisfie themselves by the said severall estates and interests by these presentes devysed or some part of the said Residue and overplus of all such Arrearages of the said severall Annuities in my liffe tyme, and not satisfied or allotted to my said two scones as aforesaid. And if my said sonne Arthure should fortune to decease before he shall accomplishe his said full age of one and Twentie yeares, then my Will is that my said sonne Robert Quarles shall hould the said premises called Camwell Hall and Inksales, with all such of the premises above mentioned as belong or be vsed with the same to him and to his heires for ever. Item, where (as) my said sonne Arthure Quarles is to have divers landes, tens and hereds lyinge to or aboute my now dwelling howse in Hadham, after my estate of ffreebench determyned as heyre by the Custome of the said Mannor to my said husband, which doe conteyne by estimation fforty and Nyne acres or thereabouts, which said landes and Tents cannot without greate inconvenience be severed from the said mansion howse. And there fore my desire is the same should for the consideration hereinafter expressed be assured to my said sonne Roberte Quarles and his heires. Therefore my will and meaninge is, and I doe hereby (for better securitye to my said sonne Robert and his heires of the assurance of the same, according to my true meaning in this my will expressed), give and bequeath vnto my said sonne Robert Quarles (if my said sonne Arthur should fortune to live to his full age of one and twenty yeares), the remainder reversion and interest after such estate therein determined as is before by this my will lymitted to my said sonne Robert, his Executors and Administrators of all my saide landes, tents and hereds, called or known by the name or names of Camwell Hall, Inksales, with all the landes, tens, hereds, and other proffitts or things to the same or either of them belonging, appertaining, vsed, or occupied as parcell thereof, or that either of them, To hould to him and his heires for ever, Vppon this condition, nevertheless, that if my said sonne Arthure, yf he shall fortune to lyve till he shall accomplishe the age of one and twenty yeares and sixe monethes over his said age, shall within the said sixe monethes after his said age, at the reasonable request of the said Robert Quarles, his heires or assigns, to be made at the said Mansion howse of Hadham aforesaid, in all such reasonable and sufficient assurance to my said sonne Robert Quarles, his heires or assigns as shal be by him or them, or his or their Councell learned in the lawe reasonably be devised or required of all and singular the said landes, tennantes, and hereds lyinge to or aboute the said howse at Hadham, that then and from thenceforth this my said will, as to the said Reversion, remainder and interest hereby given or bequeathed to my said sonne Robert from and after such estate as is aboue devised to my said sonn Robert, his Executors and administrators, determyned shal be vtterly voyde and of none effect, and that then and imediately after the said reuersion, remainder and interest, shal be to the said Arthur, his heires and assigns for ever. Item, my will is that my said sonne Robert Quarles, in farther Consideration of the said assurance above mentioned to be made from my said sonne Arthur or his heires, to my said sonne Roberte and his heires as is above mentioned, shall immediately and at the tyme of the said assurance as aforesaid, made from my said sonne Arthur or his heirs, give vnto my said sonne Arthur or such persons from whom such assurance shal be taken, such reasonable and sufficient assurances as by such persons from whom the said assurance is taken shall be reasonablie deuised and required to pay to him or them within twelue moneths next after the said assurance, and at the said Mansion Howse in Hadham aforesaid, the some of two hundred and ffiftie pounds of good and lawfull Englishe money. Item, whereas I haue heretofore made a Deede of guift in trust of certaine Wood, Tymber, or trees, being vppon a ffarme called Thunderly Abbotts, vnto one maister Tuchborne, late of Romford deceased, and to one Isaack Reynolds, of the same towne, as may by the said Deede maye appear, and whereas also there is due vnto me by Pryvi seale from the kinge’s Maiestie, the some of Thirty poundes by one Robert Vernon, Esquire, by a bill of fower hundred pounds sealed and dated Quarto of Julij, one thousand five hundred eightie nyne, Two hundred and thirtye pounds tenne shillings, which is yet vnpaid. And alsoe, by one ffather Goles, of Hadham, £30 for Rent of his ffarme called Cleeres ffarm, being due for the tyme next before my sonne Robert his entrance into the said ffarme, which being ffiftie poundes per ann., he paid but Twentie pounds thereof. And whereas also I bane made heretofore an other Deede of guifte, Dated the Thirtieth of September, one thousand sixe hundred and sixe, vnto my brother Erasmus Driden, maister Andrewe Willmore, and Issack Reynolds, of dyveres thinges therein mentioned, to the intent that after some other sommes and portion therein mentioned, raysed and paid, the said parties should deliuer to my said sonne Robert such money as might be raised of such thinge as are to the said Deede graunted or sould. And whereas also there is Due vnto me by my Tennaunts and ffarmers of such landes as I hould for terme of my lyffe, there severall rentes due at the feast of Michaell last past, which are all vnpaid except Goodman ffrith and Goodman Benson and also Goodman Hales, their rentes My will and mynde is that with the same my said sonne Robert shall as farre as the same will extend, leaving sufficient and necessarie woodes, Timber, and Trees vppon the said ffarme, to make it tenentable, satisfie & pay first, to my brother Dryden, one Maister Stapleford, and to my servantes for their wages, and all other such somes of money and dueties as are doe to them or any other by me, and shall not or cannot be satisfied by vertue of the said Deede of guifte made to the said Erasmus Dryden, Andrew Willmore, and Isaack Reynolds, Dated the thirtieth of September, 1606, and after those satisfied, that then my said sonne Robert shall paye and satisfye to the said Arthur or such persons as shall make the said assurance in further consideration of assurance of the said landes above mentioned to my said son Robert and his heires the some of £250, as the said is above mentioned, to he paid or the said assurance of the said landes from the said Arthur.
“This will was read in the presence of the within named Johan Quarles, and by her seated and published as her will, the second daie of October, one thousand sixe hundred and sixe, in the presence of Edward Harris, John Benson, Samuell Collynes, Isaack Reynolds, Robert Burle.
“Proved 10 Feby. following by Robert Quarles, son and Executor. Registered Huddleston 20.”
I would accentuate the specific references to Francis and James’s annuities and education in their mother’s will: — “Item, where [as] my late husband maister James Quarles, did by his will give to our two sonnes, James and Frauncis Quarles, vizt., to ech of them one Annuitye of fifty poundes yearely out of certaine ffarmes in the said will mentioned, as by his said will maie appeare, which said Annuitye[s] haue not been whollie paid them, but onely out of the same they haue bene allowed by me yearely towards their education, fifteene poundes a peece till the last yeare past, that ther setlinge at the vniuersitie hath forced me to allow them out of the same forty pounds a peece. Soe as my said sonne Robert Quarles, either as my Executor or tennante of the ffarmes, after my decease, maie be charged to my two sonnes James and ffrancis, or their executor, with the residue and overplus of theire said seuerall Annuities vnpaid.”
Summarily of our Worthy’s education his widow says (as before): — “His education was suitable to his birth; first, at schoole in the Countrey, where his school-fellows will say, he surpassed all his equals; afterward at Christ’s College in Cambridge, where how he profited I am not able to judge, but am fully assured by men of much learning and judgement, that his Works in very many places doe sufficiently testifie more then ordinary fruits of his University studies” (p. 2).
In the Will dated in 1606, the expression “the last yeare” informs us that the brothers were together at the University (of Cambridge) in 1605, or when Francis was only in his 14th year — then no uncommon age for proceeding to the University.
Unhappily the earlier Registers of Christ’s College (Cambridge) have perished (as the present distinguished Master regretfully informs me), so that we have no data as to Master Francis’s career at the University. Willmott (as before) had to state, “whether he took any degree, I have not been able to discover with certainty;” but it seems very certain that had he proceeded to any degree his titlepages should have borne it. He continues — “He was a resident member of the University in 1608.” He gives no authority for this. If it be accurate then his mother’s death had not interrupted his University studies. From 1605 to 1608 was as long as many lay-students remained.
From Cambridge he passed to Lincoln’s Inn. “Last of all,” says his widow, “he was transplanted from thence [University] to Lincolne’s Inne, where for some yeares he studied the Laws of England; not so much out of desire to benefit himself thereby, as his friends and neighbours (shewing therein his continuall inclination to peace) by composing suits and differences amongst them” (p. 2).
“Some years” advance us from 1608 to possibly 1612-3, or his 21st year. As men then reckoned, and the Law still, he had now reached maturity, whereof his widow again writes — “After he came to maturity, he was not desirous to put himself into the world, otherwise he might have had greater preferments then he had: He was neither so unfit for Court preferment, nor so ill beloved there, but that he might have raised his fortunes thereby, if he had had any inclination that way. But his mind was chiefly set upon his devotion and study; yet not altogether so much but that he faithfully discharged the place of Cup-bearer to the Queen of Bohemia” (p. 2).
The latter circumstance reminds us that the prevalent conception of our Worthy as “a grim sour Puritan,” not to say “of the vulgar,” is ludicrously mistaken. Throughout he was a man of cultured manners and habits and sensibilities: and to my vision stands out as the very type of the fine old English gentleman all of the olden time. There is no light to determine when the post of Cup-bearer was held. The Princess Elizabeth, daughter of James I., was married to Frederick, Elector-Palatine, on 14th February 1613; and if the widow speaks proleptically he may at that date have entered on his duties. But this favourite of the Nation — like her brother the lamented Prince Henry — did not become Queen of Bohemia until 1619. Willmott (as before) indulges (allowably) his “Pleasures of Imagination” in thus expatiating upon the Princess: — “Quarles may have been an actor in the splendid pageant prepared by the members of Lincoln’s Inn, in honour of the nuptials of the Princess, and which is said by Winwood to have given great content;” and again — “The fancy of the youthful poet could hardly fail of being fascinated by one who was beautiful enough to win the heart, and accomplished and amiable enough to retain it. Her name was dear to all the poets of the age. That lovely Canzo of Sir Henry Wotton, beginning ‘You meaner beauties of the night,’ was composed to grace ‘this most illustrious Princess;’ and Donne, when he visited her in Holland, derived ‘new life’ from the contemplation of the happiness of ‘his most dear Mistress.'” How long Quarles continued with the Queen is unknown. Chalmers (s. n. in Biogr. Dict.) conjectures that he left her service on the ruin of the Elector’s affairs. I think this improbable. For whereas Frederick lost all by the battle of Prague on the 8th November 1620, and was thereafter proscribed and deposed by the Emperor, rousing such indignation against our James I., as made the blood of all England, gentle and simple, hot, we find our Quarles in 1618 taking unto himself a wife. So that I imagine his Cup-bearer office was earlier, probably on the marriage in 1613. It is certain however that he accompanied the royal pair to the Continent. For in his epistle-dedicatory of the Feast of Wormes to Robert Lord Sidney, he specifically acknowledges that nobleman’s “undeserued Fauors and Honourable Countenance” on his passage thorow Germany (II. p. 5).
I have the good fortune to be able to authenticate the marriage by two records:
(a.) Marriage license. Bishop of London’s Registry.
1618, May 26. Francis Quarles, Gent, of Romford, co. Essex, bachelor, aged about 26, and Ursely Woodgate of St. Andrew’s, Holborn, Spinster, about 17, daughter of John Woodgate, of the same parish, Gent, who consented: to marry at St. Andrew’s, Holborn.
(b.) Marriage: Registers of St. Andrew’s, Holborn, London.
1618, May 28. Francis Quarles and Ursula Woodgate.
In 1620 appeared his first and in certain elements most characteristic of his poetical productions, to which he gave the somewhat misleading title of A Feast for Wormes. He deprecates dislike of the title — “I haue heere sent the [Reader] the first fruits of an abortiue Birth…. Wonder not at the Title (A Feast for Wormes:) for it is a Song of Mercy: what greater Feast than Mercy? and what are Men but Wormes?” (II. p. 5).
I shall have more to say onward (II. Critical) of this Feast.
Kindred with the Feast followed Hadassa, or the History of Queene Ester, which he dedicated in cunningest phrasing to the King. More of it also in the sequel.
In 1621 he was in Dublin. He dated his Argalus and Parthenia Dublin, 4th March 1621. This strangely and sorrowfully neglected poem is full of “brave translunary things” — as shall appear onward. As his Widow informs us that he filled the office of Secretary to the Reverend and Learned Lord Primate of Ireland (p. 2), we may safely set down his appointment thereto in 1621-2. At this date the illustrious Ussher had just returned to Ireland on his elevation to the See of Meath. That the Poet was fully occupied in some public function is incidentally confirmed in the Epistle to Argalus and Parthenia; which poem he describes as “the fruit of a few broken hours.” We do not learn how long he continued Secretary to Ussher. The most pleasant memorial of our Quarles’s service with the great Archbishop is found in the son (John’s) Elegie on his (Ussher’s) death (1656), by which the residence of the Quarles family under the episcopal roof, and more, are incidentally revealed:—
That little education I dare own
I had, I’m proud to say, from him alone.
His graue advice would oftentimes distill
Into my ears, and captivate my will.
The example of his life did every day Afford me lectures.
In the correspondence of Ussher (in Parr’s Life of the Archbishop, p. 484) with Vossius, he makes honourable mention of his Secretary: — “Ut autem intelligas quibus in Locis Cottonianum Libri primi et tertii Chronicon a vulgato differat; Florentinum Wigorniensem nunc ad te mitto, quem Francisci Quarelesii Opera, qui mihi tum erat ab Epistolis (vir ob sacratiorem poesin apud Anglos suos non incelebris) cum illo conferendum curavi ad annum DCCCC. Dionysianum a quo quatenus prius missus initium duxit.”
His successive books are practically almost the only land-marks in his public life during the remaining years. In 1624 appeared his Job Militant: with Meditations Divine and Morall, and Sions Elegies wept by Jeremie the Prophet and Periphras’d; and in 1625, Sions Sonets sung by Solomon the King and Periphras’d. Between 1625 and 1630 there were various Elegiac Poems — notably in 1625 his Alphabet of Elegies upon the much and truely lamented death of … Dr. Ailmer. His Elegiac Poems, we shall discover, contain many exquisite things, soft as tears, yet imperishable as diamonds.
In 1631 appeared his Historie of Samson with a golden epistle before it to Sir James Fullerton, one of the tutors of the youthful Ussher; and in 1632 his Divine Fancies, — a more thought-laden and vivid book than your modern skipper of our elder literature dreams of.
1634-5 was made memorable by the publication of The Emblems, to which in 1637 was added Hieroglyphickes — the former dedicated to Benlowes, the latter to Mary, Countess of Dorset. On both of these a good deal anon (II. Critical).
In 1639 he was appointed to the office of chronologer to the City of London. Willmott (as before) was the first to confirm his Widow’s somewhat indefinite statement — as thus:—
“In all the notices I have seen of Quarles, he is said to have remained in Ireland until the breaking out of the Rebellion in 1641, and then to have fled for safety to England. The following extract from the journals of the Court of Aldermen, kindly furnished to me by the City Remembrancer, will correct this mistake. ‘February 4, 1639. Item, This day, at the request of the Right Honourable the Earl of Dorset, signified unto this Court by his letter, This Court is pleased to retain and admit Francis Quarles to be the Cities Chronologer; to haue, hold, and enjoy the same place with a fee of one hundred nobles [a noble = 6s. 8d.] per annum, during the pleasure of this Court, and this payment to begin from Xmas last.'”
He held this office until his death, and “woulde have given that City,” says his Widow, “(and the world), a testimony that he was their faithfull servant therein, if it had pleased God to blesse him with life to perfect what he had begun” (p. 2). Doubtless the Pageants and Speeches of the period exercised our Worthy’s “ingeny,” but it is idle to endeavour at this late day to trace them.
Whatever the long-since abolished office of City Chronologer imposed on its occupant, Quarles did not slacken in his own authorship. The year 1639 — when he entered upon his duties — was overshadowed by the death of his eldest brother, Sir Robert, and the Memorials were prepared. In 1640 his noticeable Sighes at the contemporary deaths of [three] incomparable Sisters followed. Then in the same year and in 1641 was published his first prose work — Enchyridion. This was succeeded by Observations concerning Princes and States, Peace and Warre — mainly gleaned from Enchyridion; and in 1643 by the Loyall Convert — of which I shall immediately speak in relation to the three collected tractates of 1645 entitled The Profest Royalist. Finally, in 1646 appeared his pricelessly consolatory book Judgment and Mercy for Afflicted Soules, including the prior (1644), Barnabas and Boanerges. In the same year (1646) was published The Shepheard’s Oracles following up a tentative Eglogue that appeared in 1644. These Shepheard’s Oracles, are biographically and historically and every way remarkable-as also shall appear.
Returning upon the Profest Royalist, its authorship as by Quarles is now certain. For fortunately, in the Library of Trinity College, a set of the three collected tractates has been preserved, wherein is found prefixed the following epistle-dedicatory:—
“To the sacred Majesty of King Charles, my most dear and dread Soveraign.
“Sir, Be pleased to cast a gracious eye upon these three Tracts, and at your leasure (if your Royall Imployments lend You any) to peruse them.
“In Your Three Kingdoms You have three sorts of people: The first, confident and faithfull; The second, diffident and fearfull; The third, indifferent and doubtfull.
“The first are with You in their Persons, Purses, (or desires), and good wishes.
“The second are with You neither in their Purses nor good wishes, nor (with their desires) in their Persons.
“The third are with you in their good wishes, but neither in their Persons, nor Purses, nor Desires.
“In the last, entituled the Whipper Whipt, these three sorts are represented in three Persons, and presented to the view of Your Sacred Majesty.
“You shall find them as busie with their Pens as the Armies are with their Pistols: How they behave themselves, let the People judge: I appeale to Caesar. Your Majesties Honour, Safety, and Prosperity, The Churches Truth, Unity, and uniformity, Your Kingdom’s Peace, Plenty, and Felicity, is the continued object of his Devotion, who is,
“Sir, Your Majesties most Loyall Subject,
This Epistle settles all doubts, and, it must be added, only confirms the initials, etc., of other copies that are extant, e.g. in The Loyall Convert. With The New Distemper of Oxford 1645, in the British Museum, the title-page has “By F. Q.” while in that of The New Distemper, also 1645, but by Thomason contemporarily dated “Novemb. 20th 1644,” there is this, “Written By the Author of the Loyall Convert.” It would thus appear that the Epistle-dedicatory, and even the initials, were subsequently suppressed. This suppression misled the usually accurate Thomason, the Bookseller, to assign the Loyall Convert to Dr. Henry Hammond; which mis-assignation has fructified into endless blundering in the past by Bibliographers and Biographers.
One pathetic passage in his Widow’s little Memoir contains a reference to a Petition against him that one argument in the Loyall Convert explains — as we shall see anon.
Of the private life of our Poet the outstanding FACTS are mainly the successive births of no fewer than eighteen children. Says his Widow, “He was the husband of one wife, by whom he was the father of eighteen children.” I know not that it much concerns us to trace these numerous children, Save John — whose poems reward study spite of glaring defects — none became famous. They must have been born in various places. Apparently the following entries from the Parish Register of Roxwell, co. Essex, were of the number
Children of Mr. Francis Quarles.
1633, June 17, Joanna.
1634, June Robert.
1635, July 20, Edward.
1637, July 6, Philadelphia.
1636, Robert Quarles, an infant.
1638, March 26, Edward, son of Mr. Francis Quarles.
(East Anglian, May 1868.)
It is traditionally stated that his Loyalty or Royalism — from which he never swerved — led to “reprisals” and “plundering,” more especially of his books and manuscripts, and that the loss of the latter hastened if not occasioned his death. It may or may not have been so. My conception of him is of a man made of sterner stuff than to be so hastened of the “lean fellow, who beats all conquerors.” His Widow seems rather to assign the mortal wound to a (now) unknown Petition on the (in his case grotesque) ground that he was a Papist. More of this onward. Francis Quarles died on the 8th day of September 1644.
For the present — until in my next section I weigh the man and the author — I know not that I can do better than recall the Widow’s pathetic estimate and narrative, in the little Memoir, so repeatedly and inevitably quoted from. I leave the story absolutely untouched from beginning to close, not valuing least the appended letter from that saintly, great-brained and venerable man NEHEMIAH ROGERS, some of whose gracious books have been recently and worthily revived. Here is the Narrative:—
“In all his duties to God and Man he was conscionable and orderly: He preferred God and Religion to the first place in his thoughts, his King and Country to the second, his family and studies he reserved to the last. As for God, he was frequent in his devotions and prayers to Him, and almost constant in reading or meditating on his Holy Word, as his Divine Fancies and other parts of his Works will sufficiently testifie. For his Religion, he was a true sonne of the Church of England; an even Protestant, not in the least degree biassed to this hand of superstition, or that of schisme, though both those factions were ready to cry him down for his inclination to the contrary. His love to his King and Country in these late unhappy times of distraction, was manifest, in that he used his pen and powred out his continuall prayers and tears to quench this miserable fire of dissention, while too many others added daily fewell unto it. And for his family, his care was very great over that, even then, when his occasions caused his absence from it. And when he was at home his exhortations to us to continue in vertue and godly life, were so pious and frequent; his admonitions so grave and piercing; his reprehensions so mild and gentle, and (above all) his own example in every religious and morall duty, so constant and manifest, that his equall may be desired, but can hardly be met withall.
“Neither was his good example of a godly life contained only within his own family: others as well as we have (or at least might have) made good use of it. For he was not addicted to any notorious vice whatsoever: He was courteous and affable to all moderate and discreet in all his actions: And though it be too frequent a fault (as we see by experience) in Gentlemen whose dispositions incline them to the study of Poetry, to be loose and debauch’d in their lives and conversations; yet was it very far from him: Their delight could not be greater in the Tavern, then his was in his Study; to which he devoted himself late and early, usually by three a clock in the morning. The fruits thereof are best tasted by those, who have most perused his Works, and therefore I shall be silent in that particular. For though it had been necessary in any other, to have spoken somewhat of his writings; yet I hope it will not be expected from me, seeing that neither the judgement of my sex can he thought competent, nor (if it were) would the nearness of my relation to him suffer me to praise that, at commendations whereof from others, I have often blushed.
“I shall therefore rather desire leave to speak a word or two concerning the blessed end of my dear husband, which was every way answerable to his godly life; or rather (indeed) surpassed it. For, as gold is purified in the fire, so were all his Christian vertues more refined and remarkable during the time of his sicknesse.
“His patience was wonderfull, insomuch as he would confesse no pain, even then when all his friends perceived his disease to be mortall; but still rendred thanks to God for his especiall love to him, in taking him into his own hands to chastise, while others were exposed to the fury of their enemies, the power of pistols, and the trampling of horses.
“He exprest great sorrow for his sins, and when it was told him, that his friends conceived he did thereby much harm to himselfe: he answered, They were not his friends, that would not give him leave to be penitent.
“His Exhortations to his friends that came to visit him were most divine; wishing them to have a care of the expence of their time, and every day to call themselves to an accompt, that so when they came to their bed of sicknesse, they might lie upon it with a rejoycing heart. And doubtlesse such an one was his: Insomuch as he thanked God, that whereas he might have justly expected, that his conscience should look him in the face like a Lyon, it rather looked upon him like a Lamb: and that God had forgiven him his sins and that night sealed hint his pardon: And many other heavenly expressions to the like effect. I might here add what blessed advice he gave to me in particular, still to trust in God whose promise it, to provide for the Widow and Fatherlesse, etc., but this is already imprinted in my heart; and therefore I shall not need here again to insert it.
“His charity was extraordinary, in freely forgiving his greatest enemies, even those who were the cause of his sicknesse, and by consequence of his death. For, whereas a Petition full of unjust aspersions, was preferred against him by eight men, (whereof he knew not any two, nor they him, save only by sight) the first news of it struck him so to the heart, that he never recovered it, but said plainly, it would be his death. And when his friends (to comfort him) told him that Mr. I. S. (the chief promoter thereof) was called to an accompt for it, and would goe neer to be punished; his answer was, God forbid, I seek not revenge, I freely forgive him, and the rest; only I desire to be vindicated from their unjust aspersions; especially that, [that for ought they know I may be a Papist,] whereas I never spake word to any of them in my life. Which imputation, how slanderous it was, may easily be discovered by a passage in his greatest extremity, wherein his discretion may (perhaps) be taxed by some, but his religion cannot be questioned by any. For, a very able Doctor of the Romish religion, being sent unto him by a friend, he would not take what he had prescribed, only because he was a Papist.
“These were the most remarkable passages in him during his sicknesse: The rest of the time he spent in Contemplation of God, and meditating upon his Word; especially upon Christ’s sufferings, and what a benefit those have, that by faith could lay hold on him, and what vertue there was in the least drop of his precious blood: intermingling here and there many devout prayers and ejaculations; which continued with him as long as his speech; and after, as we could perceive by some imperfect expressions. At which time a friend of his exhorting him to apply himself to finish his course here, and prepare himself for the world to come; he spake in Latin to this effect (as I am told:) O sweet Saviour of the world, let thy last words upon the Crosse, be my last words in this world: Into thy hands Lord I commend my spirit: And what I cannot utter with my mouth, accept from my heart and soul. Which words being uttered distinctly, to the understanding of his friend, he fell again into his former Contemplations and Prayers; and so quietly gave up his soul to God, the eight day of September 1644, after he had lived two and fifty years, and lyeth buried in the Parish Church of S. Leonards in Foster-Lane.
“Thus departed that blessed soul, whose losse I have great reason to bewaile, and many others in time will be sensible of. But my particular comfort is in his dying words, that God will be a Husband to the Widow: And that which may comfort others as well as me, is (what a reverend Divine wrote to a friend concerning his death) that our losse is gain to him, who could not live in a worse age, nor dye in a better time.
“And here again, I humbly beg the Readers pardon. For I cannot expect but to be censured, by some for writing thus much, and by others for writing no more. To both which, my excuse is, my want of ability and judgment in matters of this nature. I was more averse (indeed) from medling with the Petition, then any other thing I have touched upon; lest (perhaps) it should be thought to savour a little of revenge; but God is my witnesse I had no such intention. My only aim and scope was, to fulfill the desires and commands of my dying husband: Who wished all his friends to take notice, and make it known, that as he was trained up and lived in the true Protestant Religion, so in that Religion he dyed.
“A LETTER from a Learned Divine upon the news of the death of Mr. QUARLES.
“My worthy Friend Mr. Hawkins.
“I received your Letter joyfully, but the news (therein contained) sadly and heavily; It met me upon my return home from Sturbridge; and did work on myself and wife, I pray God it may work kindly on its all. We have lost a true friend; and were the losse only mine or yours, it were the lesse, but thousands have a losse in him; yea, the Generations which shall come after will lament it. But our losse is gain to him, (who could not live in a worse age, nor die in a better time) let us endeavour like good Gamesters to make the best we may of this throw, cast us by the hand of God’s good Providence, that it may likewise prove gain to us; which will be, if in case we draw neerer unto him, and take of our hearts from all earthly hopes and comforts; using this world as we used it not; so shall we rejoyce as if we rejoyced not in their using, and mourn as if we mourned not in the parting with them.
Your assured Friend,
Sept. 12. 1644.”
Two things belonging to this little Memorial by the Widow must be briefly noticed.
(a) The “Petition … full of unjust aspersions” and having for sting his allegation “for aught they know I might be a Papist.” It is unfortunate that it has not been preserved. The suspicion was singularly misdirected; but inasmuch as in the Loyal Convert he out-and-out defended the unhappy King’s alliance with the Papists (in army, etc.) it is perfectly understandable when that King was acting so treacherously and dubiously as against the national cry (in no vulgar sense) of “No Popery.”
(b) He is stated to have been buried in the Parish Church of S. Leonard’s in Foster Lane. It is a singular lapse on the part of the Widow, but it seems certainly a mistake. For Colonel Chester found in the Parish Register of St. Olave’s, Silver Street, the entry of the burial of “Mr. Francis Quarles, 11th September 1644.” It is not to be conceived either (1) That there could be two of the names contemporaneously dead, or (2) That the entry would or could have been made at St. Olave’s, and Quarles buried at St. Leonard’s. The Biographers, and Mr. Sage (as before) could not have seen the St. Leonard’s (Foster Lane) Registers, seeing that they perished in the Great Fire. It must be added that all the churches in question were near each other. Foster Lane runs northward into Noble Street. At the corner of Noble Street and Silver Street, stood the Church of St. Olave’s. Mr. Sage writes me — “I should think that Quarles died in St. Olave’s Parish, and that he was buried from thence in St. Leonard’s.” But Colonel Chester counter-states, that, in such case, the entry in St. Olave’s must have recorded the burial elsewhere. The Widow makes several slips in her little Memoir; and it seems to me clear this misremembrance of the name of the church is one of them.
The Administration — dated 1644 — of our Poet — was published in the Camden Society’s volume of Wills. In the margin of the Administration Calendar he is designated “poor.”
Of his posthumous Works — verse and prose and a Comedy — I shall necessarily speak in my Estimate and Criticism.
I ask the student-reader at this point to turn to the Portrait (prefixed to title-page of Vol. I.), and ponder it.
So much for the Life in its outward Facts. The more’s the pity that, though so very much fuller than any prior Memoir of him, we have to regret the utter disappearance of all MSS., even letters. As it is — may our little labour of love incite to further research. No one will more rejoice in fresh discoveries and recoveries than myself.