The Life of JOHN STOW. viij

The Life of JOHN STOW.

the Low-Countries. So that the whole Continuation, which was from the Year 1573, (when that Chronicle first came forth, to 1587,) seems mainly to be of Stow's Doing and Pains. Ralph Hollingshed ended his Chronicle Anno 1576. With an Epilogue; wherein he acknowledged, that he had made Use of the Abridgment of Richard Grafton, and the Summaries of John Stow: In these Words, "Thus far [viz. to the Year 1576, where Hollingshed left off] have I continued this Collection of English Histories; noting briefly, in these latter Years, such Things as I find in the Abridgment of Richard Grafton, and in the Summaries of John Stow, increased somewhat, as may appear." And from 1576, the Chronicle was supplied, and continued to the Year 1586, Ten Years further, by the said Stow, and some others: and digested by the Industry of A. F. [Abraham Fleming] who hath a short Epistle before the remaining Chronicle, shewing the same.

But still, even to the last Close of his Life, our Author's Mind ran much on giving the World these his Pains before his Death; as he expressed it in the Conclusion of the last Edition of his Annals, by himself set forth, and dedicated to Archbishop Whitgift; praying the Reader to accept these, and other his Labours, in good Part; and that, if God gave him Life, [though he were now of good old Age] he intended to Publish, or leave to Posterity, a far larger Volume. But he died before he could accomplish that. And where that laborious Work of his is, I know not: Only we are told, that he left the same in his Study, orderly written, ready for the Press. But that it came to nothing. We all know that another Edition of the Annals was set forth in Folio by Edmond Howes, some Years after the Author's Death. Perhaps those Historical Collections are preserved in the curious Repository of Sir Simmonds Dewes, as some say the rest of Stow's Books and Papers are. Many of which are now reposited in the incomparable Library of Manuscripts erected by the Earl of Oxford and Mortimer.

Edmond Homes, Page 811. b.

So that Stow's Histories, which he collected and wrote, were Three: viz. his Chronicle, his Summary of Chronicles, and his Annals. The Two latter he Printed; but that Chronicle, which he called his largest Work, was never Printed. To this in his published Pieces he often referreth himself. So in the Business of Wat Tyler, in his Annals, he referreth to the Tenor of the Charter given him by King Richard the IId, for the Kentish Men, that were in the said Tyler's Rebellion: Which Charter Stow had set down at Length in his larger History.

Stow's Histories Three.

And while we are recounting his Labours in History, we must not forget another Piece of his. Which though inserted in his Summary, may be reckoned a distinct Work. And that is, a Biographical Tract of several Ancient Writers; their Qualities, and Characters, the Books they writ, the Times wherein they lived, and died, and divers Passages of Remark concerning them, as their Preferments, Learning, Deserts, &c. As of Asserius Menevensis, Alfred Beverlacensis, Adam Merimouth, &c. And here we cannot but mention some of Stow's Critical Observations, cursorily falling in his Way. As concerning Arnold, a Citizen of London; "How he noted the old Charters, Liberties, Laws, Constitutions and Customs of London, being inflamed with a fervent Love of good Learning, and principally observing Matters worthy to be remembred of Posterity." And upon Occasion of the Mention of the Chronicles of Dunstable, Bury, and St. Albans; supposing them to be written by some well-disposed in those Monasteries, to preserve the memorable Matters and Events relating to those Places, he takes Occasion to wish, "That since Doctrine is now more pure than in the Monkish Times, that Care were taken to have the Matters of every great Town, worthy preserving, to be written; or at least in every Shire; and that Order might be taken for a diligent noting of such Things, as hereafter might be welcome to Posterity, to read and know: As those of our Predecessors are now with us." And this good Wish of his, we in our Days have in some Measure seen fulfilled, not only in Camden's Britannia, but in the Topographical Accounts published of divers distinct Counties, and Places of Remark.

His Tract of several Ancient Writers.

His Observations.

He made a remarkable Note of the Chartæ Regiæ; that is, Charters of divers Abbies and Colleges, that were gathered together in a Book by Commandment, at the Supression of Abbies, by Sir John Ryst, [Wryste,] and that he left to his Heirs, them, and divers such like excellent Monuments. These Wrysthes, or Wryothesleys, were Heralds, and Kings at Arms, and at length advanced to the Earldom of Southampton.

Chartæ Rexxx Mr. Wryst.

And divers such Observations may be found in the foresaid Tract; shewing both his Judgment and Abilities in Historical Matters.

But now we proceed to another of his excellent Books published from Antiquities, viz. his Topographical Piece, called, A Survey of London. The Reason that first put him upon doing this, was the Sight of a Book of the great Antiquarian, William Lambard, viz. his Perambulation of the County of Kent: Whom (upon Occasion of the Mention of his Father's Monument in St. Michael Woodstreet Church) he called his Loving Friend, well known by sundry Learned Books which he published. As this Gentleman somewhere in that Book had desired and called upon others, to write particular Descriptions of other Shires and Counties, where they were Born, or Dwelt, so our Author took his Warning; and attempted the Description of this Place, where he both was born, and had his Habitation: Hoping also that he should excite others, by his Example, to write Memorials of other Cities, and eminent Places of England, as he of this; and so to make

Survey of London.

First Edit. Survey.

Mr. Camxxx