The Life of JOHN STOW. ix

The Life of JOHN STOW.

up a whole Body of the Chorography of this Island among themselves: And all this, he said, was, that he might give Occasion and Courage to Mr. Camden to increase and beautify his singular Work of the BRITANNIA.

Stow was also backed by some of his good Friends to set about this, as being a very fit Person to undertake it, having seen sundry ancient Writings and Muniments touching London, by searching Records occasionally for other Purposes; and also by many written Helps coming to his Hands, which few other had met with. It was likewise a Work very agreeable to his professed Travels; and he accounted it as a Duty that he owed to his native Mother and Country, and an Office that of Right he held himself bound, in Love, to bestow upon the Politick Body and Members of the same.

And how diligent Stow was, both by his Pains and Application, in gathering Matter for this his Book, appeared in that he usually resorted to the Records, and to those that had the keeping of them; tho' he sometime met with no very civil Reception from them; which I gather from a Passage of his in the Vintry Ward; where, setting down divers Antiquities of the Company of Vintners that he had gathered, and still enquiring after more, that being one of the ancient and chief Corporations; he addressed himself one Day to the Hall, where was a Court of Assistants; and there read to them what he had collected concerning that Company for their Honour; thinking, that this would be so acceptable to them, the Brothers of that Society, that he should have the Request granted that he intended to make to them; namely, to have the Liberty to make further Search into their Archives, for the Use of his intended Survey. But what Answer some of them then gave him; and how he himself resented, I refer to what he printed afterwards under that Ward, concerning them; which was in the First Edition, but left out by himself in the Second and After-Editions. His Words were these. "Having thus much, not without Travel, and some Charges, noted for the Antiquity of these Vintners, I repaired to the Common Hall of the same Company, and there shewed and read in a Court of Assistants; requiring them, as being one of the principal Companies in this City, (of whom I meant therefore to write the more at large) if they knew any more which might sound to their Worship or Commendation; at their Leisure to send it me, and I would join it to my former Collection. At which time I was answered by some that took upon them the Speech, That they were none of the Principal, but of the inferior Companies. And so willing me to leave them, I departed, and never since heard from them." Adding, (which was pity) "that this had somewhat discouraged him any further to travel amongst the Companies, to learn ought at their Hands."

His Diligence in consulting Records.


Pag. 192. First Edit.

To which I add, what A.M. (who, after Stow's Death, set forth another Edition of this Survey) writes in his Epistle Dedicatory to Bishop King, That Stow was a Servant 26 Years to the Maior and Aldermen, in sundry Employs for the City's Service; and that he was by them directed and commanded in the writing: unless he mean it of himself.

Directed to this Work by the Court of Aldermen.

It is noted by the Editor of the said Survey, after Stow's Death, concerning Robert Fabian, under the Year 1493, (when he was one of the Sheriffs) that he wrote a Chronicle, a painful Labour, to the great Honour of the City, and the whole Realm. Let me join John Stow, another Citizen, with him in the same Praise; who, with the like Labour and diligent Search of ancient Writings, composed not only a Chronicle of England, but a Survey of the chief City thereof, and tending to his own Honour, as well as that of the City's.

Robert Fabian.

He lived to publish two Editions of his Survey, both in Quarto. The one, which was the first, came forth Anno 1598, printed by John Wolf, Printer to the City of London, and dedicated by him to the Lord Maior, Commonalty, and Citizens. This Edition ended with the Names of the Maiors and Sheriffs, as far as the Year 1598. He was sensible that there ought to have been added something of the Politick Government of the City, with the Assistance of inferior Officers; their Charges for keeping of the Peace, Service of the Prince, and Honour of the City: whereof much might have been said, and he had thought to have touched. But he forbore; being informed, that a learned Gentleman, and a Citizen born, minded such a Labour, and promised to perform it: and so Stow left the same to his good Leisure. This Gentleman was James Dalton, that died (which was great Pity) before he brought his Purpose to pass.

The first Edition of the Survey, Anno 1598.

His Second Edition came forth Anno 1603, that is, within five Years; the First went off so well. This was printed by John Windet, Printer to the said City; and dedicated again to the Lord Maior (who then was Robert Lee) the Commonalty, and Citizens. This Edition hath considerable Additions put in by the Author, out of his old Store, of many rare Notes of Antiquity, as he stileth them. That which was added, was in part what he designed in his first Edition; but forbore, by the Expectation of Mr. Dalton's Pains. But he being dead, without having performed any thing that way, our Author made some brief Additions of those Matters, intending much more; but that he was, by the good Pleasure of God, visited with much Sickness. So that his Feet (which had been wont to bear him, as he said, many a Mile) refused once in four or five Months to convey him from his Bed to his Study: And therefore could not do as he would. But at last, remembring that he had long since gathered Notes to have digested into distinct Chapters, he was forced to deliver them imper-

The second Edition, Anno 1603.