|The Life of JOHN STOW. ||iv
But now to return a little back, and to take some particular View of our
Labours and Searches in the English History.
It was about the Year 1560 he addressed all his Cares and Cogitations to these
for the Composing of a Chronicle. The greatest Part of his Times from hence to
he employed in collecting such Matters of this Kingdom, as he thought worthy to
recommended to Posterity; which was Forty Years and upwards.
Indeed, after some Time he began to be discouraged, and to lay aside these
Studies, and to
fall more diligently upon his Calling. Perhaps, because of the little Gains
that came of
these Contemplations, and the great Charge of purchasing MSS. and the Necessity
looking after a Subsistance, and Provision for his Family. But Archbishop
Parker (who as
he was a great Friend of these Studies himself, so a Patron of others that
themselves thereunto) excited him to go on, and was a good Benefactor to him, as
gratefully upon Occasion acknowledged. And namely, in his Dedication of his
Archbishop Whitgift, he saith, That he was hereunto induced; for that his Worthy
Predecessor, and his Especial Benefactor, Archbishop PARKER, animated him in the
Course of those Studies; which otherwise he had long since discontinued. But
excellent Prelate dyed, and left him to struggle with his former
worsted indeed hereby his Paternal Estate, neglected his Business, and was
exposed also to
the Censures and Backbitings of Critics, and other evil disposed Men; which is
by Edmund Howes, that set out with Enlargements, Stow's Chronicle, after his
who in his Preface, mentioned some, that when he, the said Howes, had moved them
on in a Continuation of Stow's Books, one cryed he could not see, how in any
Action, a Man should spend his Travel, Time, and Money worse than in that;
Regard nor Reward, except Backbiting and Detraction. Another swore an Oath and
that he thanked God he was not yet Mad, to waste his Time, spend 200l. a Year,
himself, and all his Friends, only to gain Assurance of endless Reproach, Loss
&c. hinting perhaps hereby what poor Mr. Stow at last was reduced to.
Archbishop Parker, his Encourager.
But to proceed to further Accidents of this Man's Life. He was looked upon as
Friend to the Reformation of Religion; but being an Admirer of Antiquity in
well as in History, he came into some Trouble in the Year 1568. Report was
brought to the
Queen's Council, as tho' he were a suspicious Person, and had a great many
Books of Superstition in his Custody. And therefore they sent to Grindal,
London, (of whose Diocese Stow was) to cause his Study to be searched. Watts,
Bishop's Chaplain, and Bedel, Clerk to the Ecclesiastical Commission, and one
another Divine, were accordingly dispatched
to Stow's House, where all his Books and MSS. they could find, were duly
The Report thereupon they made to the Bishop was, That he had great Collections
own for the English Chronicles; wherein, as Watts signified to the Bishop, he
have bestowed much Travel. They found also a great Sort of old Books Printed;
fabulous, as of Sir Degory Triamour, &c. and a great Parcel of old MS.
in Parchment and Paper. And that besides, he had Miscellaneous Tracts, touching
Physick, Surgery, and Herbs, and Medicinal Recipes; and also fantastical Old
Books printed in old Time; also others written in old English in Parchment. But
sort of Books he had more modern; of which the said Searchers thought fit to
Inventory, as likely most to touch him; and they were Books lately seth forth in
or beyond Sea, in Defence of Papistry. Which Books, as the Chaplain said,
declared him a
great Fautor of that Religion. Some of these Books, the List whereof so taken,
and sent to
the Bishop, were,
Stow's Study searched.
A Parlament of Christ; made by Thomas Heskyns.
The Hatchet of Heresy; set out by Shacklock.
Exposition of the Creed, Ten Commandments, Pater noster, Ave Maria: by
Certain Sermons, set forth in Print by Edgeworth, D.D.
The Manerr of the List of Saints: An old Printed Book.
Five Homilies; made by Leonard Pollard, Prebendary of Worcester.
A Proof of certain Articles of Religion, denyed by Mr. Juell.
A Book made by Dorman.
With a great many more of that Kind.
How he came off now I cannot tell; but being lookt upon with a watchful and
knowing his Inclinations in Religion, I find he was not long after, about the
dangerously accused before the Ecclesiastical Commissioners; and that by one
been his Servant, after he had defrauded him of his Goods; and now sought to
of his Life too, by false Accusation, consisting of no less than Sevenscore and
Articles. A far less Number would have served to have dispatched a Man out of
if they could have been proved. The Witnesses against him were such, as some
had been detected of Perjury, others burnt in the Hand for Felony, and such
nevertheless none of these could sufficiently prove any one of those numerous
against him before the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the other Ecclesiastical
Commissioners, as appeared in their Register. Stow would have prosecuted these
Accusers; but he was answered by some, that there was no Remedy against them, by
means of the Statute made; which it seems favoured Informers for the Queen.
Accused falsly before the Ecclesiastical