1802 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Warner

Joseph Ritson, Bibliographia Poetica (1802) 384-86 & n.



WILLIAM WARNER, an attorney of the Common-pleas, was the authour of a work of considerable merit, intitle'd Abions England, or a historical map of the same island: printed by George Robinson for Tho. Cadman, 1586: reprinted, as The first and second parts of Albions England: with historical intermixtures, invention and variety, profitably, briefly, and pleasantly performed, by Thomas Orwin, 1589: again, the third time corrected and augmented, by the same printer, 1592: again, by the widow Orwin, for I. B. 1596 and 1597; and again, revised, and newly inlarged by the author: by Edmund Bollifant for George Potter. The last edition, of which this "continuance," though not actually reprinted, makes a part, was publish'd, after the authours death, in 1612, for G. P. [George Potter]. All these editions are in quarto, and the first three of them in black letter. Ames, in his Typographical antiquities, mentions "Warners poetry," 1586, 8vo. which, however, is probablely, nothing more than the Albions England, 4to. of that year: before which, according to Wood, he wrote several specimens of poetry, whereby his name was cried up among the minor poets: but Wood knew nothing of the date of those "matters of greater moment," which he supposes him to have written and publish'd "when years came on." It is, at the same time, evident, from the preface to Albions England, that he had written nothing in verse before; and the only specimen of his prose, now known, is Syrinx, or a sevenfold history, &c. printed, apparently for the second time, in 1597. By his dedications to Henry and George, successive barons of Hunsdon, he appears to have been patronise'd by, or in some manner connected with, that family; but no further particulars of his history are known, except that he dye'd, suddenly, in his bed, at Amwell in Herts, the 9th of March 1608-9, and was there bury'd. (Scotts Poeticall works, 1786, p. 84; but (according to mister Park) first inserted in his notes to Amwell, a descriptive poem, 1786.)

It appears, by an entry in the stationers book (cited by Herbert, 1190), that, on the 17th of Octo. 1586, "The wardens upon serche of Roger Wards house dyd find there in printing, a book in verse, intytled Englands Albion, beinge in English and not aucthorised to be printed, which he had ben forbidden to prynte, aswell as by the L. archb. of Canterburye, as also by the said wardens at his own house:" and forasmuch as he had done this "contrary to the late decrees of the hon. court of Starre-chamber, the said wardens seised iii heaps of the said Englands Albyon." As it was actually printed by G. Robinson for T. Cadman, Ward seems to have been pirateing it, as he was other books.