1690 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Alabaster

Anthony Wood, Athenae Oxonienses (1690-91; 1721) 1:F 144.



He was born in Suffolk, bred in Trin. Coll. in that University [Cambridge], was the rarest Poet and Grecian that any one Age or Nation produced. Afterwards he attended, as Chaplain, on Robert Earl of Essex in Cadiz Voyage, where he changed his Religion and wrote Seven Motives for what he had done, answer'd by one John Racster An. 1598, and by Roger Fenton the Year following. But upon some discontent taken from the Rom. Party, he return'd to the Church of England, and was made Prebendary of St. Paul's Cath. in London, D. of D. and rector of Tharfield in Hertfordshire. He hath written (1) Roxana, Tragedia; admirably well acted, more than once, in Trin. Coll. Hall in Cambr. and was soon after published full of faults contrary to the Author's mind at Lond. 1632. oct. (2) Lexicon Pentaglotton, Hebraicum, Chaldaicum, Syriacum, Talmudico Rabbinium. Lond. 1637. fol. The titles of other Books of his writing you may see in the Bodleian or Oxford Catalogue. He also began to describe in a Latin Poem, entit. (1) Elisaeis, the chief transactions of Qu. Elizabeth's Reign, but left unfinish'd at the time of his death, which hapning about the beginning of Apr. 1640, was buried according to the direction of his dear friend Nich. Bacon of Grey's Inn in Holborn near London, whom he made his sole executor. Rich. [for Robert] Herrick the Poet in his Hesperides doth highly celebrate Alabaster for his elaborate Works.