1812 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Francis Kynaston

Alexander Chalmers, in General Biographical Dictionary (1812-17) 19:435.



FRANCIS KYNASTON, an English poet, son of sir Edward Kynaston, knt. was of an ancient family, whose seat was at Otely in Shropshire, where, probably, be was born in 1587. In 1601 he entered as a gentleman-commoner of Oriel college, Oxford, which he left after taking his bachelor's degree, being then, as Wood says, "more addicted to the superficial parts of learning, poetry and oratory (wherein he excelled), than logic and philosophy." He afterwards, however, went to Cambridge, and after taking his master's degree, returned in 1611 to Oxford, and was admitted ad eundem. He then became a courtier, admired for his talents, and had the honour of knighthood conferred upon him, and was afterwards made esquire of the body to Charles I. He was the first regent of a literary institution called the Musaerum Minervae, of which he drew up and published The Constitutions, Lond. 4to, 1636. It was an academy instituted in the eleventh year of the reign of Charles I. and established at a house in Covent-garden, purchased by Sir Francis, and furnished by him with books, MSS. paintings, statues, musical and mathematical instruments, &c. and every requisite for polite and liberal education: but the nobility and gentry only were admissible. Sir Francis was chosen regent, and professors were appointed to teach the various arts and sciences. It probably, owing to the rebellion, did not survive its founder, who died about 1642. He translated Chaucer's Troilus and Cresseide into Latin, published at Oxford, 1635, 4to; but is better known to the lovers of our early poetry by his Leoline and Sydanis, with Cinthiades, 1641, of which Mr. Ellis has given some beautiful specimens, and the story is analyzed by Mr. Gilchrist, with additional extracts, in the Censura [Literaria].