1812 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Slatyer

Alexander Chalmers, in General Biographical Dictionary (1812-17) 28:60-61.



WILLIAM SLATER, or SLATYER, a learned divine and poet, was born in Somersetshire in 1587, and was admitted a member of St. Mary hall, Oxford, in 1600, whence be removed to Brasenose college in 1607. In the following year he took his degree of B.A. and was chosen to a fellowship. He took his master's degree in 1611, entered into holy orders, and was beneficed. In 1623 he took his degrees in divinity, and had by this time acquired very considerable reputation for his poetical talent, and his knowledge in English history. He died at Otterden in Kent, where he was beneficed, in Oct. or Nov. 1647. His works are, 1. Threnodia, sive Pandionium, &c. being elegies and epitaphs on the queen Anne of Denmark, to whom he had been chaplain. It is a quarto of four sheets, printed in 1619. The elegies and epitaphs are in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and English verses, and some of them in the fantastical shape of pillars, circles, &c. 2. Palae-Albion or the History, of Great Britain from the first peopling of this island to the reign of king James, Lond. 1621, fol. in Latin and English verse, with historical notes, which Granger, who calls this Slater's "capital work," thinks the most valuable part. 3. Genethliacon, sive stemma regis Jacobi," Lond. 1630, a thin folio in Lat. and English, with a foolish genealogy of king James from Adam. He published also The Psalms of David, in fowre languages, Hebrew, Greeke, Latin, and English, and in 4 parts, set to the tunes of our church, with corrections, 1652. 16mo. There appears to have been an edition before this, which was posthumous, but the date is not known. Dr. Burney says this is the most curious and beautiful production of the kind, during the seventeenth century, that has come to his knowledge. Both words and music are very neatly engraved on near sixty copper-plates. The English version is that of Sternhold, retouched, not always for the better, and the music is selected from Ravenscroft.