1906 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Patrick Hannay

George Saintsbury, "Introduction to Patrick Hannay" in Minor Poets of the Caroline Period (1905-21) 1:615n.



The personal history and even identity of our poet are things deeply wrapped in mystery. David Laing's rather elaborate genealogical introduction to the Hunterian reprint establishes practically nothing but that he was of the family of Hannay, or Ahanny, of Sorby in Galloway, now represented by the Hannays of Kingsmuir in Fife, and the Rainsford-Hannays of Kirkdale in Kirkcudbright. The Hannays seem to have christened themselves Patrick with the inveteracy of the Princess of Reuss in regard to another name, and not to have accepted what the Dictionary of National Biography states with postitiveness — that the poet was Master in Chancery in Ireland in the year 1627 — or the rumour that he was drowned at sea two years later. That he was of the Sorby family, that he was Master of Arts, and that he was known to persons of distinction at the court of James I during the last years of his reign, may be said to be the only postively-known facts about him, except the dates of his works, which are, for the Happy Husband and the Elegies on Queen Anne (same year, but published separately) 1619, and for the Collected Poems in 1622.