1690 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. Henry Stubbe

Anthony Wood, Athenae Oxonienses (1690-91; 1721) 2:560-62.



HENRY STUBBE the most noted Person of his age that these late times have produced, rec[e]ived his first Breath in an obscure Village Called Partney near Spilsbye in Lincolnshire, on the 28th of Febr. an. 1631, at which place his Father, who was a Minister, then lived, but he being Anabaptistically inclin'd, was forced to leave it; and thereupon he, with his Wife and Children went into Ireland, and there at Tredagh he found an Employment, which was, if you'll believe a nameless satyrical Author, the Office of Beadle of the Beggars, as being well acquainted with the executive part of Power at the Cart's-tail. Upon the breaking out of the Rebellion in that Country in 1641, the Mother fled with our Author and another Child towards England, and landing at Liverpool in Lancashire, they all beated it on the hoof thence to London, where she gaining a comfortable subsistence by her needle, sent her Son Henry, being then 10 Years of Age, to the Coll. School at Westminster. At that time Mr. Rich. Busbie was the chief Master, who finding the Boy to have pregnant parts to a miracle, did much favour and encourage him. At length Sir Hen. Vane junior (the same who was beheaded on Tower-hill 1662.) coming casually into the School with Dr. Lamb. Osbaldeston, he did at the Master's motion take a kindness to the said Boy, frequently reliev'd him with Money, and gave him the liberty to resort to his House, and to fill that Belly which otherwise had no sustenance but what one Penny could purchase for his dinner: and as for his breakfast he had none, except he got it by making some bodies exercise. Soon after, Sir Henry got him to be a King's Scholar, and his Master perceiving him to be beyond his Years in proficiency, he gave him Money to buy Books, Cloaths, and his teaching for nothing. In the beginning of the Year 1649, Sir Henry got him to be sped for a Student's place in Ch. Ch. where shewing himself too forward, pragmatical and conceited, (being well stock'd with impudence at School) was often kick'd and beaten: And in the Year after abusing the Censor morum (Will. Segary that noted Disciplinarian) in a Speech that he utter'd, was, for so doing, and his impudence in other respects, whipt by him in the public refectory. The same Year the Oath called the Engagement being fram'd by the then Parliament, was some time after sent to the University by him. — "'Twas I (saith he) that brought the Engagement down to Oxon (though I took it not, being then an Undergraduate) and having got Dr. S. F. (Sam. Fell as it should seem) and Dr. R. (Reynolds) to be turned out, I saved the remains of the Cavaliers of Ch. Ch. and Queen's Coll. and gave them opportunities to live securely and educate others in their Principles," &c. While he continued Undergraduate it was usual with him to discourse in the public Schools very fluently in the Greek Tongue, as it was at the same time with one John Pettie of Baliol, afterwards of Queen's Coll. and others, whose names are forgotten. But since the King's Restoration, we have had no such matters, which shews in some part, that Education and Discipline were more severe then (as indeed they were) than after, when Scholars were given more to liberty and frivolous studies. After he had taken the degree of Bach. of Arts and determined, he went into Scotland, and served in the Wars there for the Parliament from 1653 to 1655. Upon his return he took the degree of Master, and in the beginning of the Year following (an. 1657) he was, upon the Death of Mr. Franc. Yonge of Oriel Coll. preferr'd, upon the motion made of Dr. Joh. Owen Dean of Ch. Ch. to Mr. Thom. Barlow the Head-keeper, of the Bodleian Library, to be the second-keeper of the same. Which Office he holding three Years, being all that time much favoured by the Head-keeper, did, by the benefit of a prodigious Memory, most wonderfully advantage himself in several sorts of Learning. At length Dr. E. Reynolds being restored to his Deanery of Ch. Ch. in the latter end of 1659, (a little before which time, viz. in Feb. Stubbe was complained of in the Parliam. House, as one that palliated in Print Sir Henry Vane's wickedness) he not only ejected him from his Student's place in the said House, but found means to remove him from the Library, and especially for this reason, that he had written and published a most pestilent Book called A light shining out of darkness, wherein are many things said against the Universities and the Clergy. But if you'll believe the Author, he'll tell you that that Book (which he calls the Invidious Queries) was written to terrify the Presbyterians and make them more complacential, yet withal protests that they contained no tenets of his (for he knew they were not defensible against the learned and judicious Episcopalians, tho' they had force and address enough against the more ignorant Presbyterians) but were written to excuse those who had made those to be their Assertions which were his doubts; and this he declared in the Preface to that Book. He tells us also, that what he wrote in that Book and others, was against the Presbyterian Clergy, the Presbyterian Universities, and the Usurpations of Oliver and Richard. After his Ejection he retired to Stratford upon Avon in Warwickshire to practise the Faculty of Physic, which he for some Years had studied, and after the King's Restoration he made early and voluntary Applications to Dr. Geor. Morley for his Protection in his retirement, assuring him of an inviolable passive Obedience, which was all he could or would pay till the Covenant was renounced. When the Restoration of the Bishops was made, he, at the first motion of the said Dr. Moreley then his Diocesan, received confirmation at his hands, and soon after took occasion to publish a translation concerning the arts of Granure and Submission (which I shall anon mention) and in the Dedication thereof to make this mention of himself: "I have at length removed all the Umbrages I ever lay under: I have joyned my self to the Church of England, not only upon account of its being publickly imposed (which in things indifferent is no small consideration, as I learned from the Scottish Transactions at Perth) but because it is the least defining, and consequently the most comprehensive and fitting to be national." In the Year following he took a journey to the Island of Jamaica, being designed Physician of that place by his Majesty, who, as he saith, honoured him with that title. In which place, having been mostly sick during his abode there, he would have otherwise advanced himself much in the knowledge thereof, and in experiments and things philosophical: For which reason also it was why he did not accept of an invitation to go to Mexico and Peru to practise his Faculty there. After his return, in 1665, he lived for some time in and near London, and thence going to Stratford before-mentioned, and afterwards to Warwick, settled in the last of the said places, practised Physic, and in the Summer-time retired to Bath: at both which places he gained repute and many Patients by the diligence and care he took in his Profession. As for his writings, they are many, and of various Subjects; some of which that he published before the King's Restoration, were against Monarchy, Ministers, Universities, Churches, &c. provoking all men to whom those interests were dear [list omitted]. I have now no more to say of this learned Person, only that he being at Bath attending several of his Patients living in and near Warwick then there, he was sent for to come to another at Bristol, in very hot Weather, to which place therefore going a by-way at 10 of the Clock in the Night, on the twelfth day of July in sixteen hundred seventy and six (his Head being then intoxicated with bibbing, but more with talking, and snuffing of Powder) was drowned passing through a shallow River (wherein, as 'tis supposed, his Horse stumbled) two Miles distant from Bath. So that his Body being taken up the next Morning and his death examined by the Coroner, was the next day after that (being Friday) buried in the great Church at Bath dedicated to S. Peter and S. Paul, in the Grave of Dr. Pet. Wentworth, joyning on the north-side to the stately Tomb of Dr. Jam. Mountague sometime Bishop of that City, situate and being on the north side of the Body of that Church. At which time his Antagonist Mr. Glanvill preached his Funeral Sermon, but said no great matter of him; and soon after a certain Physician made this Epitaph following on him: Which, tho' not yet put on his Grave, shall be here set down to his Memory. Memoriae Sacrum. Post varios casus & magna viae Henrici Stubbe, Medici Warwicensis, quondam ex Aede Christi Oxon. rei Medicae, Historicae ac Methematicae peritissimi, judicii vivi, & Librorum heluonis; qui quum multa scripserat, & plures sanaverat, aliorum saluti fedulo prospicens, propriam neglexit. Obit aquis frigidis suffocatus, 12 die Julii A.D. 1676, aetatis suae — Besides this Hen. Stubbe was another of both his Names and Time, a Noncomforming Minister, of whom see more among these Writers in the Year 1680.