Thomas May

John Aubrey, in Brief Lives, 1669-1696; ed. Clark (1898) 2:55-57.

He stood candidate for the laurell after B. Jonson; but Sir William Davenant carried it — "manet alta mente repostum," perhaps.

A great acquaintance of Thomas Chaloner. Would, when "inter pocula," speake slightingly of the Trinity.


Amicus: Sir Richard Fanshawe. Mr. < Emanuel > Decretz heard (was present at) the debate at their parting before Sir Richard went to the king, where both camps were most rigorously banded.

Clap. Came of his death after drinking with his chin tyed with his cap (being fatt); suffocated.

Quaere Anthony Wood pro epitaph, etc.

Lord Chief Justice < John > Vaughan, amicus — verses.

< Scripsit >

The Heire.

Quaere Mr. < John > Dreyden, if not another < play. >

Lucan, and Supplementum.

Translation of Georgiques, 16mo.

Historie of Civill War and Epitome.

His translation of Lucan's excellent poeme made him in love with the republique, which tang stuck by him.

In the Session of Poets by Sir John Suckling:—"There was Lucan's translator too."

* Thomas May, esq., a handsome man, debaucht "ad omnia"; lodged in the little [square] by Cannon-rowe, as you go through the alley. Translated Virgil's Georgiques. Writt: — Breviary of the historie of the Parliament of England (London, 1650; reprinted 1680, 8vo.); History of the victorious Edward IIId., in English verse, by Charles I's speciall command (8vo, 1639); and also Henry IId., in English verse, both in 8vo.

** As to Tom May, Mr. Edmund Wyld told me that he was acquainted with him when he was young, and then he was as other young men of this towne are, scil. he said he was debaucht "ad omnia": but doe not by any meanes take notice of it — for we have all been young. But Mr. Marvel in his poems upon Tom May's death falls very severe upon him.

He was choaked by tyeing his cap.

That of Lucan is true, scil., that it made him incline to a republic.

He was of the Sussex Mayes, as appeares by his coate of armes: but where borne or of what university I know not, and cannot enquire.

Dr. < Thomas > Triplet's monument is set up where his stood. Thomas May's inscription was, after it was pulled downe, in St. Bennet's chapell, i.e. where the earl of Middlesex's monument is: but perhaps now converted to some use.

By Camden:—

Quem Anglicana respublica
habuit vindicem,
ornamentum literaria,
secli sui vatum celeberrimus,
deliciae futuri,
Lucanus alter plus-quam Romanus,
historicus fidus,
equitis aurati filius primogenitus,
Thomas Maius
H. S. E.
Qui paternis titulis claritatis suae
specimen usque adeo superaddidit
ut a supremo Anglorum senatu
ad annales suos conscribendos
fuerit accitus.
Tandem, fide intemerata Parlamento
praestita, morte inopina
noctu correptus, diem
suum obiit
Id Nov.
Anno liberatus { humanae Angliae } restitutae { MDCL. II.
Aetatis suae LV.
Hoc in honorem servi tam
bene meriti
Parlamentum Reipublicae Angl.
P. P.

Dr. Triplet's monument now stands in the place where this did.

This was a very fine monument of white marble. This inscription I had much adoe to find out, after severall enquiries several yeares. It is putt upside downe in the chapell where the earle of Middlesex tombe is.

His coate is gules, a fess inter six billets or.