1690 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Gabriel Harvey

Anthony Wood, Athenae Oxonienses (1690-91; 1721) 1:F 128-29.



This Person, who made a great noise in his time, was born at Saffron-walden in Essex, and tho' his Father was a Rope-maker as Thom. Nash a great scoffer, and his Antagonist, tells us, yet he had rich kindred and was nearly allied to Sir Thom. Smith the great Statesman in Qu. Elizabeth's Reign. His first Academical breeding was in Christ's Coll. Cambridge, where, in short time, he made great proficiency to the wonder and amazement of his Tutor. Afterwards he became Fellow of Trinity Hall, and so excellent and learned an Orator and Poet, that Books of those Faculties were Dedicated to him. Afterwards he was Proctor of that University, and at elder years he applied his studies to Astrology, wherein he became eminent, and wrote, as 'tis said, Almanacks, much in esteem in the Reign of Qu. Elizabeth. His other works are (1) Rhetor, sive 2. divum oratio de natura, arte & exercitatione Rhetorica. Lond. 1577. qu. (2) Ciceronianus, vel oratio post reditum, habita Cantabrigiae ad suos auditores. 1577. qu. (3). XAIPE, vel gratulationum Valdenseusium libri quatuor. Lond. 1578. qu. in Lat. vers. (4) Smithus, vel Musarum Lachrymae, pro obitu honoratiss. viri, &c. Thomae Smith Esq. aur. Majestatisq. regia Secretarii. Lond. 1578. qu. (5) A new Letter of notable Contents: with a strange sonnet entituled Gorgon. Lond. 1593. qu. (6) Pierce's supererogation: or, a new praise of the old Asse. A preparative to certain larger discourses, entit. Nashes S. fame. Lond. 1593. qu. with Letters and Sonnets before and after the said Book, made upon the Author Harvey by several Poets of that time. (7) An advertisement for Pap-hatchet, and Martin Marprelate; printed with the former Book, with other things, wherein he tramples much upon Rob. Green the Poet, which I have not yet seen. This Dr. Gab. Harvey was esteemed an ingenious Man and an excellent Scholar, but 'twas his, and his Brother Rich. Harvey's ill luck to fall into the hands of that noted and restless Buffoon Tom. Nash in his Apologie of Pierce penniless, and Have with you to Saffron-walden. In both which Books, they are loaden with all the scurrilities imaginable, as being according to Tom's words, "false Prophets, weather-wizards, Fortune-tellers, Poets, Philosophers, Orators, Historiographers, Mountebanks, Ballad-makers," &c. The Reader is to know that 'twas not this Gabriel Harvey that made a raised causey of three Miles long near to Cambridge, as the learned Cambden tells us.... In my searches I find one Gabriel Harvey LL.D. of Saffron-walden in Essex to die unmarried in 1630 (6 Car. I) which, if the same with him before-mention'd, who was Writer (as I think he was ) then was he at least 85 years of Age when he died, if not 90.