1802 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

George Peele

Joseph Ritson, Biographia Poetica (1802) 294-96 & n.



GEORGE PEELE, master of arts in the university of Oxford, and a dramatick authour of some celebrity, wrote, 1. The device of the pageant borne before Woolston Dixie, lord mayor of London, Oct. 29, 1585, 4to. printed by Edw. Allde. 2. A farewell, entituled to the famous and fortunate generalls of our English forces: sir John Norris and syr Frauncis Drake, knights, and all theyr brave and resolute followers. Whereunto is annexed a tale of Troy: printed by I. C. 1589; 4to. 3. Polyhyminia describing the honourable triumphs at tylt, before her majestie, on the 17th of November last past, with sir Henry Lea his resignation of honour at tylt to her majestie: printed by R. Jhones, 1590, 4to. 4. The honour of the garter: displaied in a poeme gratulatorie. Entitled to the worthie and renowned earle of Northumberland, created knight of that order, and installed at Windsore, anno regni Elizabethe 34, die Junii 26: printed by the widow Charlewood, 1593, 4to. He also wrote a short compliment, in blank verse, prefix'd to Watsons sonnets: likewise, "Coridon and Melampus song," and "Oenones complaint in blank verse," both in Englands Helicon, 1600. He has a third piece in the same collection, written in lyrick verse, and intitle'd "Colin, the enamoured shepheard, singeth the passion of love:" and has, likewise, a poem, intitle'd "The praise of chastitie," in The phoenix-nest, 1593. In 1591 was license'd to R. Jones The hunting of Cupid, by Geo. Peele, M.A. of Oxford. An account of his theatrical performances will be found in the Biographia dramatica. "This person," says Wood, "was living in his middle age, in the latter end of Q. Elizabeth, but when or where he died i cannot tell; for so it is, and always hath been, that most poets die poor, and consequently obscurely, and a hard matter it is to trace them to their graves."

He was dead in 1598. "As Anacreon," says Meres, "dyed by the pot, so George Peele by the pox." Mister Steevens suppose'd that the character of George Pieboard in the Puritan, was design'd for George Peele.