1866 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Richard Vennar

John Payne Collier, in Venner, An Apology; Illustrations of Old English Literature (1866) 3:ii.



Vennard claims, and justly, to have been of a good family in Wiltshire; but of so confiding a disposition, that he was a constant prey to designing money-lenders and sharpers; he was, therefore, constantly in difficulties and confinement. He narrates, with some circumstantiality, his exertions to obtain the abolition of imprisonment for debt; and it seems certain that, with the aid of two English countesses, he was able to relieve the wants of many incarcerated, he was able to relieve the wants of many incarcerated victims. Of himself he says, almost prophetically, "I never held myself so fatally unfortunate as to expire my last breath in a prison"; and yet it is unquestionable that he died, soon after he wrote those words, in what was called "the black hole" of Wood Street Counter, in the most abject misery. Counters Commonwealth, 4to. 1617, p. 64. William Fennor, or Fenner, who gives this information, had been frequently confounded with the author of England's Joy.