1770 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Warton

Richard Farmer to Thomas Warton, 13 February 1770; Wooll, Biographical Memoirs of Joseph Warton (1806) 358.



Eman. Feb. 13th, 1770.

Dear Sir,

I should have been particularly happy to have seen you at Askew's, as perhaps he has more matters worth your notice, than he himself in the multitude of his business might have time to exhibit — but I am sure he would at least be willing, for I know not a more communicative man in the world.

I wish I could give you a satisfactory account of Leland. They have no registers of admissions or degrees at Christ's before the last century: nor are there any matriculations remaining of Leland's time. All I find is, from an old Proctor's book, that Dr. Leland paid for the degree of B.A. in 1522: so far I could have written some time ago; but I waited from day to day for the Antiquary of the College (one Mr. Wall) who is just now arrived at Cambridge. I hoped he might have informed me somewhat about the fellowship — Fuller, I think, is the first who calls him Fellow: but here again I was disappointed: his list of Fellows begins only in the 22d of Hen. VIII. In truth, I find no reason to believe he was so: when he speaks of himself and the college, he would scarcely have omitted it — however if any thing worth notice should occur, you shall certainly have it. You cannot oblige me more, than by giving me an opportunity of hoping at least to answer your questions. — Have you no job in the History of Poetry for

Your very obliged and affectionate servant,

R. FARMER.

P.S. Fuller calls Leland Fellow of Christ's (as he pretends) on his own authority [Hist. of Camb. p. 91.] and quotes his Vita Seberti, [Sigeberti]; but if you turn to it in Leland de Scriptoribus, or in Tanner, you will see he only says, he had been a member of the college. Bale makes a distinct life of Sigebert, but Wall is certainly right, where he tells us there is no other than this.

(Calamo rapidiss.)