1807 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Weever

Anonymous, in "Strictures on the Gentleman's Magazine" Gentleman's Magazine 77 (September 1807) 808.



Weever's Funeral Monuments, mentioned LXXVI. 1198, as a work "executed with the greatest fidelity," are, in Mr. Granger's account of him, represented as "egregiously deficient in point of accuracy, especially in the numeral letters and figures." In this censure he is fully supported by the famous Henry Wharton, in his Anglia Sacra, 1. 668, who thus characterizes him: "Quod Weaverum attinet, is mortalium omnium infoelicissimus cunctos fere numeros ex sepulchralibus titulis in farraginem suam descriptos vitiavit." Hearne, in p. 77 of his second volume of Leland's Itinerary, mentions that a copy of Weever's book, "with large MS improvements, by the author himself, was procured by that curious collector of books Mr. Thomas Rawlinson, of the Middle Temple." Dr. Buckler, in his preface to Stemmata Chicheleana, Oxford, 1765, describes Weever as "very liable to mistake in the assortment of his Collections." In Archaelogia, xi. 447, among the presents to the Society of Antiquaries, appear "Original MSS. of John Weever, most of which were inserted by the author in his Funeral Monuments. These MSS. were lately in the possession of Mr. John Lane, of Hillingdon, in the county of Middlesex: at whose death they came into the possession of William Southouse, Esq. who presented them to the Society." May not these be the same with those noticed by Hearne as having come, after the author's death, "to his nephew Mr. Caltharn, who lived in Little Britain?" Weever speaks with gratitude of his tutor, Dr. Robert Pearson, in p. 864 of his printed work.