1809 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Slatyer

Samuel Egerton Brydges, in Censura Literaria 9 (1809) 32-33.



It appears by a marginal note to one of the prefatory poems [to History of Great Britanie], entitled Authoris Votum, that Slatyer was born at Tykenham in Somersetshire, not far from Bristol. His birth was about the year 1587, and in 1600, he became, at the age of thirteen, a member of Oxford University. He took orders, and was beneficed as early as 1611. In 1625 he was presented to the rectory of Otterden in Kent, which he had a dispensation for holding with that of Newchurch. He was also treasurer of the cathedral church of St. David's in Wales. But by his own poem, just mentioned, it appears that he had preferment in both these situations before the publication of his book; and that he had already had a residence in Wiltshire and London. After speaking of Oxford he goes on:

Thence silver-footed christal Thames,
His forehead deck'd, clear limpid stream,
With dangling reeds, and flaggy flowers,
Convey'd her down to old Lud's bowers,
Where she beheld with wondring eyes
Both city's pride and courtly guise,
Whom noblest nymphs, that haunt the place,
Gently deign'd more than look'd for grace.
Next courtly troops, the country trains
Did hear her sing, and those wild plains
That thee, dear DANIEL, so did bless,
And ravishing notions first impress
Into thy soul! from whence she went
To CAMBERS wilds, and flowry KENT,
Rhutopian furthest shores i' th' east.
Old holy David's shrine by west
Did hear her tunes, and odes she ended
In those well-hop'd-of bowers intended
To Phoebus honour, of King James
Nam'd; west of London by fair Thames.

He died Feb. 14, 1646, aet. 59, and was buried in Otterden church.