1859 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Richard Fanshawe

David Masson, in Life of John Milton (1859-94; 1965) 6:297.



Fanshawe had been in exile with his Majesty, had served him domestically and in various foreign embassies, had afterwards attended him in Scotland, and had been one of the prisoners from Worcester Battle. Having rejoined the King at Breda shortly before the Restoration, he had returned with him to be his Latin Secretary, or secretary for the foreign tongues, i.e. to hold exactly the same office for Charles II. that had been Milton's for the Commonwealth and for Oliver. His secretaryship was not be so stationary, however, as Milton's had been, but was to lead to a Mastership of Requests and a Privy Councillorship, and to be varied and interrupted by embassies and diplomatic missions. He was a scholarly man, a good Latinist, and probably, from long residences abroad, Milton's practical superior in the foreign tongues. Nor was he without some independent reputation in literature. To his translation of Guarini's Il Pastor Fido, published in 1646, he had added several translations from the Spanish, a translation of Camoens from the Portugese, and translations from and into Latin, besides pieces of English verse. "A gentleman very well known and very well beloved," says Clarendon of Fanshawe.