Richard Stanyhurst (1547-1618)


Life
[or Stanihurst; also Richardi Stanihursti, or Richardo Stanihursto; var. b.1545]; b. Dublin, son of James Stanyhurst (d.1573), Speaker of the Irish House of Commons - who loyally served Mary and Elizabeth - and grandson of namesake Richard, a mayor of Dublin; ed. Kilkenny Grammar School, where he learned Latin from Peter White, and at University College, Oxford, where his tutor was the Edmund Campion (d.1581), who stayed at his father’s house in Dublin during part of 1569-70; grad. BA (Oxon.) 1569; entered Furnivall’s Inn and Lincoln’s Inn; published Latin commentaries on Porphyry’s Introduction (1570); became member of Sir Philip Sidney’s literary circle in England;
 
contributed his “Description of Ireland” as an addition to Campion’s “History of Ireland” printed with it in Holinshed’s Chronicles (1577), strongly asserted an Old English identity, claiming that Dubliners spoke a purer English than their English contemporaries; includes the phrase ‘the meere Irish, commonly called the wilde Irish’, and as castigated by Irish historians for hostile view of Gaelic Ireland, though excused by Geoffrey Keating for his youth and ignorance of Irish; makes mention of five poets writing in English to his knowledge (Dormer, of Ross; Macgrane, a Dublin schoolmaster; William Nugent; Andrew Wise of Waterford, and one Sutton); converted to Catholicism at death of his wife, 1579; ordained priest, 1601;
 

interrogated for his links with Campion; fled to Spanish Netherlands on his release, and converted formally; worked with Catholic exiles in Flanders; advised Spanish court, 1590-95, and probably involved in communications between Hugh O’Neill and the Spanish crown; issued a hexameter version of Virgil, The First Four Bookes of Virgil his Aeneis, translated into English Heroical Verse. Bks. 1-4 (Leiden [June] 1582) - beginning ‘Now manhood and garbroyls I chaunt, and martial horror [... &c.]’; reprinted London 1583; issued De Rebus in Hibernia Gestis (Antwerp 1584); also a Latin life of St. Patrick (1587); notably, he edited Campion’s A Historie of Ireland, Written in the Year 1571, and Spenser’s View of the Present State of Ireland (1633).

 
issued devotional works; conducted controversy with Archbishop James Ussher, his nephew, and replied to his attack on the papacy (1615); he was parodied by Thomas Nash ass “clownerie” in his introduction to Robert Greene’s Menaphon (1589); d. Antwerp [var. Brussels]; De Rebus in Hibernia Gestis was edited by John Barry and Hiram Morgan (Brepols 2009); he is called "the indefatiguable Stanihurst" by Alan Bliss (Spoken English in Ireland, 1600-1740, 1979, p.20). RR CAB ODNB PI DIB OG FDA OCIL

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Works
Original editions
Classical
  • Thee First Foure Bookes of Virgil's Æneis, translated intoo English heroicall verse by Richard Stanyhurst, wyth oother poëtical deuises theretoo annexed ( Leiden in Holland: Iohn Pates, 1582), 110pp., 4°; and Do., [as] The First Foure Bookes of Virgil's Æneis, translated into English heroicall verse by Richard Stanyhurst, wyth other poëtical deuises thereto annexed (London: H. Bynneman 1583), 8° [see also rep. editions - infra].
Historical
  • ‘A Treatise Concerning a Plain and Perfect Description of Ireland [...]’, and ‘A Continuation of the Chronicles of Ireland from the end of Giraldus Cambrensis comprising the Reigne of King Henrie the Eighth’, Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland, by Raphael Holinshed (London 1577), Vol. 1, Pt. 3, and Vol. VI - viz., pp.1-69 and pp.273-320 in the 1808 edn. [see details].
  • De Rebus in Hibernia Gestis: Accessit his libris Hibernicarum rerum appendix ex Silvestro Giraldo Cambrensi / collecta; cum eiusdem Stanihursti adnotationibus; Omnia nunc primum in lucem edita libri iv [4 vols.] (Antverpiae [Antwerp]: Christophe Plantin 1584), 264pp., 4°; Do. [another t.p.], as Richardi Stanihurst Dubliniensis De rebus in Hibernia gestis: libri quattuor. Accessit his libris Hibernicarum rerum appendix, ex Silvestro Giraldo Cambrensi peruetusto scriptore collecta; cum eiusdem Stanihursti adnotationibus. Omnia cum primum in lucem edita (Lugduni Batavorum: ex officina Christophori Plantini, M.D.LXXXIIII. [1584]), 264pp., 4°. Note that Liber II is ded. ad carissimum suum frattrem, clarissimumque virum, P. Plunketum, Dominum Baronem Dunsaniæ (i.e., Patrick Plunkett, Baron Dunsany.) [See Barry & Morgan reprint.]
Hagiography
  • De Vita S. Patricii Hibernić apostoli. libri II [2 vols.] (Antverpić [Antwerp]: Ex officina C. Plantini, 1587), 86pp., 8° [see extracts]; and Do. [bound with Thesaurus Christiani hominis, of St. Augustine (Antverpiae [Antwerp]: Officina Christophori Plantini, 1588), [16], 501, [26]pp. [as infra];
Devotional
  • Harmonia seu carena dialectia in Porhpyrianos institutiones (London 1570);
  • Hebdomada Mariana: ex orthodoxis Catholice Romane Ecclesiæ patribus collecta: in memoriam septem festorum Beatissimæ Virginis Mariæ, per singulos hebdomadæ dies distributa (Antverpiæ [Antwerp]: Ex officina Plantiniana apud Joannem Moretum, 1609), 208pp., 8°;
  • Hebdomada Eucharistica ex sacris litteris atque orthodoxis Catholicæ Romanæ Ecclesiæ patribus collecta (Duaci [Douai]: Ex officina Baltazaris Belleri 1614), 201pp., 12° [Daily Eucharist];
  • Brevis praemunitio pro futura concertatione cum Jacob Usserio qui in sua historica explicatione conatur probare Pontificem Romanum ... verum & germanum esse Antichristum (Duaci [Douai]: ex typographia Baltazaris Belleri 1615), 39pp.
Miscellaneous
  • [St. Augustine,] Thesaurus Christiani hominis: complectens libros sex / Omnia fere ex scriptis D. Aurelii Augustini, Hipponensis episcopi, collecta & concatenata, per Ioannem Fredericum Lumnium. (Antverpiae [Antwerp]: Officina Christophori Plantini, 1588), [16], 501, [26]pp., 17cm.[bound with De vita S. Patricii, Hiberniae apostoli, Libri II. Nunc primum in lucem editi, auctore Richardo Stanihursto, Antverpiae, ex officina Christophori Plantini, 1587.]
  • R. Mercator, ed., Atlas sive cosmographicć meditationes de fabrica mundi et fabricati figura: Atlantis pars altera Geographia nova totius mundi. Vita ... G. Mercatoris a ... G. Ghymnio conscripta, 3 tom. (Dusseldorpii: A. Busius 1595), fol. [“Inscriptiones” compiled by B. G. Furmerius from Stanihurst, Camden, D. Chytræus, et al.].  
Also [in German], Historia von den heiligen Leiden Christi (Augsburg: Johann Schöhingh 1676).
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Translations
  • Richard Stanyhursts Uebersetzung von Vergils Aeneide I.-IV. Ihrer Verhältnis zum Original [diss.] (Breslau [1887]), 44pp., 8° .
  • Karl Franz Hermann Bernigau, Orthographie und Aussprache in Richard Stanyhursts englischer Übersetzung der Äeneide [1582] [Diss. in Marburger Studien zur englischen Philologie Ser., No. 8] (Marburg: N. G. Elwert'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1904), 4, 114pp. [23cm. 
Reprint editions
Virgil's Aeneid
  • Thee First Foure Bookes of Virgil's Æneis, translated intoo English heroicall verse by Richard Stanyhurst, wyth oother poëtical deuises theretoo annexed [facs. rep. of 1582 Leyden edn., in English Recusant Literature, 1558-1640, Vol. 387] (Ilkley: Scolar Press 1978), 168pp., 63, 110pp. [1. Catechismus, by Theobald Stapleton; 2. A Copie of the Briefe, by Pope Urban VIII; 3. A True Report, by Sylvester Norris; 4. The First Foure Bookes ... [&c.]; 20cm.]
  • Edward Arber, ed. & intro., Æneis: Translation of the first four books of the Aeneis of P. Vergilius Maro, with other poetical devices thereto annexed [The English Scholar's Library of Old and Modern Works ... Limited Library Edition, O.S., No. 10] (London: E. Arbor 1880), xxiv, 158pp., 4° [‘A faithful reproduction of the Leyden text in its integrity" with rep. of the original t.p. and of t.p. of the London edn. of 1583’].
  • Dirk van der Haar, intro. & annot., Richard Stanyhurst's Aeneis [Academisch Proefschrift, &c.; rep. from Leyden edn. of 1582] (Amsterdam: H. J. Paris 1933), 200pp., 8°.
  • Thee first foure bookes of Virgil his Aeneis, by Virgil [with Catechismus by Theobald Stapleton (1639) ; A copie of the briefe by Pope Urban VIII (1631); A true report by Sylvester Norris (1624) [English recusant literature, 1558-1640, Vol. 387] (Ilkley: Scolar Press 1978), 168, 63, 11pp. [21cm.] Note: Stanihurst’s trans. of Virgil is taken from a copy of the Leyden edition of 1582 in the Henry E. Huntington Library].
The Historie of Irelande
  • The Historie of Irelande from the first inhabitation thereof, unto the yeare 1509 / collected by Raphaell Holinshed, & continued till the yeare 1547 by Richarde Stanyhurst; ed. by Liam Miller and Eileen Power (Dublin: Dolmen Press 1979), xxiv, 363pp., ill. [see details]
De rebus in Hibernia gestis
  • John Barry & Hiram Morgan, De rebus in Hibernia gestis, by Richard Stanihurst (Belgium: Brepols 2009) [launched at at the IANLS 14th Internat, Congress, August 2006].
Sundry extracts
  • Lawrence Ryan, Aqua Vitæ: its commodities describ'd by R. Stanihurst, &c. (Glenageary, Dublin: Dolmen Press 1956), 1 lf., ill. by Bridget Swinton; 16° [300 hand-coloured copies printed in red and black on Milbourn paper; being an extract from his “[...] Description of Irelande,” in Vol. 1, Pt. 3 of Holinshed’s Chronicles].
Internet edns.
  • Raphael Holinshed Chronicle (selections), at The Center for Electronic Text & Image (Univ. of Pennsylvania Library) [online; accessed 10.04.2009].
 
See also digital copies of his devotional works in Latin held at the Centre for Neo-Latin Studies (UCC/NUI - Cork) as follows [online, &c.]:-
 
 
—Formerly on the Minerva server at UCC; not at www.ucc.ie/acad/CNLS/ [accessed 15.09.2011]

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Bibliographical details
Raphaell Holinshed - The Firste Volume of the Chronicles of England, Scotlande, and Irelande: Conteyning, the description and chronicles of England, from the first inhabiting vnto the conquest. The description and chronicles of Scotland, from the first originall of the Scottes nation, till the yeare of our Lorde. 1571. The description and chronicles of Yrelande, likewise from the firste originall of that nation, vntill the yeare. 1547 / Faithfully gathered and set forth, by Raphaell Holinshed, [3 vols. in 2] (London: Imprinted [by Henry Bynneman] for Iohn Harrison, [1577]), ill. [engraved t.p., woodcuts, fold. pls. [29cm]. Note: I.e., The first to third volumes; 1577 at head of all title pages, and ‘God Save the Queene’ at foot of same.

Raphaell Holinshed - The first and second volumes of Chronicles: comprising 1. The description and historie of England, 2. The description and historie of Ireland, 3. The description and historie of Scotland / first collected and published by Raphaell Holinshed , William Harrison, and others; now newlie augmented and continued (with manifold matters of singular note and worthie memorie) to the yeare 1586 by Iohn Hooker alia`s Vowell Gent. and others; with conuenient tables at the end of these volumes (London: Printed by Henry Denham, at the expenses of Iohn Harison, George Bishop, Rafe Newberie, Henrie Denham, and Thomas Woodcocke, 1587) [Copy in Pennsylvania Univ. Library - with digital copy of The Description of Ireland [online; .

Raphaell Holinshed - The firste [-third] volumes of Chronicles: comprising 1. The description and historie of England, 2. The description and historie of Ireland, 3. The description and historie of Scotland / First collected and published by Raphaell Holinshed, William Harrison, and others. Now newly augmented and continued (with manifold matters of singular note and worthie memorie) to the yeare 1586. [ Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland. ] [ Historie of England. ] [ Historie of Scotland. ] [ Historie of Ireland. ] Edition: Now newly augmented and continued (with manifold matters of singular note and worthie memorie) to the yeare 1586 / by John Hooker alias Vowell Gent and others. With convenient tables at the end of these volumes, 3 vols. in 2 (London: [Iohn Harrison, [... et al.] [1587]), [engraved t.p., woodcuts, fold. pls. [39cm.]  

The Historie of Irelande from the first inhabitation thereof, unto the yeare 1509 / collected by Raphaell Holinshed, & continued till the yeare 1547 by Richarde Stanyhurst; ed. by Liam Miller and Eileen Power, with the cancels restored and the woodcut illustrations of the first edition. [Dolmen Editions, 28] (Dublin: Dolmen Editions; NJ: Humanities Press Inc. 1979), xxiv, 363, [5]pp., ill. [27.3cm.].  Note: incls. passages cancelled from the 1577 edition, with the replacement passages printed here in an appendix; also incls. woodcuts not reproduced in the 2nd edition of 1586. [Ltd. edn. of 850 copies of which 750 are for sale.]

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Criticism
  • Richard Ryan, Biographia Hibernica, Irish Worthies (1821), Vol. II, pp.505-07;
  • St. John Seymour, Anglo-Irish Literature 1200-1582 (1929; rep. 1970), pp. 145-65 [challenges standard English estimate of Stanihurst’s poetic powers];
  • H. R. Hoppe ‘The period of Richard Stanyhurst’s chaplaincy to the Archduke Albert’, in Recusant History, Vol. 3, No. 2 (q.d.) [ISSN 0034-1932].
  • Russell Alspach, Irish Poetry from the English Invasion to 1798 (Pennsylvania UP 1959), pp.31-33; 62-63;
  • Colm Lennon, ‘Recusancy and the Dublin Stanihurst, in Archivium Hibernicum, 33 (1975);
  • Colm Lennon, ‘Richard Stanihurst and Old English Identity’, in Irish Historical Studies, XXI [var. XXII], No. 82 (1978), pp.121-43;
  • Colm Lennon, Richard Stanihurst, The Dubliner 1547-1618 - A Biography, with a Stanihurst Text, On Ireland's Past [trans. of De rebus in Hibernia gestis, Liber 1] (Blackrock IAP 1981), 186pp., map [23cm];
  • John Barry, ‘Richard Stanihurst’s De Rebus in Hibernia Gestis’, in Renaisance Studies, 18, 1 (March 2004), pp.1-18 [see extract]

See also remarks in W. B. Stanford, Ireland and the Classical Tradition (1976), Norman Vance, Irish Literature: A Social History (1990), Joseph Leerssen, Mere Irish and Fíor Ghael (1986), et al., under Commentary - infra.

Also noticed ...

Willy Maley, ‘The English Renaissance, the British Problem, and the Early Modern Archipelago’, in Critical Quarterly, 52, 4 (Dec. 2010), pp.23–36.

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See also “Bibliography of Richard Stanihurst”, compiled at Centre for Neo-Latin Studies, University College Cork (2001) —
 

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Commentary
Walter Harris, trans. Sir James Ware, Writers of Ireland (Dublin: Ebenezer Rider 1736 edn.): ‘Richard Stanihurst, of Dublin, was educated some time in Unversity College in Oxford, where in his younger Years he writ Commentairies on Porphir; which he published at London, in 1570. Afterwards he writ in Latin, four Books of the Affairs of Ireland, which together with an Appendix, out of Giralaus [sic] Cambrensis, and some Annotations, he published at Antwerp in 1584. Also the Life of St. Patrick, printed there in 1587, and Hebdomada Mariana, printed there in 1609, and a few Years before his Death, Hebdomada Eucharistica, printed at Doway in 1614. He writ in English, a Desccription of Ireland, dedicated to Sir Henry Sidney, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, extant in Holingshead [sic], and perhaps some other things which I have not seen. He died very old at Brussels, in 1618, Chaplain to Albert Arch Duke of Austria, as appears from Aubertus Miræus.’ (Chap. XII.)

Gratianus Lucius Hibernicus [pseud. of John Lynch], Cambrensis Eversus (St. Malo. 1662; trans. by Rev. Matthew Kelly, Dublin: Celtic Soc. 1850).
 
[ Kelly’s remarks on Lynch’s evaluation of Stanihurst in comparison with Giraldus. ]
 
Rev. John Lynch, in Cambrensis Eversus (1662; trans. Dublin 1850), writes that Stanihurst held that Giraldus ‘put no restraint on his pen whenever an enemy was to be lacerated’, and that he ‘spoke favorably of his friends, but lacerated his enemies without mercy’ - adding that Stanihurst, who was best qualified to judge, published only thirty-one of the one hundred and fifty-eight chapters in the three divisions of that work [i.e., Topography]. (Chap. IV., pp.307.)
 
‘But the Conquest of Ireland he held in such contempt, that he left it in its old obscurity, and merely selected whatever was to the point, omitting the rest as rank verbiage, [307] or useless weeds. Stanihurst wrote in a clear and ornate style, what the other had obscured by his sordid and muddy diction.’ (pp.308-09.)
 
[Kelly further quotes Robert Turner, orator, who praises Stanihurst as a Demosthenes who ‘walk[s] with the Scaligers’ (ibid.)]
 
Yet where Giraldus remarks on the Irish genius for music, Stanihurst - as Lynch tells - offers a contrary opinion: ‘The harper uses no plectrum, but scratches the chords with his crooked nails’, and never marks the flow of his pieces to musical rhymthm, nor the accent and quantity of the notes; so that, on the refined ear of the adept, it comes almost as offensively as the grating of a saw.’ Lynch exculpates him, however, with the remark that this is levelled against the bad harper and not against the harp itself.’ (Vide Cambrensis eversus, p.311.)
 
Rev. Kelly: ‘Stanihurst does not state what was his motive in suppressing a great part of the Topography [of Giraldus Cambrensis]. Some of his remarks on the published chapters supply interesting information on the state of Ireland in the reign of Elizabeth. They are frequently adduced by Dr. Lynch in the course of this work [i.e., Cambrensis Eversus], and may be noticed as occasion arises. Dr. Lynch appears to have formed far too favorable an estimate of the literary merits of Stanihurst.’ (Chap. IV; note to the above, pp.307-08). Footnotes in relation to Irish music include refs. to Dr. O’Conor, Petrie, S[amuel] Ferguson, Disquisition on the Antiquity of the Harp and Bagpipe in Ireland [n.d.], p.56-57; Walker’s Irish Bards and Bunting’s ‘invaluable volumes on Irish music.’ (Ibid., pp.313.)
 
Dr. Lynch also cites Stanihurst’s account of a quarrel between the retainers of the earl of Ormonde and his citizens of Dublin, who burst in a body into St. Patrick’s Cathedral and cast their javelins at the Duke, desecrating relics and profaning the holy place - moving Ormonde to appeal to Rome to have the malefactors chastised with the effect that a legate was immediately sent to do so. (Cambrensis Eversus, trans. Matthew Kelly, Dublin 1850, 733, n., citing Dowling’s Annals, AD 1515.)

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James Hardiman, ed., Irish Minstrelsy (London; Robins 1831), Introduction [footnote]: ‘[T] the revilers of the people have not spared even their speech. Of the species of abuse usually resorted to, a curious specimen may be found in the prejudiced Stanihurst, (temp. Elizabeth,) who assures his readers, that the Irish was unfit even for the prince of darkness himself to utter, and to illustrate this, the bigotted Saxon gravely adduced the case of a possessed person in Rome, who “spoke in every known tongue except Irish, but in that he neither would nor could speak, because of its intolerable harshness.” This notable story is said to have made such an impression on the witch-ridden mind of James the first of England, that he conceived as great an antipathy to our language, because the devil would not speak it, as he is known to have had to the sight of a drawn sword. [... &c.]’ (p.xxxi.)

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George Saintsbury calls Stanihurst ‘the eccentric translator of Virgil’ in remarks on Archbishop Ussher (Short History of English Literature, 1922 edn.); see also remarks on the ‘hexameter craze’, in the exercise of which which ‘Richard Stanyhurst, an Irish gentleman, achieve one of the most preposterous books of English literature in his version of Virgil.’ (Ibid., p.272).

George A. Little, Dublin Before the Vikings (1957), writes: ‘Stanihurst marks the location of Iseult’s Tower in Dublin, saying that it was “near Preston’s Inns’ and that it was apparently “`a castle of pleasure for the kings to recreate themselves in.’ (Descript. Hib. p.23). (Little, op. cit., p.131.

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Russell Alspach, Irish Poetry (Pennsylvania UP 1959), pp.31-33; notes that Stanihurst’s Aeneid was parodied by Thomas Nash in the introduction to Robert Greene’s Menaphon (1589), citing ODNB. Bibl. incl. republication of Stanihurst’s ‘Syr Thomas Moore His receipt for a strong breath translated owt of his Latin Epigrames’, in Edward Arber, The English Scholar’s Library of Old and Modern Work, No.10 [n.d.]; also quotes Stanihurst’s account of ‘the hill of Taragh [w]herein is a plaine twelve score long, which was named the Kempe his hall: there the countrie had their meetings and folksmotes, as a place that was accounted high palace of the monarch. The Irish historians hammer manie fables in this forge of Fin mac Coile and his Champions, as the French historie dooth of king Arthur and the knights of the round table’ (Chronicles, 1808 Edn., p.39); Alspach notes that Stanihurst reproduced Campion’s false account of Caoilte MacRonain without correction though evidently he was equipped to see the errors in it. (Alspach, p.62)

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W. B. Stanford, Ireland and the Classical Tradition (IAP 1976; 1984), gives extracts from Description of Ireland, viz, Stanihurst on native [Brehon] lawyers: ‘They do not draw their knowledge of Latin from sources belonging to the grammarians. they despise all that, regarding it as a sordid business and childish trifling. Whatever “coms uppermost”, as is said, they blab out. They do not regulate their words by the grammatical art, nor do they consider the quantities of syllables. they determine the length of every period by the capacity of their breadth not by any artistic standard.’ Translated from the Latin of Stanihurst, De Rebus in Hibernia Gestis (Antwerp 1584, p.37) by D. H. Madden (Some Passages in the Early History of Classical Learning in Ireland, Dublin 1906 pp.85-86; Stanford, p.26.) [Cont.]

W. B. Stanford (Ireland and the Classical Tradition, [1976] 1984) - cont.: Richard Stanihurst, b. Dublin, 1547; ed. Kilkenny Sch. and New College, Oxford; Latin commentaries on Porphyry’s Introduction, publ. 1570; emigrated to continent after his wife’s death in 1579, and d. there, 1618. Published his trans. of Virgil’s Aeneid, Bks. 1-4 (Leyden 1582), in English hexameters, the analysis of prosody and metre in the prefaces being ‘sensible and acute’ (Stanford), and several times reprinted; inc. miscellaneous translations and verses. Stanford gives lines from Aen. 1, 132-37, 2, 52-56. The latter, when Laocoon strikes the Wooden Horse, reads: ‘Then the iade; hit, shivered, thee vauts haulf shrillye rebounded / With clush clash buzing, with dromming clattered humming.’ Stanford remarks, ‘absurdly contorted as much of [his] style is - Thomas Nash parodied it and called it “clownerie” - the scholarship behind it is serious and sophisticated. His fondness for strong alliteration and assonance is very reminiscent of poetry in Irish (but there is no evidence that Stanihurst was familiar with the native Irish literature).’ [162-63] (For Bibliography, see under “References” [infra].)

Joseph Th. Leerssen, Mere Irish & Fíor Ghael (1986). pp.42-47 writes: ‘Stanyhurst’s belief in the role of the Pale-Engish as models of civility to the Irish survived his own recusancy which otherwise softened his later works, when he followed his tutor Edmund Campion into the Jesuit order. He wrote defining the Irish, “the people are thus enclined, religious, franke, amorous, irefull, sufferable of infinite paynes, very glorious, many sorcerers, excellent horsemen, delight with wars, great almsgivers, passing hospitality” [p.47]. An ... indication of the continuity of medieval and colonial attitudes is the fact that the most important 16th c. writers were themeselves Catholic, Campion and Stanyhurst. Edmund Campion fled from England and stayed with his erstwhile Oxford acquaintance Richard Stanyhurst, producing a History of Ireland in manuscript there in 1596, which he revised in an initial version of 1571. The MS was published by Sir James Ware in 1633, but by that date, Stanyhurst’s description of Ireland, printed in Holinshed’s Chronicle of 1577, was already based upon it. [See Stanyhurt, “A treatise contayning a playne and perfect description of Irelande”, in Raphael Holinshed, The first volume of the chronicles of Englande, Scotland, and Irelande, London 1577.] Stanyhurst suppresses some and adds other parts to the History. He deletes “they are sharpe witted, lovers of learning, capable of any studie, whereunto they bend themselves, constant in travailes” (Campion p.19). He follows Cambriensis and Campion in regarding the Irish as amoral. Stanyhurst prefers - in his own words - “not to impute any barbarous custome that shall be here layde down, to ... the inhabitants of the English pale ..” (fol. 27.v.). [For further quotations, see infra.] bibl., De rebus in Hibernia gestis libri quattuor (Antverpiae 1584); ‘a treatise contayning a playne and perfect description of Irelande’, in Raphael Holinshed, The first volume of the chronicles of England, Scotland, and Irelande (London 1577).

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R. F. Foster, Modern Ireland (London 1988), remarks: ‘De Rebus in Hibernia Gestis (1584) was condemned for maliciously misrepresenting Irish character.’

See also Foster, Paddy and Mr. Punch: Connections in English and Irish History (London: Allen Lane 1988), Chap. 1: ‘History and the Irish Question’, incls. a brief synoposis of Anglo-Irish historiography in a footnote - viz., Giraldus Cambrensis (Gerald de Barrry), The Irish History Composed and Written by Geraldus Cambrensis (completed in 1185) in Raphael Holished, The First Volume of the Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland (1577); Edmund Spenser, A View of the State of Ireland (completed 1596); Edmund Campion, A Historie of Ireland: Written in the Yeare 1671; Richard Stanhurst, The History of Ireland (1577; Stanihurst edited Campion and Cambrensis [sic]); Sir John Davies, A Discovery of the True Causes Why Ireland was Never Entirely Subdued ... (c.1617); Fynes Moryson, An History of Ireland from the Year 1599 to 1603 (written c.1617). (Foster, op. cit., p.307.)

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Norman Vance, Irish Literature: A Social History (Oxford: Basil Blackwell 1990), p.42, Ussher’s Catholic uncle Richard Stanihurst, continuing the debunking tradition of Giraldus Cambrensis, is actually more anti-Irish than his Protestant nephew. It is not Ussher but Stanihurst who is described as a writer of lampoons and a slanderer [‘Sillographi et sycophantae’] in Commentarius Rinucinnianus (I, 242).

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Keith Sidwell (Chair of Latin & Greek, UCC/NUI), Arts Faculty, Conferring Address, [Mon.] 21 July 1999: ‘[...] You may be interested and I hope amused, astonished and gratified to learn that the most lucid account we possess of the Irish bag-pipe in the 16th century occurs in a Latin text. It was written by the Dubliner, Richard Stanihurst. Clearly he was not himself a lover of the instrument. At the end of his description, which uses words and phrases chiefly from the Roman orator Cicero, he says this: “However, the stem and stern of the whole matter is that the air should not travel through any other tiny part of the little bag, except the entrance to the pipes. For if anyone were to puncture the sack even with the point of a needle, it would be all over with that instrument, since the bellows would suddenly slacken. This practice is sometimes followed by practical jokers, whenever they want to cause these pipers trouble.”’ (For longer extracts, see attached.)

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Muriel McCarthy & Caroline Sherwood-Smith, ed., Hibernia Resurgens: Catalogue of Marsh’s Library Exhibition (1994): Stanihurst expanded Campion’s ‘abbridgement’, adding “The Description of Ireland”, though he made the modest disclaimer that his own ‘course packthred could not have beene sutablie knot with his [Campion’s] fine silke’.

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C. Lennon, ‘Richard Stanihurst and Old English Identity’, in Irish Historical Studies, XXI [sic], 1978, pp.121-43: ‘Anglo-Irishman, Richard Stanihurst, aware of the growing rift between government policy and the loyalty of the Anglo-Irish, sought to give a more favourable picture of Gaelic social and religious behaviour than that usually drawn by his nation; and, although he remained strongly aware of his Anglo-Irish identity, his enthusiasm for the counter-reformation inspired him to emphasise the common religious faith of the Gaels and the Anglo-Irish, and to play down their political differences.’

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John Barry, ‘Richard Stanihurst’s De Rebus in Hibernia Gestis’, in Renaisance Studies, 18, 1 (March 2004), pp.1-18: ‘Richard Stanihurst was born in 1547 to a well-to-do family of Dublin Palesmen. His great grandfather, also called Richard, was lord mayor of Dublin in 1489. His grandfather, Nicholas, was well involved in administration and, although the Stanihursts were Catholic, was well placed to extend the family landholdings after the dissolution of the monasteries in 1 542. Stanihurst’s father, James, was speaker of the Irihs House of Commons on three occasions. He presided over the the restoration of papal supremacy under Queen Mary in 1557 and over the dissolution of the same reforms under Elizabeth in 1560, displaying a loyalty and obedience to the British crown which is one of the themes of De Rebus. As a latter of policy towards civilising the native Irish, James Stanihurst hoped to see the spread of grammar school education in Ireland "whereby good learning is supported, and our unquiet neighbours would find such sweetness in the taste thereof as it should be a ready way to reclaim them.’ (James Stanihurst, in Two Bokes of the Histories of Ireland, by Edmund Campion, ed. A. F. Vossen, Assen 1963, p.181.) / One such grammar school was that of Peter White in Kilkenny, and here Richard Stanihurst was sent in 1557.’ (p.1.)

Note: Barry sets out to show what light De Rebus sheds on Stanihurst, his community and his country, and to read it with reference to Stanihurst as scholar and as Palesman. He acknowledges in an early footnote that his biographical information is largely drawn from Colm Lennon’s Richard Stanihurst the Dubliner (1981), and that he has also had a preview of Dr Lennon's fortcoming NDNB article, ‘Richard Stanihurst (and his family)’. [Available at Wiley Online Library - online; abstract accessed 17.09.2011.]

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James Wills, Lives of Illustrious Irishmen, Vol. 1, ‘devoid of all perception of the essential distinction between burlesque and serious poetry’.

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Quotations

On Dublin City ...
“The seat of this citie is of all sides pleasant, comfortable and wholesome. If you would traverse hills, they are not far off. If champaign ground, it lieth of all parts. If you be delited with fresh water, the famous river called the Liffie, named of Ptolome Lybnium, runneth fast by. If you will take the view of the sea, it is at hand.” STANIHURST.

—Quoted as epigraph to D. A. Chart’s The Story of Dublin (London: Dent 1907).


“One Theoricus wrote a paper treatise of Aqua Vitae, says Stanihurst, wherein he praiseth it to the ninth degree. He ... &c.” R[obert] S[outhey], quoted in Table Talk and Omniana of S. T. Coleridge, ed. Thomas Ashe, London: 1884, p.369.)

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Richard Stanihurst, De Vita S. Patricii (1587)

 

[ Source: Documents of Ireland / Renaissance Texts in Latin - at UCC’s Centre for Neo-Latin Studies - online; accessed 16.09.2011 ]

 

I. PRÆFATIO AD LECTOREM.
QVAM densis & ingloriis (beneuole Lector) Hiberniæ fama tenebris sit oppleta, vel hinc perfacilè intelligitur, quòd cu(m) Laurentius Surius, spectatissimi ordinis spectatissimus monachus, Christianæq(ue) vetustatis inuestigator acerrimus, omnes fere omnium gentiu(m) illustriores Diuos, eorumq(ue) anteactas visas, diligentissimâ peruestigatione conquisitas, diuersis voluminibus sit complexus: vnus tamen S(anctus) Patricius, cuius opera Deus opt. max. salutare Euangelij lumen Hibernis tam olim porrexit, in coaceruato hoc Sanctorum coetu, si non prorsus silentio præteritur, saltem adtactus deseritur. Quod si huius prætermissionis rationem subiici volucris, quis aliud esse caussæ reperiet, quàm inueteratam illam ignobilitatis fuliginem, quæ nimis diu Hibernicam nationem infuscauit. Nec enim Laurentius Surius, scriptor sanè qua(m) maximè industrius, vllius indilige(n)tiæ culpâ [p.10] tenetur, in cuius manus si nostraru(m) reru(m) aduersaria peruenissent, non minore industriâ, D(ivi) Patricij uita(m) literis celebrasset, quàm Fursei, Caidoci, Kiliani, Malachiæ, Galli, Laure(n)tij, Columbani, Brigidæ, Dimpnæq(ue) memoria(m) monumentis suis, cura & vigiliis elaboratis, consecrarat.

[...]
 
See full-text version in RICORSO Library, “Irish Classics”, via index, or direct.

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Richard Stanihurst, De Rebus in Hibernia Gestis (1584)
 

[ Source: Documents of Ireland / Renaissance Texts in Latin - at UCC's Centre for Neo-Latin Studies - online; accessed 16.09.2011. ]

 
I. LIBER PRIMUS.
PLERIQUE scriptorum, qui vel in Geographia, vel in Annalium confectione elaborarunt, atque Hiberniam attigerunt, una consensione affirmant, eam insulam cum dimidiata tantùm Britanniæ parte æquari. Hiberniæ cum Britannia comparatio. Quæ sanè asseveratio ad veritatem videtur accedere, modò homines litigiosi nullam, in nominis ambiguitate, contentionem ponant. Britanniæ significatio duplex. Nam si in significationem Britanniæ pervagatissimam considerationem intendas, quatenus Angliam, Scotiam, & Cambriam (quæ vulgò Wallia dicitur) comprehendit, apertam cuivis veritatem continet. Verùm si diffusam verbi vim ad certam aliquam Britanniæ partem coarctes, ut ad Angliam solam, à Scotia & Cambria sevocatam, aut ad Scotiam & Cambriam, ab Anglia disclusam, perspicuè falsum est, quod scribunt. Hibernia enim si non Angliam longitudine superat, ab Anglia tamen non superatur. Lib.1. Topograph. Hiber. dist. 1., vide infra appe(n)d. cap.3. Siquidem Giraldus Cambrensis, vir tam Britannicæ, quàm Hibernicæ antiquitatis scientissimus, ab hac sententia nihil dissentit, imò verò prorsus confirmat. Magnitudo & dimensio Hiberniæ. Asserit, Britanniam in longitudine 800. in latitudine 200. milliaria complecti: Hiberniam verò ab extrema Rendanicorum montium ora ad Columbæ promo(n)torium usque, quod Thorach dicitur, trecentos mille passus supra viginti, si longitudinis mentionem respicias, habere; atqui ab urbe Dublinio ad D(ivi) Patricij colles, & mare Connacticum 160. mille passus, modò insulæ latitudo metienda sit, continere. Iam verò cùm Hibernica milliaria Britannicis maiora exsista(n)t (quod ipsum omnes, qui utramque insulam peragrarunt, præclarè intelligunt) si totam p.16 hanc mensuram ad calculos revocemus, satis persuasum esse debet, Hiberniam Angliæ magnitudinem adæquare. Ceterùm unde Hibernia suum habet nomen ductum, difficilis apud nonnullos est quæstio. Quidam suspicati sunt, Hiberniæ notionem inde fuisse derivatam, quòd aquæ ibi, hibernis temporibus, vehementissima frigorum magnitudine, conglacient. Quod certò scio, aliter esse. Habet ea insula aërem mirificè temperatum, usque eò, ut multos annos liceat in Hibernia hibernare, & in plerisque partibus vix aliquam glaciem, per totam hiemem, conspicias. Aqua quidem pluvia ibi frequentius abundat, non ea tamen, ex qua multum detrimenti incolæ capiant. Atq(ue) hic falsus rumor Claudianum, optimum auctorem, in fraudem, ut verisimile est, impulit. inquit,

Scotorum cumulos flevit glacialis Hiberna.
Iuvenalis hanc insulam Iuvernam appellat:

                 arma quid ultra
Litora Iuvernæ promovimus, & modò captas
Orcadas, ac minima contentos nocte Britannos.

Hæc autem appellatio Humfrido Lhuido multùm arridet. verùm licet tantum huic vetustatis helvoni tribuam, quantum docto & erudito viro tribue(n)dum censeam, in hoc tamen ab illius sententia non queo non discrepare. vetus igitur, & vera opinio nostrorum Annalium est, Hiberniæ nomen, vel ab Hibero seu Ebero, Hispaniensi flumine, vel ab Ibero, rege Hispanorum secundo (quorum satu, sine controversia, Hiberni sunt orti) fuisse iam olim traductum. Etsi enim hîc discordant Hispanici scriptores, tame(n) mihi Francisci Taraphæ sententia ad veritatem videtur propensior.

 
See full-text version in RICORSO Library, “Irish Classics”, via index, or direct.

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Virgilian: ‘I blaze the captayne first from Troy cittie repairing / Like wandering pilgrim to famosed Italie trudging / And coast of Lavyn; toust with tempestuus hurlwynd, / On land and sayling, by God’s predestinate order: / But chief through Junoes long fostered deadly revengement.’ (Virgil, Bk 1; quoted in Cabinet of Irish Literature, ed. Charles Read.)

Irish kernes: ‘Human apud illos nihil tam est, quam odium humanitatis’ (De Rebus, p.41).

Historie of Ireland: Stanyhurst relates the story from Giraldus about a north of England man, invaded by a snake while sleeping, who takes advice from a ‘certain wise old priest’ to go to Ireland: ‘He dyd no sooner drinke of the water of that Islande, and taken of the victuals of Ireland, but forthwith he kilde the Snake, avoyded it downwarde, and so being lustye and liuely, he returned to Englande.’ (Extract in Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, 1991, Vol. 1, pp.24 0-44.) Note: The second part is a description of Kilkenny, ‘the best vplandish towne, or, as they terme it, the proprest drye towne in Ireland.’

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This canker: ‘A conquest draweth, or at the least wise ought to drawe to it, three things, to witte, law, apparayle, and languague [sic]. For where the countrye is subdued, there the inhabitants ought to be ruled bythe same law that the conqueror is governed [...] and if anye of them lacke, doubtlesse the conquest limpeth.’ (fol. 3r.; quoted in J. Th. Leerssen, op. cit., 1986, pp.42-46.)

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Scion of young England: ‘[...] truely as long as these empaled dwellers did sunder themselves as wel in land as in language, from the Irishe, rudenes was day by day supplanted, civilitie engrassed, good laws established, loyaltie observed, rebellion suppressed, and in fine the cyon of a yong England was lyke to shoote in Ireland. But when their posteritie became not all togither so wary in keeping, as their auncestors were valiant in conquering, and the Irish language was free dennized in the English pale, this canker tooke such a deepe roote, as the body that before was whole and soundes, was by little and little festered, and in manner wholy putrified.’ (“Description of Ireland”, in Holinshed, Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland, 1577, fol. 2 verso; q.source).

Stanihurst, “Description of Ireland” (in Holinshed, In Chronicles [... &c.] (1577).

Quoted in Alan Bliss, Spoken English in Ireland 1600-1740: Twenty-seven Representative Texts [...] (Dublin: Cadenus Press 1979), pp.15-17.

 
All the ciuities and townes in Irelland, wyth Fingall, the king his lande, Meeth[,] the Countey of Kildare, [15] Louth, Weisford, speake to this day Englishe (whereby the simplicitie of some is to be derided, that iudge the inhabitantes of the English pale, upon their first repayre to England, to learne their English in three or foure dayes, as though they had bought at Chester a groates woorth of Englishe, and so packs vp the reast to be caryed after them to London), euen so in all other places their natiue language is Irishe.
Holinshed (1577), f. 3 verso, col. 2.
[...]
The inhabitantes of the english pale haue bene in olde tyme so much addicted to all ciuilitie, and so farre sequestred from barbarous sauagenesse, as their only mother tongue was English ... but when their posteritie became not all togither so wary in keeping, as their auncestors were valiant in conquering, and the Irish language was free dennized in the English pale: this canker tooke such deepe roote, as the body that before was whole and sounde, was by little and little festered, and in manor wholy putrified.
f 2 verso, col. 2.
It is not expedient that the Irish tongue should be so vniuersally gagled in the English pale [...; and wonders] why the English pale is more giuen to learne the Irishe, then the Irishman is willing to learne Englishe? we must embrace their language, and they detest oures.
f. 3 verso,. col. 2.
[...]

One demaunded meryly, why O Neale [viz., Hugh O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone], that last was, would not frame himselfe to speake English? what: quoth the other, in a rage, thinkest thou, that it standeth with O Neale his honor, to wryeth his mouth in clattering Englishe? and yet forsooth we must gagge our iawes in gybbrishing Irish.

f. 3 verso, col. 2.

Of all other places, Weisforde with the territorye bayed, and perclosed within the riuer called the Pill, was so quite estranged from Irishry, as if a trauailer of the Irish (which was rare in those dayes) had picht his foote within the pile [i.e. ‘pale’] and spoken Irishe, the Weisefordians would commaunde hym forthwith to turne the other ende of his tongue, and speake Englishe, or else bring his trouchman [i.e. ‘interpreter’] with him. But in our dayes they haue so aquainted themselues with the Irishe, as they haue made a mingle mangle, or gallamaulfrey of both the languages, and haue in such medley or checkerwyse so crabbedly fumbled them both togyther, as commonly the inhabitants of the meaner sort speake neyther good English nor good Irishe.
f. 2 verso, col. 2-f. 3 recto, col. 1.
[...]
There was of late dayes one of the Peeres of England sent to Weiseford as Commissioner, to decide the controuersies of that countrey, and hearing in affable wise the rude complaintes of the countrey clownes, he conceyued [i.e. ‘understood’] here and there, sometyme a worde, other whyles a sentence. The noble man beyng very glad that upon his first commyng to Ireland, he understood so many wordes, told one of hys familiar frends, that he stoode in very great hope, to become shortly a well spoken man in the Irishe, supposing that the blunte people had pratled Irishe, all the while they Tangled Englishe. Howbeit to this day the dregs of the old auncient Chaucer English, are kept as well there as in Fingall.
f. 3 recto, col. 1.

That rude people: ‘God with hys grace, clarifie the eyes of that rude people that at length they may see theyr miserable estate, and also that such, as are deputed to the government thereof, bend their industry to concionable pollicye to reduce them from rudenesse to knowledge, from rebellion to obedience, from trechery to honesty, from savageness to civilitie, from idlenes to labour, from wickednesse to godlyeness, whereby they may the sooner espye their blyndenesse, acknowledge their loosenesse, amend their lives, frame themselves plyable to the lawes and ordinaunces of hir Majestie, whom god with hs gracious assistance preserve, as wel as to the prosperous government of hir realm in England, as to the happye reformation of hir realme in Ireland. Finis’ [fol. 28v.]; quoted in J. Th. Leerssen, pp.42-46.).

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Poteen (potion): ‘They use, as a sovereign medicament, a certain wine refined by fire, mixed with no other liquid, which is commonly called Aqua Vitae [viz., uisce beatha], by whose heat food is rendered easier to digest. This type of potion they distil with the most profound craft: to such an extent that, if a tiny flame is applied, the whole rapidly ignites, like gunpowder. They buy a great quantity of wine in the neighbouring towns, which by way of a laugh and a joke, they are accustomed to call the King of Spain’s son. With both kinds of intoxicating liquor, with the drinking up of full hampers of wine, they overwhelm themselves.’ (Aqua vitae: its commodities describ’d from “A treatise contayning a playne and perfect description of Irelande”, or De rebus in Hibernia Gestis [... &c.], quoted in Keith Sidwell, UCC/NUI, Arts Faculty, Conferring Address, 21 July 1999; as attached.)

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Uileann pipes: ‘The Irish also use, instead of the trumpet, a certain wooden pipe, manufactured with the most skilful craft, to which a bag composed of hide, and folded together very tightly with bindings, is stuck. From the side of the skin there sticks out a pipe, through which, as through a tube, the piper, with inflated neck and flowing cheeks, blows. Then the little skin, filled with air, swells. As it swells, he presses it in again with his arm. As a result of this pressing, two other pieces of hollowed out wood, that is, one shorter and one longer, emit a sound both loud and shrill. There is also a fourth pipe, with holes in different places, which the blower regulates by the fluency of his fingers, here closing, there opening the apertures, in such a way that he can easily draw from the upper pipes a sound either loud or gentle, whatever way he decides. However, the stem and stern of the whole matter is that the air should not travel through any other tiny part of the little bag, except the entrance to the pipes. For if anyone were to puncture the sack even with the point of a needle, it would be all over with that instrument, since the bellows would suddenly slacken. This practice is sometimes followed by practical jokers, whenever they want to cause these pipers trouble.’ (De rebus in Hibernia Gestis, quoted in Keith Sidwell, UCC/NUI, Arts Faculty, Conferring Address, 21 July 1999; as attached.)

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English civility: ‘The inhabitants of the English pale have beene in old time so much addicted to their civilitie, and so faree sequestered from barabarous [sic] savageness, as their onlie mother toong was English. and trulie, so long as these impaled dwellers did sunder themselves as well in land as in language from the Irish: rudeness was daie by daie in the countrie supplanted, civilitie ingraffed, good laws established, loyaltie observed, rebellions suppressed, and in fine the coine of a yoong England was like to shoot in Ireland.’ (Holinshed, Chronicles, London: Johnson, VI, 1807-08, p.4; quoted in Michael Cronin, Translating Ireland: Tranlsations, Languages, Cultures, Cork UP 1996, p.50.)

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Irish/English: Stanihurst enquires: ‘whie the English pale is more given to learne the Irish, than the Irishman is willing to learne English.’ (In Holinsed, Chronicles, London 1808, VI, p.6; quoted in Alspach, Irish Poetry, Penn. UP, 1959, p.7).

 

Dáibhí Mac Gearailt [bardic poet and father of Muiris mac Dáibhí Dhuib Mhic Gearailt:], ‘David Fitzgirald, usuallie called David Duffe, borne in Kerie, a ciuilian, a maker in Irish, not ignorant in musike, skillful in physike, a good general craftsman much like to Hippias, surpassing all men in the multitude of crafts [...] He plaied excellentlie on all kinds of instruments, and soong therto his owne verses, which no man could amend. In all parts of logike, rhetorike, and philosophie he vanquished all men, and was vanquished of none.’ (Supplied by contrib. to Oxford Companion to Irish Literature, 1996.)

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References
Dictionary of National Biography: 1547-1618; family at Corduff, Co. Dublin; gives copious details of his family’s career in Dublin adminstrative circles; quotes Nash’s parody of his style in Virgil: ‘Then did he make heaven’s vault to rebound with rounce, robble, robble, / Of ruff, raffe, roaring, with thwicke, thwack, thurlerie, bouncing.’ He also wrote that ‘Master Stanyhurst (though otherwise learned) trod a foule, lumbring, boystrous, wallowing measure [&c] ‘In all his works on Ireland, Stanyhurst wrote from an English standpoint. Keating alleges that Stanyhurst lived to repent ‘the injustice he had been guilty of’. Sir James Ware called his books ‘malicious misrepresentations.’ James Ussher was his nephew. When Ussher tried to prove the Pope was Anti-Christ, Stanyhurst - by then ordained a Catholic priest - retaliated in a work published at Douai. His son William (1602-1663) was also a Jesuit and an author. NOTE also [from Keating’s ‘Apology’ prefixed to Foras Feasa], ‘he did not leave much of Stanihurst that he did not rend to bits].

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D. J. O’Donoghue, The Poets of Ireland: A Biographical Dictionary (Dublin: Hodges Figgis & Co 1912); Translation of the First Four Books of Virgil’s Eneid [for Aeneid], with other poetical devices thereto annexed (1583), one or two other eds.; b. 1547, son of Recorder and Speaker of Irish House of Commons, ... became Cath. priest after his second wife’s death. d. Brussels 1618.

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W. B. Stanford, Ireland and the Classical Tradition (IAP 1976; 1984), Bibliography [i.e., notes on Stanihurt]: De Rebus in Hibernia Gestis (Antwerp 1584); ODNB; Seymour, Anglo-Irish Literature, 1927, Chap. 10; D. H. Madden, Some Passages in the early History of Classical Learning in Ireland (Dublin 1908), 17ff; see his translation of Virgil in E. Arber, ed., The English Scholar’s Library of Old and Modern Works, 10 vols. (1880); also R. G. Austin, Some Translations of Virgil (Liverpool 1956), pp.8-10; Elizabeth Critical Essays (1904); G. C. Smith, The First English Translations of the Classics (New Haven 1927), 132, 145 (Stanford, p.178.)]

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G. C. Duggan, The Stage Irishman (1937.) Irish touches in John Webster’s The White Devil were mainly culled from Stanihurst’s Description of Ireland (1577); such details are the Irish gamester who will play himself naked, and the ‘wild Irish’ who play football with their enemies heads.

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Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol. 1: gives name as Stanihurst; selects The Historie of Irelande [240-44, as infra; note that the first passage quoted is rendered in modern English in a footnote, Carpenter and Harrison, eds., believing that ‘the reader needs only a little perserverance with the second’]; 1001; 271, tutored by Edmund Campion; contrib. to Holinshed’s Chronicle (1577); In 1579 on the death of his wife, Stanihurst [sic] went to the Netherlands where he became a catholic and, according to Barnaby Riche, ‘professed Alchymy’. He translated Virgil’s Aeneid into appalling English heroic verse. Died in Brussels, 1618. [Works and Criticism as supra.] See also FDA2 1015: Aodh de Blacam, ‘we have the testimony of Stanihurst that, in Elizabeth’s day, Irish was “gaggled” throughout the Pale’ (Studies, 1934).

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British Library (under ‘Giraldus de Barry’), lists Stanihurst, De rebus in ibernia gestis libri quator; accessit ... Hibernicarum rerum appx. ex. S. Giraldo Cambrensi ... collecta (1584), 4o.

De Burca Books (Cat. 18) lists De Rebus [in] Hibernia Gestis, Libri Quator, Antwerp, Chris Plantinum 1584 (Bradshaw 6300) Ł750.

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Notes
Elias Shee: Hubert Butler refers to Elias Shee, an Anglo-Irish merchant of Kilkenny described in Stanyhurst - ‘born in Kilkenny, sometime scholar of Oxford, a gentleman of passing good wit, a pleasing conceited companion, full of mirth without gall. He wrote in English divers sonnets.’ (Butler, Grandmother and Wolfe Tone, 1990, p.21)

Irish language: Alan Titley relates that Stanihurst [sic] remarked on the story of a witch tried in Rome who spoke every known language except Irish that it was ‘;too profane even for the devil himself’ [Titley’s paraphrase], and adds: ‘The Irish concluded however, that Irish was such a holy tongue that the devil would not dare to utter a syllable in it.’ (‘Craz’d in Her Intellectuals’ [the story of Ann Glover, Irish ‘witch’ tried and hanged in Boston in 1688], in Titley, Nailing Theses: Selected Essays, Belfast: Lagan Press 2011, p.72; and see the same narrative at ibid., p.84 [his essay on Seán O’Faolain].)

Placenames: Note that Stoneyhurst College at Clitheroe, Lancashire, is the name and location of a leading Catholic Public School [i.e., fee-paying boarding school] run by the Jesuit Fathers in England. The main building was donated by the Shireburn family.

Query: confusion in biographical record as to whether he converted at death of first or second wife, dates given variously as 1597 and 1601.

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