Friday, April 1, 2011

"Madam St. Andrew," a Royal visit to Wolverhampton, and Manuscript Clues in Printed Books

According to an anecdote from Wolverhampton (Staffordshire, West Midlands) local history, King Charles I visited the city in 1643 shortly after the Battle of Hopton Heath (19 March 1642/3). There the king stayed at a private residence, where he "was entertained by Madam St. Andrew, a near connection of Mr. Gough" (Burke, Genealogical and Heraldic History, II.393). According to Stebbin Shaw, this "Madam St. Andrew" was "either sister or aunt to Mr. Henry Gough" (History and Antiquities of Staffordshire), a prominent local landowner and Royalist. For the rest of the anecdote I direct you to Burke. But to summarize it briefly, it appears that Henry Gough publicly denied the King any financial support for his military campaign, only to visit him privately at night (much to the alarm of the King's guards) with a large monetary gift (£1200 according to Burke's note). Charles was apparently so impressed with the gift that he proffered to knight Gough, who politely and humbly declined this signal honor. 

So what is the connection between this anecdote and our collection of rare books? The answer lies in the mysterious identity of this "Madam St. Andrew," who may have owned one of the books in our collection. 

(As a side-note, the house she lived in while harboring the king would become an inn—the "Star and Garter"—in the eighteenth century. See this page for more on the "Star and Garter.")

John Speed, The historie of Great Britaine under the conquests of the Romans, Saxons, Danes, and Normans. Their originals, manners, habits, warres, coines, and seales, with the successions, lives, acts, and issues of the English monarchs from Julius Caesar, unto the raigne of King James, of famous memorie
At London: Printed by John Dawson [and Thomas Cotes], for George Humble, 1632. 
[22], 1042 p., 1043-1086 numb. ℓ., 1087-1237, [85] p.  illus., geneal. tab. (port.)  35 cm (folio). 

One of our two copies of Speed's Historie contains several interesting marks of seventeenth-century provenance. The first seems to read "Henry Syrott" [?], but I have been unable to identify him.

The next one seems to allude directly to the anecdote about "Madam St. Andrew," the Goughs, and Charles I cited above.

"John Goughe his booke,
given him by his Aunte:
mrs Elyzabeth St andrewe"

According to Shaw, "Madam St. Andrew" was either the sister or aunt of Henry Gough, who was the father of John Gough (his ownership inscription is possibly shown here). The signature of "Elizabeth St. Andrew" appears at the rear of the volume on a strip of vellum used to reinforce the binding.


If this is in fact the same "Madam St. Andrew" who was "sister or aunt" to the Henry Gough in the above anecdote, then John Gough's ownership inscription seems to establish that she was in fact his aunt, and therefore Henry's sister. 

On one of the rear endpapers someone transcribed (in a careful italic hand) part of Francis Quarles's epigram "On Fox" (i.e. John Foxe, writer of the Protestant martyrology Actes and Monuments--major edns. in 1563, 1570, 1576, and 1583). According to the Folger First Line Index, this poem appears in only two other places: Quarles's Divine Fancies (1641; Wing Q62, p. 101) and BL Harley 2311, f. 20. The version of the poem transcribed here (probably in Elizabeth St. Andrew's hand) is missing the last two lines:


there was a tyme woe worth that heavye tyme
when wolvish foxes did devour the prime
and choyce of all our lambs. but heaven did raise
a most ingenious foxe in after dayes
whose high immortall penn redeemd their breath
and made there names to live in spight of death

The last two lines (present in both Divine Fancies and the Harley MS) read:

To see, how mutuall Saintly favors be!
Thou gav'st them life, that now give life to thee.

There are other interesting variants between the printed poem in Divine Fancies and the transcribed fragment shown here. The printed version reads "rav'nous foxes" for "wolvish foxes" and "made those lambs revive" for "made there names to live." Since the ms version doesn't contain the final two lines, I doubt Elizabeth St. Andrew copied the poem from Quarles's printed book; I think it is likely she copied it from another manuscript source. 

Coincidentally, the city of Wolverhampton opens an exhibit on its royal visitors tomorrow, but it doesn't mention Charles' visit in 1643.

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