Early Modern Mythological Texts: Troia Britanica XVII (51-138)

Thomas Heywood. Troia Britanica (1609)

CANTO XVII (51-138)

Stanzas 51-60 — 61-70 — 71-80 — 81-90 — 91-100 — 101-10111-20121-30 – 131-8

Ed. Yves PEYRÉ



Next whom prince Edward Longshanks was invested

And thirty-four years reigned, admired and feared.

Th’usurping pride of priests he much detested,

Bounty and virtue in this prince appeared.

Nicholas the third, made pope, from th’empire wrested

Two kingdoms for two nephews, much endeared.

   Of Jews at once, that in their wealth took pride,

   Two hundred eighty four for coining died.


Edward I









Llywelyn next rebelled, slain by the hand

Of Roger Mortimer. After not long,

David, his brother, ’gainst Edward stand,

A dangerous rebel and in faction strong,

Yet perished likewise, with his warlike band

Of Welsh revolted. Other things among,

   King Edward joys to quell the Frenchmen’s scorn

   And for prince Edward at Caernarforn born.










Alexander issue-less fell from his steed

And broke his neck. The Carmelites began.

Philip the Fair in France was king decreed.

Two women in Helvetia lived then,

Who in their wombs did two strange monsters breed:

One bore a child that had the face of man

   And body of a lion; th’other bred

   One with two bodies, from the girdle-sted.









The Scotch king dying issue-less, contention

In Scotland grew, who should succeed the state.

The strife Edward atoned, and after mention

Made of their title, which these lords relate,

He arbitrates their fierce and hot dissension

And to John Balliol, prized at highest rate,

   He gives the crown, which pleasèd Scotland well.

   Madog and Morgan now in Wales rebel.












Edward thrice warred ’gainst Scotland and prevailed,

The French king’s sister, Margaret, took to wife,

And to his son the princedom he entailed

Of Wales. Proud Ottoman began great strife

With christendom and many towns assailed.

In him the empire of the Turks took life.

   Pope Boniface the eighth survivèd then;

   He first in Rome the Jubilee began.




Edward II the 1st

Prince of Wales






Great Timur Khan governed Tartaria,

Albert the Empire; France, king Philip guided,

Prince Ladislaus ruled Hungaria;

Clement the fifth the seat of Rome divided,

Transporting it to France, which from that day

Seventy four years continued undecided.

   Seraph th’Egyptian souldanship supplied;

   Edward I in his Scotch garboils died.












The second Edward him succeeds and reigns

Full eighteen years, a prince of no renown:

He riots, lusts, and wantonness maintained

‘Mongst private unthrifts, and his peers put down.

Henry, the emperor, having bravely gained

Many great fields, was with an iron crown

   At Milan crowned, where he advanced his name.

   The crutched friars first into England came.







Henry VII, Em.





Piers Gaveston, twice banished by the peers,

Was by the king recalled. John Tanner rose

In rebel arms, destroyed by his own fears.

Philip the Long their king the Frenchmen chose.

The haughty Spencers triumphed many years

Over the nobles, who themselves oppose

   Against their pride. The Spencers they exile,

   Whom the loose king revokèd in small while.






Twenty-two barons, for the Spencers’ love,

The king cut off. The sun six hours appeared

Of sanguine hue; his glorious brightness strove

With his red mask, which at the last he cleared.

Edward his force did twice ’gainst Scotland prove,

Both times the soil with English blood besmeared.

   The Queen and Prince the Spencers could not brook

   And like two exiles their own land forsook.










Sir John of Hainault lands in the queen’s aid

And by the barons’ help the king pursued,

Who, after in strong Berkley castle laid,

Sir Roger Mortimer, a man indued

With pride and tyranny, the king betrayed 

And with the king’s blood Berkley tower imbrued.

   Baldock, the Spencers, minions to the king,

   The conquering peers unto destruction bring.










Edward, king Edward’s son, fifty years bore

England’s rich sceptre. Charles the French king died,

Leaving no issue of the royal store;

Therefore, king Edward, being next allied,

Claims France, to which the Douze-peers restore

Philip Valois, and Edward’s claim deride.

   Sir Roger Mortimer, long graft ’bove reason

   By the king’s mother, was condemned of treason.


Edward the 3rd 5288/1327








Edward the Black Prince was at Woodstock born.

King Edward fought the field called Halidon Hill

In Scotland. After some few days outworn,

The king his claim to France doth menace still.

Petrarch the Laureate lived. The French, in scorn,

Four hundred sail with armèd soldiers fill.

   These, Edward meets at Sluys, whom fame hath souned

   Thirty three thousand of French t’have slain and drowned.











The order of the Garter was first made.

Soon after was the famous Crecy field.

Don Petro, by his Spanish peers betrayed,

Was to their violent fury forced to yield.

Edward won Calais. John next Philip swayed

In France and menaced with his warlike shield.

   The brave Black Prince, at Poitiers battle, won

   The field: the French king prisoner, and his son.











Melchella was now souldan, Amurath

Emperor of Turkey and with conquest fought,

A persecutor of the Christian faith.

The French king John, having his peace now bought,

At Savoy died, and Charles the sixth next hath

The crown of France. Don Peter aid besought,

   Who late exiled from the crown of Spain,

   Was by the Black Prince repossessed again.











The duke of Lancaster France overran,

Unfought withall. Sir Robert Knowles likewise

Marched by the city Paris. Now began

Great Bajazeth among the Turks to rise.

The brave Black Prince from France, where he had won

So many noble fields, returning, dies.

   The king himself, as our best writers say,

   Expired of June the two and twentieth day.


John of Gaunt,

duke of Lancaster









Richard the second, son to the bold prince

Edward surnamed the Black, at years eleven

Began his rule, whom many men convince

Of wanton riot and a course uneven.

Well tutored in’s minority, but since

He managed state, too much neglecting heaven.

   Guns were devised first by a German friar.

   France doth the kingdom of Navar’ desire.


Richard 2









Queen Joan of Naples flourished; Boheme’s king

Wenceslaus was Almayne emperor made;

‘Twixt Portugal and Castile discords spring;

Two popes contend; the Genoese invade

The bold Venetians and to battle bring

Their naval powers: both ensigns fly displayed.

   Jack Straw dies, stabbed in Smithfield by the care

   Of William Walworth, at that time Lord Mayor.












A wondrous earthquake did whole England shake.

King Richard th’Almayne emperor’s daughter wived.

The Turks in Christendom great uproars make.

John Galeazzo in those days survived.

Duke John of Gaunt doth a brave voyage take

To conquer Spain and in his purpose thrived.

   The barons of the realm themselves withdrew

   And many of the king’s seducers slew.










The duke of Lancaster his daughter Kate

Married to Henry, Castile’s eldest son.

His second daughter had the queen-like state

Of Portugal, by which all wars were done.

The Turk, in Hungary suppressed but late,

Seeks by his power all Greece to overrun.

   Against Constantinopolis he laid

   An eight-year siege. Now Cologne’s School was made.








The Academy of Cologne founded



Robert of Scotland dying, John his heir

Succeeds next. Richard, queen Anne being dead,

Espoused French Isabel; then, did prepare

For Ireland, where’s voyage slowly sped.

He put to death his uncles, for the care

Of him and his realm’s safety—sore misled!

   Hereford and Norfolk dukes the combat claim

   And both are banished in king Richard’s name.






The duke of Gloucester and earl of Arundel




The Scythian Tamburlaine the Turks subdued

And kept their emperor in an iron cage.

Hereford, against his sentence, durst intrude

Himself in England and ’gainst Richard wage

A threatened war. The peers Richard exclude

From government, who, in his strength of age

   Resigns his crown, his dignity and fame

   To Henry Bolingbroke, fourth of that name.









Edward IV 



’Gainst whom the duke of Exeter, Richard’s brother,

The dukes of Surrey and Aumerle conspire,

With Gloucester, who his hatred cannot smother,

And Salisbury; all these his life conspire

And for it, lost their lives, with many other

Of the same faction, seeking to aspire.

   Richard is slain in prison, after shown

   Through London streets, to have his death well known.





Owen Glendower raised arms; Hotspur rebelled;

Worcester, Northumberland, with others mo’,

Whom Edward met at Shrewsbury and quelled,

Giving those lords mortal overthrow.

The Milan duke, that many years excelled

At tyranny, at length was laid full low,

   Leaving to John his son the dukedom’s seat.

   This year was stated Mahomet the great.






Galeazzo, duke of Milan





Charles of Cremona by the treason died

Of base Cabrinus Fundulus, his slave.

Th’archbishop Scroope, that Edward late defied,

Surprised in field, came to a timeless grave.

In Poland at Cracovia full of pride

Was founded th’Academy. Some deprave

   The Burgoin duke, that did his hands imbrue

   In Orleans’ blood, whom he by treason slew.











Saint Andrews University began

In Scotland. John, the Milan duke, is slain

Of his own subjects. Ladislaus won

The city Rome, which he gave up again.

King Edward dying left unto his son,

Henry the fifth, a fair and prosperous reign:

   Ten years he did his royal fame advance

   And to his crown annexed the realm of France.







Henry V





Great Amurath swayed Turkey; John, Castile;

The sixth Charles, France; Pope Martin, Peter’s chair.

At Henry’s claim to France, the Frenchmen smile,

With many taunts they England’s puissance dare.

King Henry crossed the seas and in small while,

At Agincourt managed a fight so rare

   That in one battle he the land overran,

   Leaving the crown successive to his son.











Jeremy Prague and John Husse die by fire

About religious causes; Zischa led

The Thaborytes and further gan aspire

Against the Emperor to lift his head.

French Katherine was crowned queen by great desire

Of all our English peers. Duke Clarence sped

   Against the Dolphin but, alas, in vain.

   By multitudes he was o’erset and slain.









Henry, t’avenge his brother’s death, prepares

Again to invade France, where he breath’s his last;

Pale Death that in his rigor no man spares

Bereaves him life. His infant son, not past

Eight months of age, assumes the land’s affairs

Under protection. Bedford’s duke was great

   With regency of France. A sorcering maid

   Fought on the Dolphin’s part and brought him aid;





Henry the sixth



Joan the Pucelle



Who in small time was king of France proclaimed.

At Orleans brave Mountagu is slain.

Prince Sigismund is Roman Emperor named;

Eugenius doth the papal see maintain;

Philip guides Milan. Now was Talbot famed,

Who many lost towns did in France regain.

   Now flourished Francis Sforza in his pride.

   The lions in the Tower this year all died.





Eug. 4






Zenza lives Persia’s king. For sorcery,

Dame Elen Cobham, the Protector’s wife,

With divers others were found treacherously

To have conspired against king Henry’s life.

Dame Margaret to the king of Sicily,

Sole daughter—which began much future strife—

   To Henry’s bed, with Suffolk crossed the seas.

   Now lived the brave prince Huniades.






Humphrey, the duke of Gloucester, was deprived

His harmless life at Bury. Suffolk now

Was banished England, where he long had strived

By the king’s grace to make the barons bow.

Jack Cade, a mutinous rebel, now survived;

Daring the king’s edicts to disallow.

   This was the year of Jubilee. In Mainz,

   Faustus first printed, at his own expence.











The Turkish Mahomet sacked and despoiled

Constantinople. At this time was fought

Saint Albans battle, where the king was foiled

And by the duke of York a prisoner brought

To London. The sixth Henry, being much toiled

With kingdom’s cares, his peace and quiet sought,

   Making proud York Protector. Now was famed

   George Castriotus, Scanderbeg surnamed.












Great Warwick at Northampton the king met

In battle, of the barons many slew,

Surprised the king in person without let.

The duke of York revives his claim anew,

Whom many of the chiefest lords abet

And in the Parliament his right pursue.

   Being titled heir apparent to the crown,

   At Wakefield him, king Henry’s queen put down.







Great Warwick at Saint Albans she made fly,

Rescuing the king her husband in small space.

York’s son the earl of March ‘gan to defy

And sought by arms king Henry to displace.

Near York both powers each other soon descry,

Where the fourth Edward hath the king in chase.

   And now the victors lord it where they please

   Whilst Margaret with her young son crossed the seas.







Edward IV



Twelve kingdoms and two hundred cities more

Great Mahomet subdues. Next Exham field

Was fought by them that Henry would restore,

But to king Edward’s powers perforce they yield,

Who wives the lady Gray, she that before

Was wife to Sir John Gray. Warwick his shield

   Advanced against the king whom he had crowned

   And for French Bona seeks him to confound.









Edward flies England, Henry is restored,

And Edward with an army lands again,

Where Warwick’s pride upon his shield is scored.

Edward o’ercomes his powers on Barnet plain.

Earl Warwick by the commons is deplored.

Edward the fourth once more usurps his reign.

   Gloucester kills Henry’s son, then madly fares

   ’Gainst Henry, whom he murdered at his prayers.









Cassanus governed Persia. Mistress Shore

Was famous for her beauty. Hungary

Matthias ruled. The pope, not known before,

At twenty-five years made the jubilee.

The duke of Clarence is lamented sore,

Being in a wine butt murdered treacherously.

   Edward expires; two sons he leaves behind,

   Three daughters, and a brother most unkind.











The eleventh of April and the eleventh sad year

Of his young age, fifth Edward ’gins his reign 

But ere he yet was crowned, Richard—too near—

His uncle, did his hands with murder stain:

Both Edward’s children by his doom severe

Were butchered in the Tower and foully slain.

   Now famous were Gaza, Sabellicus,

   Picus Mirandola, Aldus Manutius,



Edward V



George Valla, Hermolaus Barbarus,

Politian, Platina, with a many mo,

Marsilius Ficinus, Pomponius Laetus,

With Johannes de Monteregio.

Now Venice and Ferrara peace discuss.

Great Bajazeth sustains an overthrow

   By the bold Souldan. Next instated came

   Usurping Richard, called third of that name.









Richard III



Two years, two months and two days he enjoys

Regality, whilst Charles the eighth sways France

And Innocent the eighth his power employs

In Rome, his bastards to enhance.

Richard the duke of Buckingham destroys,

Who thought the earl of Richmond to advance.

   Henry, earl of Richmond, Milford Haven sought,

   Where landing, he the field of Bosworth fought.













Richard there slain, Henry the seventh sits crowned

Twenty three years. Ugnerus Persia guides;

Frederick the Empire. Henry, to make sound

The breach that York and Lancaster divides,

A happy nuptial contract doth propound

With fair Elizabeth, whom soon he brides,

   She, heir to York. This year, a disease new,

   The sweating sickness, first in England grew.


Henry VII




Spain’s Ferdinand the kingdom of Granada

Won from the Saracens. Lambert, a child,

Taught by a priest called Simon, came to invade

England with a new style, by him compiled

As son to Clarence. In this claim were made

Chief leaders Francis Lovell, once exiled,

   Broughton and Lincoln’s earl, with whom took part

   A valiant German that hight Martin Swart.













These, Henry slew in battle; and arreared

A tax of the tenth penny through the land,

For which the commons in the field appeared

And kill Northumber’s earl. With a strong band,

Henry invaded France. Columbus cleared

The unknown seas and boldly took in hand

   The Indies’ first discovery. Insurrection

   By Perkin Warbeck, in foreign protection. 












In Italy, a stone exceeding great

Fell from the air. Lord Audley now rebelled.

Henry and the Scotch king of peace intreat.

The Turk the bold Venetian forces quelled,

Who at Dyrrachium sought him to defeat.

Katherine of Spain, a lady that excelled,

   Was fianc’d to prince Arthur. Sforce subdued

   Milan, and all the Frenchmen did exclude.











Margaret, king Henry’s daughter, was affied

Unto Scotch James. In Germany blood rained.

Elizabeth, the queen, in childbed died.

The French, this year, from Naples were constrained

By Ferdinand of Spain. Now in his pride

Lived Prester John. Great Ismael Sophy gained

   Upon the Turk in many a warlike strife.

   Henry the seventh at Richmond ends his life.












At eighteen years Henry the eighth succeeds,

And thirty-eight years reigned. His brother’s wife

He marries by the Pope’s dispense, which breeds

Among the cardinals murmur and strife.

Empson and Dudley, hated for their deeds,

To please the commons were deprived of life.

   Now Doctor Colet lived, a man of fame,

   Erasmus too, derived from Rotterdam.


Henry VIII







The Turkish tyrant Selimus by war

Two Egyptian Souldans chased and slew.

The Muscovites the stout Polonians bar

Some rights, for which great battles ’tween them grew.

France still retains the memorable scar

Of Henry’s valour, who that time o’erthrew

   Turwin and Turney, in whose streets appear

   Turrets as many as be days i’th year.











A peace with France. King Lewes Mary wives,

Sister to Henry, and within few days

Expires. Charles Brandon ’gainst the Frenchmen strives

At tilt and barriers, where he won great praise,

And fetched the queen thence. Francis next survives

The King of France. Charles Brandon now assays

   The queen and marries her; in small while after

   Mary was born, king Henry’s eldest daughter.









Charles, duke of Austrich, is made king of Spain.

The City’s tumult chanced on ill May day.

Cardinal Wolsey flourished. Now complain

The Pope’s allies ’gainst Luther. Turkes display

Their ensigns against Belgrade. Once again

Zwinglius began against the Pope t’inveigh,

   Whose doctrines learned Erasmus seemed to abet.

   Henry at Arde, in France, the French king met.












Charles is crowned emperor. Th’eighth Henry writ

A book against Luther. This year lost his head

The duke of Buckingham; and now did sit

In the Turk’s throne a prince with fury led,

Who Belgrade did besiege and threatened it,

Great Soliman. The emperor Charles him sped

   For England, where at Windsor he was called

   Unto the Garter, and there knight installed.












Christian of Denmark, banished, with his wife

Enter this land, where they were well entreated.

The earl of Surrey, in his northern strife,

In many sundry fights the foe defeated.

Storms and tempestuous gusts this year were rife,

And in Granada, a province fairly seated,

   Were cities swallowed. The great Turk makes head,

   From whom the Hungar’s king drowned as he fled.











The Anabaptists’ sect was first begun.

Charles Bourbon, duke, sacked Rome and there was slain.

Vaivad grew great in fame. This year the sun

Appeared three suns at once. Katherine of Spain,

Before prince Arthur’s wife, the king is won

To be divorced from. This divorce in vain

   Cardinal Wolsey seeks, by means, to cross,

   Which to his ruin turns and favour’s loss.











Tyndale the Holy Scripture now translated.

Th’arrested cardinal at Leicester died

And Ferdinand is king of Rome created.

Anne Boleyn next became king Henry’s bride

And Thomas Cromwell, whom the clergy hated,

Made of the Council. The king’s sister, tied

   In marriage to Charles Brandon, dies forlorn.

   Elizabeth was now at Greenwich born.











For treason died the holy maid of Kent.

Lady Anne Boleyn likewise lost her head.

Erasmus, after seventy winters spent,

Expired, whose fame through Christendom is spred.

Lady Jane Seymour’s beauty did content

The king so well, he took her to his bed

   And on Saint Edward’s eve this year took life

   Noble prince Edward by the king’s late wife.











Friar Forest died for treason. One of Spain,

For eating flesh upon a day of fast,

Was hanged in Paris, and took down again;

His lady burnt. A full conclusion past

Of marriage ’tween the king and lady Anne

Of Cleves with solemn contract did distaste

   The king soon after, who, for her rare feature,

   Wived lady Katherine Howard, a fair creature.











Cromwell next lost his head. The disputation

Began at Ratisbonne. Henry th’eighth is styled

The king of Ireland, by his proclamation.

And lady Katherine Howard, who defiled

Her unchaste body, with much lamentation

Led to her death. Now Luther was reviled

   In the Pope’s Trident  Council. The king wed

   The lady Katherine Lat’mer to his bed.












The Turkish Barbarossa famous grew

In Germany. At Munster blood did rain.

Troubles with Scotland: next these did ensue

The council held at Spire. Now once again

Henry invaded France and did pursue 

The Boulonnais. Since many did complain

   Against the stews, they were abandoned quite.

   The Pope the Wormace Council did accite.










Luther expires. Soon after dies the king

Henry the eighth, whom the sixth Edward then

Succeeds at nine years old. Now first ’gan spring

That reformed church, which at first many men

Impugned. Masses no more the churchmen sing.

Next Musselborough, field did happen, when

   Much blood was spilt a both sides. Bonner now,

   Great in his father’s days, the king makes bow.




Edward the 6th






Stephen Gardiner is cast into the Tower.

The brother Seymour, falling at dissension

By means of their proud wives, begin to lour

Each upon other, which without prevention, 

Caused timeless fate: both their sweet lives devour.

First Arundell, then Kett, had firm intention

   To change the State, but both were hanged in chains.

   Boulogne was given up by the Frenchmen’s trains.









At Feversham was murdered by his wife

Arden, by help of Mosby and Black-Will.

The trade with Moscow did now first grow rife

’Mong th’English merchants, by the naval skill

Of one Gabato, he that first gave life

To these adventures. Many rumours fill

   The land with news that Edward lately died.

   Mean time, the lady Jane’s made Guilford’s bride.








Guilford Dudley to the D. Northumberland




Edward at sixteen years of age deceased.

The duke Northumberland proclaims queen Jane,

But soon her young and infant title ceased:

The commons by their power Mary maintain,

Sister to Edward. Her high state increased

And next her brother she begins her reign.

   Guilford and Jane, with whom the queen’s offended,

   Sent to the Tower, where their sweet lives they ended.



Queen Jane



Queen Mary



Bourne, preaching at Paul’s Cross, the mass maintaining,

A sudden tumult at his sermon raised:

A man unknown, his doctrine much disdaining,

Threw at his face a dagger. Ridley, praised

’Mongst protestants, and Cranmer, favour gaining

In Edward’s days, were for arch-traitors blazed

   And died by fire. Northumberland, that sped

   To Cambridge, on the Tower Hill lost his head.



The Turkish Soliman with his own hands

Slew his son Mustapha. The cardinal

In Henry’s days but late exiled his lands,

Was by the queen recalled. Now ’gan to fall

The protestants: against them strictly stands

The catholic clergy. The proud Genovese brawl

   With the French king, who after in small while,

   Won by the Turks’ aid the rich Corsick isle.




Cardinal Pole



England’s great queen espoused Philip of Spain.

Sir Thomas Wyatt for rebellion died.

Duke Suffolk, father to the lady Jane,

Was at the Tower beheaded. Courtenay, allied

To the blood royal, once more they restrain

Of liberty. The fourth Paul, full of pride,

   Supplies the popedom. The same year did chance

   Much war and trouble between Spain and France.





Courtenay, earl of Devonshire



Lady Elizabeth was kept in hold

And by the queen committed to the Tower;

There, harshly used, her life to danger sold;

By soldiers thence removed to Woodstock Bower;

Sir Henry Bedingfeld, somewhat too bold,

Upon her just proceedings looking sour.

   A blazing comet twelfe full nights appeared.

   Great loans of money by the queen were reared.










Great dearth in England. For base murder died

At Salisbury lord Sturton. Calais lost,

Which was by England many years supplied

Since the third Edward. The proud clergy engrossed

All the spiritual fruits to glut their pride.

Philip took sea and left the English coast,

   For grief of which Mary soon after crazed

   And died, with cardinal Pole, in England raised.







King Philip




Next whom, the fair Elizabeth is crowned,

A princess with all gracious thews indued.

She did the Gospel quicken and confound

Rome’s antichrist: all such as he pursued

With fire and inquisition, she girt round

With safety; and her land’s pure face, imbrued

   With blood of innocents, her prosperous reign

   Cleared, and wiped off each foul and bloody stain.




Queen Elizabeth



Henry, the French king, in the tilt was laid

Breathless at Paris. Paul’s is burnt. A peace

Between the realms of France and England made.

Newhaven siege and a great plague’s increase.

Lord Henry Stuart to the hests obeyed

Of the Scotch peers, whose urgings never cease

   Till to their general comforts he was seen

   Espoused to lady Mary, Scotland’s queen.


Henry II








Now came the Baden Margrave with his wife

To London; she here brought him a new son,

Whom the queen christened, breathing a new life

In his decayed estate. Now was begun

The Burse on Cornhill, whose renown grew rife

In every place where traffic’s gain is won.

   In Scotland, to restore a kingdom torn,

   James, of that name the sixth, this year was born.









Henry of Scotland was by traitors slain

And Shan O’Neil in Ireland put to flight

By bold Sir Henry Sidney, with the gain

Of a great battle, where their treasons light

Upon the traitors. With a gallant train,

The Muscovite lands in his emperor’s right

   T’establish traffic. Now as rebels stand

   Th’earls of Northumberland and Westmoreland.











Debate with Scotland; and in Norfolk grew

Conspiracy. The queen in person came

To Gresham’s Burse to take a princely view,

To which she gave at his request a name,

Royal Exchange. This year the christians slew

Many proud Turks and beat them back with shame

   Into their fortresses and cities walled.

   This was the battle of Lepanto called.











A massacre in Paris. Now their heads

The Norfolk duke lost, and Northumberland.

A blazing star six months together spreds

Her fiery rays. Now by the violent hand

Of one George Browne, who murderous fury leads,

Was master Saunders slain; the matter scanned,

   Anne Drury, for that fact, and Saunders’ wife,

   George Browne, with trusty Roger, lost his life.











By Frobisher Cathaia was made known.

The Essex earl this year at Divelon died,

In Ireland, where his fame was dreadful grown.

John Cassimerus did through London ride.

Desmond rebelled. Drake, that had compassed round

The world and many dangerous fortunes tried,

   Was knighted by the queen. Monsieur arrived,

   Thinking the English monarchess t’have wived.










William, the prince of Orange, was betrayed

And with a pistol by a soldier slain.

Poland Lasco into England made

A voyage, and did six months here remain.

Purser and Clinton, pirates that denied

Allegiance to the queen at length were ta’en

   By William Borough. Antwerp sacked and spoiled

   By Parma’s duke, who long against it toiled.








Northumberland himself in the Tower slew.

Iago, Domingo and Carthagen

By Drake and Frobisher—whom most men knew—,

Carleill, and many gallant Englishmen

Surprised and sacked. The Earl of Leicester grew

Great in the land, and sailed to Flushing then,

   Where his commission he at large relates,

   Being made chief general to the Belgian states.





Ambassadors from Denmark gratulate

Her Highness’ reign. The earl of Arundel

Convict’d. A league ’twixt England and the State

Of Scotland. Noble Candish, furnished well

In two good ships, well manned and builded late,

Compassed the world. The fourteen traitors fell

   And suffered for the guilt. At Zutphen died

   Noble Sir Philip Sidney, soldiers’ pride.






His two ships, the Desire and Content



His death a general grief ’mongst soldiers bred.

A parliament. The great Armada of Spain

Rode on the English coast and ’gainst us sped,

But by our fleet they were repulsed again.

At Tilbury, the camp was bravely led

By Elizabeth in person, in whose train

   All England’s chivalry mustered and met.

   Leicester mean time to Nature paid his debt.






Portugal voyage. Lodwicke Grewill pressed

For murder. The bold duke of Guise betrayed

And slain by the third Henry, when he least

Suspected death. A friar no whit dismayed,

Encouraged by the Guisians, as ’tis guessed,

Murdered the king. Then Henry Bourbon laid

   Claim to the crown, whom England so supplies

   That by her aid his warlike fortunes rise.








Henry III killed



Whom Essex, Willoughby, Norris assist,

Sir Roger Williams, with a many moe:

Strong Paris they besiege and as they list

March thorough France maugre the common foe.

Hacket is hanged in Cheap’, who did persist

In blasphemy. In London ’gan to grow

   A grievous plague. Lopes, attained and tried,

   Drawn from the London Tower, at Tyburn died.












Cadiz ’sieged and won. The duke of Boulogne lands

In England. Th’islands voyage. This year came

Ambassadors from Denmark, from whose hands

The queen received rich presents. Now with fame

Th’earl Cumberland, renowned in foreign lands,

Won John de Portorico, sacked the same.

   Lord Burleigh, treasurer, submits to fate,

   Since the sixth Edward counselor of State.











Essex is sent for Ireland ’gainst Tyrone.

A muster at Mile-end. Essex comes back

With a small train of followers; after whom,

Lord Mountjoy speeds against the dangerous pack

Of Irish rebels, whose brave valours shown

In his high conquests, and their fatal wrack.

   The treacherous Gowrie ’gainst king James conspired,

   Whose safety heaven conserved, the world admired.









Peace betwixt Spain and France. From Barbary

And from the Russian emperor legates come

To gratulate the queen’s high sovereignty.

A sudden insurrection—for which some

Suffered, some fined, some set at liberty—,

Suppressed without the clamour of the drum.

   Ambassador from Scotland, th’earl of Marre.

   Desmond sent prisoner from the Irish war.












Martial Biron arrives from France. Great joy

For victories in Ireland, since their pride

Was quelled by th’English, who their powers employ

To end the wars. Soon after, the queen died

At Richmond. In her death she did destroy

All former mirth. This Virgin Queen supplied

   Forty four years, five months a prosperous reign,

   To England’s honour and the fear of Spain.





The death of Queen Elizabeth



To register her vertues, I should spend

An age of time, yet think my scope too small.

The pages of this volume would extend

Beyond strict number, yet not quote them all.

Therefore her praises in her death I end.

They are so boundless that they cannot fall

   Within the compass of my apprehension,

   Being subject to no limit, no dimension.



And to attempt that task, I should alone

My own sick weakness to the world bewray,

And of her worth the smallest part or none

Unto the reader’s covetous eyes display.

Therefore, since she hath left an earthy throne

For Heaven’s high mansion, there to reign for aye,

   I leave her shrined ’mongst angels, there to sing

   Unending praises to th’eternal king.











King James the sixth in Scotland, of that name

In England first, her true and lawful heir,

Next Queen Elizabeth the peers proclaim

And gladly plant him in fair England’s chair;

Whose virtues, graces, royal gifts and fame,

Zeal, justice, learning, all without compare.

   For thousands such, my muse must needs adore him,

   Unrivalled yet by such as reigned before him.








 His praise is for my pen a strain too high.

Therefore where he begins I make my pause

And only pray that he may still supply

Great Britain’s empire with the land’s applause,

That as he has begun to rectify

This commonweal and stablish virtuous laws,

   He still may enjoy his queen and issue royal

   ’Mongst subjects ever true and peers still loyal.



But where’s the harbour and the happy bay,

Where after storms I may in safety ride?

The gusts and tempests now begin t’allay,

Whose many boisterous flaws my bark hath tried.

A gentle land wind with my sails doth play,

And thanks to Heaven, I now my haven have spied,

And maugre the seas’ wrath, behold, at last

Here doth my shaken ship her anchor cast.


He that expects, in this brief epitome of chronicles, that infiniteness of labour to survey all the particular kingdoms of the earth and every distinct accident happening in them, must not only allow me an age’s limit—and all too little—, but withal assist me in the search of many authors whose works are, some rare to be found, and others not at all extant. But my purpose was not to trouble the world with such prolixity or confusion of History, only in a brief index, or short register, to comprise many and the most noted things and to confer their times with our history of England. In which, if I have any way failed the reader’s expectation by inserting things frivolous or omitting things material, I must excuse it thus: I have more will than art and more endeavour than cunning; yet, I make no question he that shall succeed me in the like labour will use some mitigation of his judgement against me and say at the least: “It is done, though not well done”. Only thus much let me speak in my own behalf: with ages past I have been too little acquainted and with this age present I dare not be too bold.






Notes to Canto XVII (stanzas 1-70, stanzas 71-end)

Back to Canto XVII (1-51)


How to cite

Yves Peyré, ed., 2019.  Troia Britanica Canto XVII (1609).  In A Dictionary of Shakespeare's Classical Mythology: A Textual Companion, ed. Yves Peyré (2009-).


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