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THE KING'S CHILDREN
From "The Worthies of England'
ATHERINE, fourth daughter to Charles the First and Queen K Mary, was born at Whitehall (the Queen mother then being
at St. James), and survived not above half an hour after her baptizing; so that it is charity to mention her, whose memory is likely to be lost, so short her continuance in this life,—the rather because her name is not entered, as it ought, into the register of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields; as indeed none of the King's children, save Prince Charles, though they were born in that parish. And hereupon a story depends.
I am credibly informed that at the birth of every child of kings born at Whitehall or St. James's, full five pounds were ever faithfully paid to some unfaithful receivers thereof, to record the names of such children in the register of St. Martin's. But the money being embezzled (we know by some, God knows by whom), no memorial is entered of them. Sad that bounty should betray any to baseness, and that which was intended to make them the more solemnly remembered should occasion that they should be more silently forgotten! Say not, “Let the children of mean persons be written down in registers: kings' children are registers to themselves;” or, "A11 England is a register to them;" for sure I am, this common confidence hath been the cause that we have been so often at a loss about the nativities and other properties of those of royal extraction.
A LEARNED LADY
From «The Worthies of England)
M ARGARET MORE.—Excuse me, reader, for placing a lady among MI men and learned statesmen. The reason is because of
her unfeigned affection to her father, from whom she would not willingly be parted (and from me shall not be), either living or dead.
She was born in Bucklersburie in London at her father's house therein, and attained to that skill in all learning and languages that she became the miracle of her age. Foreigners took such notice thereof that Erasmus hath dedicated some epistles unto her. No woman that could speak so well did speak so little; whose secrecy was such, that her father intrusted her with his most important affairs.
Such was her skill in the Fathers that she corrected a depraved place in Cyprian; for where it was corruptly written “Nisi vos sinceritas” she amended it “Nervos sinceritas.” Yea, she translated Eusebius out of Greek; but it was never printed, because J. Christopherson had done it so exactly before.
She was married to William Roper of Eltham in Kent, Esquire, one of a bountiful heart and plentiful estate. When her father's head was set up on London Bridge, it being suspected it would be cast into the Thames to make room for divers others (then suffering for denying the King's supremacy), she bought the head and kept it for a relic (which some called affection, others religion, others superstition in her), for which she was questioned before the Council, and for some short time imprisoned until she had buried it; and how long she herself survived afterwards is to me unknown.
HENRY DE ESSEX, STANDARD-BEARER TO HENRY II.
From «The Worthies of England)
JT HAPPENED in the reign of this King, there was a fierce battle I fought in Flintshire in Coleshall, between the English and
Welsh, wherein this Henry de Essex, animum et signum simul abjecit,- betwixt traitor and coward, - cast away both his courage and banner together, occasioning a great overthrow of English. But he that had the baseness to do, had the boldness to deny, the doing of so foul a fact, until he was challenged in combat by Robert de Momford, a knight, eye-witness thereof, and by him overcome in a duel. Whereupon his large inheritance was confiscated to the King, and he himself, partly thrust, partly going, into a convent, hid his head in a cowl, under which, between shame and sanctity, he blushed out the remainder of his life.