“Now let my language speake”: The Authorship, Rewriting, and Audience(s) of Jane Cavendish and Elizabeth Brackley

Alexandra G. Bennett
Northern Illinois University

Bennett, Alexandra G."'Now let my language speake': The Authorship, Rewriting, and Audience(s) of Jane Cavendish and Elizabeth Brackley". Early Modern Literary Studies 11.2 (September, 2005) 3.1-13 <URL: http://purl.oclc.org/emls/11-2/benncav2.htm>.


            After the deuty of a Verse,
            Giue leaue now to rehearse;
            A Pastorall; then if but giue
            Your smile, I sweare, I liue,
            In happiness; ffor if this may
            Your fauour haue, ‘twill ne’re decay
            Now let my language speake, & say
            If you be pleas’d, I haue my pay.[1]
  1. The lives and literary efforts of the members of the Cavendish family have become increasingly popular as a field of study in recent years. Though in the early years of the twentieth century the writings of William, Earl, Marquis, and Duke of Newcastle, were treated as aristocratic effusions and Alfred Harbage snidely remarked that “the Marquis of Newcastle [was] punished for his condescensions to drama when the women of his family caught the fever and began to deluge him with their literary offerings,” more recent analyses have begun to explore the unexpected richness of other Cavendish family writings.[2] While most of the attention has gone to the diverse and multigeneric works of Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, scholars have also begun to explore the briefer careers of two of the more intriguing members of the family: William’s eldest daughters, Jane Cavendish and Elizabeth Brackley. The two are the only known collaborative female dramatists of the period, and their verse and dramatic works are known to have been composed during the years that the English Civil War was fought, rather than during the Interregnum. Their works are, therefore, particularly valuable to both literary and historical researchers of the period because they simultaneously play with established generic conventions and tell us a great deal at first hand about the conditions of aristocratic life during the seventeenth-century national meltdown.[3]

  2. A brief overview delineates the significance of their history: Jane Cavendish (born in1621) and Elizabeth Brackley (born in 1626) were brought up in a wealthy household where education and artistic endeavours were emphasized. Their father, a grandson of the formidable Bess of Hardwick, was both a playwright and a friend and patron to writers such as Ben Jonson and William Davenant. Surviving copies of William’s letters indicate that he actively encouraged his young children to write. On one occasion he wrote to Jane, “I know you are a rare Indicter/ And hath the Pen of a most ready writer,” to which she replied “I know you do but jest with me/ & So in obedience I right this nothing.”[4] When the Civil War broke out, Jane became the custodian of the family-mansions-turned-royalist-garrisons of Welbeck Abbey and Bolsover Castle during her father’s military career, since her mother was too ill to take charge herself. Elizabeth married John Egerton, Viscount Brackley and Earl of Bridgewater, in 1641, but stayed at Welbeck with Jane because she was “too young to be bedded,” as Margaret Cavendish put it; their youngest sister Frances lived with them as well.[5] Their ailing mother died in January 1643, and William fled into exile with his sons on the Continent after a disastrous defeat at the Battle of Marston Moor in 1644, leaving Jane as the senior family member remaining at a home suddenly located within enemy territory. Bolsover was ultimately taken and pulled down by the Roundhead army, though Jane managed to save some of its furnishings and artwork.[6] All three sisters were held prisoner at Welbeck Abbey when it surrendered to the Earl of Manchester’s Parliamentary forces in 1644, yet Jane still managed to send her father some badly needed money out of her marriage portion and by selling some of her jewelry and plate. Under these trying circumstances, Jane and Elizabeth composed the works contained in a handsomely bound leather folio now housed at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, entitled Poems, Songs, a Pastorall and a Play by the Rt Honble the Lady JANE CAVENDISH and Lady ELIZABETH BRACKLEY.

  3. Not surprisingly, given the dramatic nature of their creators’ life stories, the works of these two sisters have been of increasing interest to modern scholars. Examining the eighty-seven poems and two plays in the Oxford manuscript, critics have carefully unfolded some of the familial, generic, and political contexts in which these works were composed: Margaret Ezell has noted the Cavalier values underscoring much of the sisters’ verse and the primacy of their father’s importance as a idealized and celebrated figure therein, while Alison Findlay has both argued that the element of performance in their works allowed them to challenge contemporary conventions of femininity and examined the contexts of the house and the family as crucial backgrounds to their dramatic work.[7] Marion Wynne-Davies has discussed the reality of confinement in relation to the sisters’ writings as a framework that, paradoxically, provided them with the freedom to write in particular ways, and Alison Findlay and Jane Milling directed a public production of one of their plays in 1994 as part of their ongoing research into early modern women’s drama and performance.[8] With the publication of one of their plays and several of their verses in recent anthologies providing a wider audience for these and other essential literary analyses of their work, the Cavendish sisters have become established as important literary figures of the Civil War era: Poems, Songs, a Pastorall and a Play is a manuscript text that is unquestionably well-known to scholars who work on Cavendish family materials.[9]

  4. However, much less familiar is the fact that more remains of Jane and Elizabeth’s writing during the years of the war than has previously been discussed in either historical or literary analyses that I have been able to see. Though virtually unknown until now, a second contemporary manuscript copy exists of some of their poems and drama--in his 1995 book Winter Fruit: English Drama 1642-1660, Dale B.J. Randall remarks in a simple footnote tucked away on p. 322 that “[a] copy of the poems and pastoral is held also at the Beinecke Library, Yale.”[10] Though Randall might have noted the existence of this second manuscript, it is clear that he did not examine it in great detail, if at all. This material has become of immediate interest to scholars, for in the very recent volume Early modern women’s manuscript poetry, edited by Jill Seal Millman and Gillian Wright (Manchester: Manchester UP, 2005), Marie-Louise Coolahan provides an introduction to and transcription of some of their poems in the Yale MS.[11] Yet up to this point, nobody has analyzed this text in detail nor compared it to the copy held at the Bodleian Library. Out of curiosity, I went to Yale this year as a Fellow of the Beinecke Library to look at the Oxford and Yale manuscripts side by side to see if they were comparable and to investigate what, if anything, might be determined from their juxtaposition. The results far exceeded my expectations. The title of this paper is broken into three segments: authorship, rewriting, and audience(s); in response to these, I intend to provide a contention, two deciphered originals, and a mystery.[12]

  5. To begin with, it is clear that the two manuscripts are in the same handwriting. Marion Wynne-Davies has previously argued that the Oxford MS is in Jane Cavendish’s handwriting, and later signed letters written after the war along with other Cavendish family materials at Nottingham University confirm this contention.[13] If the Oxford MS is in Jane’s hand, then, so is the Yale MS. However, while the Oxford MS opens with a title page announcing the contents and proclaiming dual authorship of the material in the volume, the Yale MS does not. Rather, it begins with a dedicatory letter written specifically by Jane to her father, William. Though the paper shows signs of wear and decay, the letter itself (with one corrected original noted below) is clear:
    My Lord
    As nature ownes my creation from you, & my selfe my
    Education; so deuty inuites mee to dedicate my workes
    to you, as the onely Patterne of Judgement, that can
    make mee happy, if these fancys may once owne sense, they wayte
    upon your Lo:pp as the Center if witt, I humbly thanke yr
    Lo:pp; & if a distinction of Judgement, God reward your Lop.
    For in a word, what I haue of good, is wholly deriued
    from you, as the soule of bounty and this booke desires
    no other purchas, then a smyle from yo:ur Lopp or a--
    word of like, wch will glorifie your creature; That
    is affectionately
    Your Lo:pps. most obliged
    Jane Cauendysshe

  6. This dedication is notable on a number of fronts. Not only does it make clear that the works in the Yale MS are all dedicated to William (a standard practice for the Cavendish sisters, since the Oxford MS is filled with dedications to him at the outset and closing of both A Pastorall and The Concealed Fancies, the two plays therein), but Jane here is specifically laying claim to the contents of the Yale MS as “ my workes.” Scholars have long referred to all of the works in the Oxford manuscript as being co-written by the sisters, but it is notable that though there are numerous poems in both manuscripts addressed to, and written about, Cavendish family members both living and dead, not a single poem is written to or about Jane herself.[14] The combination of these facts suggests, I would contend, that Jane was the sole author of the verses in each volume, and that only A Pastorall in each collection (where the initials ‘JC’ and ‘EB’ appear in the top corners of alternating scenes to indicate separate authorship), and The Concealed Fancies in the Oxford MS (which includes a joint dedication and individual epilogues written by each sister to their father) are collaborative. It is problematic to assume that Jane would lay such confident and entire claim to the works in the Yale volume if they were not hers without at least noting somewhere, as in the margins of A Pastorall, that her sister had written some of them. Intriguingly, during her married life Jane sealed her personal correspondence with a Cavendish family signet of three harts’ heads in a diamond formation (the heraldic form generally used by women as the shield was used by men), surrounded by a laurel wreath.[15] Her use of such a potent symbol suggests a continued awareness of, and pride in, her familial and literary history--a relationship underscored by the lavish monument commissioned by her husband for Chelsea Old Church upon her death. In a sculpture by Bernini, Jane appears as a young woman reclining on one elbow with an open book before her while a scroll below lists her many virtues as “[t]he most pious and devout Heroine, made famous not so much by the long line of her ancestry, as by her own virtues.” There is one more piece of evidence to support my contention about authorship, but as it relates to the mystery I promised, I shall hold it in reserve temporarily and return to it presently.

  7. The contents of the Yale and Oxford MSS vary much more than Randall’s laconic description of their likeness would suggest, and the order of their composition can be clearly determined. One of the first poems in both collections is titled “On my Lord my father the Marquess of Newcastle,” and William was made Marquis on October 27, 1643.[16] Moreover, the poem “On the 30th of June to God,” which also appears in both texts, is a jubilation over the news of William Cavendish’s decisive rout of the Commonwealth forces at the battle of Atherton Moor on June 30 of 1643 (which temporarily left Hull as the only Parliamentarian stronghold in the North). So it seems clear that the transcription of the poems in both volumes must have been begun sometime in the fall of 1643. The terminus ad quem of the Yale text can, I think, be situated in a similarly precise fashion, thanks in part to the textual variations between it and the Oxford MS. The Oxford MS is considerably longer than the Yale MS, adding eight different poems[17] and the text of the play The Concealed Fancies to all the poems and A Pastorall from the previous volume. Several of these added texts explicitly mention Newcastle’s being out of England: in “The speakeing Glass,” for instance, the speaker begs “Tell mee, O’ tell mee, then I am not leane/ If that my Lord in England is againe,” while “Hopes still” contains the prayer “Come into England Lord, & make thy way,” punning no doubt on the evangelical Puritanism of the age.[18] In addition, The Concealed Fancies in the Oxford text specifically addresses the issues of captivity, imprisonment, and hope for release, as its plots involve three female cousins under siege in a manor-house and two noble brothers held in captivity and desperate to escape to rescue their family members. By contrast, the poetic and dramatic works that these volumes share do not refer at all to the conditions of captivity--rather, they dwell largely upon the misery the author feels at being separated from her father and brothers, rarely knowing where they are or when, if ever, they will return. “Ther’s noe such Hell as is a tortur’d mynd/ By absence of deare freinds, who was soe kynd,” the poet writes in “Loues Torture.”[19] Similarly, two of the characters in A Pastorall sing:
    Cha[20]:   When once the presence of a freind is gone
    Not knoweing when they’le hee’le come, or stay how long
    Then greife doth fill it selfe with a reward
    That is when Pastion flowes without regard.

    Inn:       His absence makes a Chaos sure of mee
    And when each one doth looking looke to see
    They speakeing say, That I’m not I
    Alas doe not name name mee, ffor I desire to dye.[21]
  8.  William had left Welbeck quietly in the middle of the night in January of 1642 to answer the royal summons to service; though he had returned home briefly once in that year and twice during the following year, his military efforts were constant as the war turned for the worse.[22] This point seems to suggest that the Yale MS predates the Oxford MS and was possibly written before the surrender of Welbeck on August 2, 1644.[23]

  9. Other specific textual variants support the reading that the Yale MS predates the Oxford, for several of the works in the Yale MS bear the marks of authorial correction. At times, these changes are minor word substitutions as in the examples above, but in two particular instances the alterations are substantial. In the case of the poem “On her Sacred Majesty” they amount to nothing less than a complete reshaping of the text. The poem’s first three and a half lines are identical in both versions:
    Your lookes are Courage, mixt with such sweeteness
    Which makes all Creatures iustly to witness
    Themselues your Vassalls & noe longer stay
    Till you comand,
    At this point, however, the original poem (struck through in the Yale MS) reads as follows:
    being resolu’ed to lay
    Their loues & fortunes at your Sacred feete
    Soe chearefully your Marters; World may see’t.
    The corrected version, which appears in the Yale MS around the struck original and in the Oxford MS in a clean copy, reads:
    and then their Tributes pay
    Unto your quinticence of natures day
    Our honoured name then us obedience call
    Soe other name what euer would be thrall.[25]
    It is notable here that the author’s efforts to make the poem more uncritical of the Queen (shifting the focus away from her role as martyr-maker for “all Creatures” and towards a more innocuous extolling of her rather vague “quinticence”) are so radical that they force her to mar the structure and rhyme scheme of the original. This particular shift suggests that Jane’s patience with the vagaries of the Royalist cause may not have been without its limits, at least before a second (cautionary) thought.

  10. Similar structural changes, though with fewer overtly topical implications, appear near the finale of A Pastorall in the Yale MS. In this scene, where the thwarted male lovers bemoan their beloveds’ collected determination to live chastely until their friends return home, Elizabeth (the author, according to her initials written in the margin above it) has written one line no fewer than three times, changing “Con’s” response to “Per’s” “When steale a looke it is a plunder” from “Soe heat contracted makes us thunder,” to “When bar’d sight it brakes our Harts a sunder,” to “If bar’d sight our Harts doe break asunder.” In fact, there are so many alterations to this one line that Jane has had to cross out the rest of the scene and rewrite it (in a much more informal hand) further down the page in order to make room for them. These changes are clearly less overtly political than those in the earlier poem; nevertheless, they do indicate a shift in characterization: from the men’s loudness and potential violence (“thunder”) to heartbreak in the face of their mistresses’ intransigence. In these and many other smaller examples, the Yale MS gives us a fascinating glimpse into the sisters’ imaginative progression--a glimpse that we can find nowhere else, for in every instance the Oxford MS includes the final corrected wording of the poem or play.

  11. Given this information, and thus the clear indication that the Oxford MS postdates the Yale MS, can we say that the Yale text is some form of “foul papers” version of the more formal presentation volume held in the Bodleian? While this may be possible, the evidence is not conclusive. The manuscripts are not written on the same paper--the watermarks of the Yale MS are a flag and a chevron/club/lollipop combination, while those of the Oxford MS are a double-headed eagle and the letters “LC.” I have yet to check the provenance of the Oxford paper, but the only other known examples of the Yale paper are from letters written during the English Civil War.[26] These technical differences might also support the notion of the texts being written at different times. In addition, there is more here than might initially meet the eye. The Yale MS is, as I have already mentioned, rather shorter than the Oxford text, and comprises approximately two-thirds of the bound volume in which it appears. The remainder of the book, though neatly lined for margins, appears to be blank--out of interest, I looked through these pages to see if any other material might be included in this collection. Fifty-six blank sides after the end of A Pastorall in the Yale text, I found the following lines, written in a different hand and with a fainter ink than the rest of the volume:
    Upon the right honourable the Lady Jane Caven=
                                    =dish her booke of uerses

    Madame at first I scarcely could beleiue
    That you soe wittily could tyme deceiue
    Or that in garrison your muse durst stay
    When that shee heard the drumms and cannon play
    Shee knew her modest and most innocent straine
    Could with none better then your self remaine
    The Issue of your braine I lyke soe well
    That whether I shall your other soe yett cannot tell
    If both proue lyke soe modest chast and witty
    That you should want an equall match ‘twere pitty.
  12. Who wrote this poem? (Its title is, incidentally, the other piece of evidence to support my contention that Jane alone wrote the verse in the volume.) When? Why is it hidden away in the back of the book, rather than immediately following A Pastorall? At the Still Kissing the Rod? Early Modern Women’s Writing in 2005 conference at which I first presented this paper, Marion Wynne-Davies and Alison Findlay suggested that the blank pages might match the number of pages taken up in the Oxford MS by The Concealed Fancies, thereby potentially indicating that the two texts were written around the same time. However, an examination of the manuscripts shows that the play comprises a total of seventy-three pages--far more than those available in the Yale manuscript.[27] While it is possible that the pages were left blank in order to inscribe an as-yet-unfinished play into the text, the idea is not conclusive.[28] The handwriting is clearly not Jane’s (the shapes of the letters “e,” “l,” and “t” are not the same as hers; nor is the spelling of her name--she habitually spells her surname as “Cauendyshe” or “Cauendysshe;” none of her five signatures over both manuscripts uses an “i”), and my research in the family holdings at Nottingham University and at the British Library reveals that the hand is neither Elizabeth’s, William’s, nor that of Elizabeth’s husband, John Egerton (to whom at least one of the shared poems in these texts is addressed).[29] Did Jane manage to send this copy to her father, and did he have a secretary write out a poem in response?[30] Did she show the text to someone else in her family or literary circle? Some possible candidates for such an audience include the living addressees of specific verses in each text, among them her uncle Charles Cavendish, Henry Ogle, Richard Pypes, one “Mr. Haslewood,” and Lady Alice Egerton. Whoever it was must have been very close to the family in some respect, for the poem is remarkably personal on several fronts, particularly in commenting explicitly upon Jane’s unmarried state in the guise of a literary commendation. Line eight, “That whether I shall your other soe yet cannot tell” is particularly puzzling, for it is both extrametrical (reaching far beyond the bounds of iambic pentameter set by the rest of the poem) and grammatically incomplete.[31] Its awkwardness highlights the line’s position at the crux of the poem’s meaning: if the poem as a whole is a warning about wit being a possible impediment to finding a mate, as the final couplet implies, then “your other” in the line seems to suggest another set of mental, rather than physical, offspring that the speaker is unsure of “liking.” If not, then “your other” may refer to Jane’s bodily issue rather than that of her brain, and thus the text is extraordinarily presumptuous in speculating about the nature of her future children! In either instance, the author posits knowing (and passing judgement on) Jane’s poetry and/or progeny to come in an intimate way. I hope that future research will eventually shed more light on this fascinating document and its author’s relationship to Jane and her writing.

  13. Long as the Cavendish sisters’ time under virtual house-arrest must have seemed to them, it lasted less than twelve months: Welbeck was retaken by the Royalists on July 16, 1645, and degarrisoned by mutual accord in November of that year. Jane, Elizabeth, and Frances were then moved to relative places of safety (though these have not been traced).[32] Jane remained single until the age of 33, eventually marrying the gentleman Charles Cheyne, future Viscount Newhaven, in 1654, and moving with him to Chelsea. A portrait painted after her marriage proclaims her to be “Jane Cavendishe Eldest Daughter to Wm. Duke of Newcastle Married to Chas. Cheney of Chesham Boys, Esqr. This Lady kept Garrison for her Father at Welbeck against ye Parliament Army.”[33] Her extraordinary role during the Civil War clearly helped to establish a formidable reputation, one reflected as well in the sermon preached by Adam Littleton at her funeral and in the monument her husband erected in her memory.[34] Elizabeth died in 1663 at the age of 37, and her sister in 1669 at the age of 48. Both continued to write during their married lives, and their works have “ne’er decay[ed],” just as Jane hoped in her prefatory letter to A Pastorall. Who might have read and responded to Jane’s eloquent “speaking language” during her time in captivity, however, remains mysterious.

[1] Jane Cavendish, prefatory letter to A Pastorall, in Bodleian Library Rawlinson MS Poet. 16, p. 49.

[2] See Alfred Harbage, Cavalier Drama: An Historical and Critical Supplement to the Study of the Elixabethan and Restoration Stage (New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1936), 228.

[3] For further analyses of the sisters’ generic adaptations, see Alexandra G. Bennett, “Defamiliarizing Nostalgia in the Cavendish Interregnum Pastorall,” In-Between: Essays and Studies in Literary Criticism 11 (2002), pp. 89-106, and Alison Findlay’s chapter “ ‘Upon the World’s Stage’: The Civil War and Interregnum,” in Alison Findlay, Stephanie Hodgson-Wright, and Gweno Williams, Women and Dramatic Production 1550-1700 (Harlow: Longman, 2000), particularly pp. 69-80.

[4] University of Nottingham Library MS, Portland Collection PwV 25, f.21.

[5] See Margaret Cavendish, The Life of William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle, to Which is Added the True Relation of My Birth, Breeding, and Life by Margaret, Duchess of Newcastle, ed. Mark Antony Lower (London, 1872), p. 124. Little information is available about the life of Frances, other than the fact that she remained at Welbeck with her sisters during the war and eventually married Oliver, Earl of Bolingbroke. She does not appear to have been a participant in her elder sisters’ literary endeavours.

[6] Cavendish 1872, p. 116.

[7] See Margaret J.M. Ezell, “ ‘To Be Your Daughter In Your Pen’: The Social Functions of Literature in the Writings of Lady Elizabeth Brackley and Lady Jane Cavendish,” Huntington Library Quarterly 51 (1988): pp. 281-296; Alison Findlay, “Playing the ‘Scene Self’: Jane Cavendish and Elizabeth Brackley’s The Concealed Fancies,” in Enacting Gender on the English Renaissance Stage, ed. Viviana Comensoli and Anne Russell (Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 1999), pp. 154-176; Alison Findlay,  “ ‘She Gave You the Civility of the House’: Household performance in The Concealed Fancies,” in Readings in Renaissance Women’s Drama: Criticism, History, and Performance 1594-1998, ed. S.P. Cerasano and Marionn Wynne-Davies (London: Routledge, 1998), pp. 259-271.

[8] See Marion Wynne-Davies, “ ‘My Fine Delitive Tomb’: Liberating ‘Sisterly’ Voices during the Civil War,” in Female Communities 1600-1800: Literary Visions and Cultural Realities, ed. Rebecca D’Monté and Nicole Pohl (London: Macmillan, 2000), pp. 111-128. Findlay and Milling’s production of The Concealed Fancies was staged at Bretton Hall--see Gweno Williams, “ ‘Why May Not a Lady Write a Good Play?”: Plays by Early Modern women reassessed as performance texts,” in Readings in Renaissance Women’s Drama: Criticism, History, and Performance 1594-1998, ed. S.P. Cerasano and Marion Wynne-Davies (London: Routledge, 1998), p.107 n. 35.

[9] Bodleian Library Rawlinson MS Poet. 16.

[10] Dale B.J. Randall, Winter Fruit: English Drama 1642-1660 (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1995), p. 322 n. 12.

[11] However, Coolahan omits several corrected words in the text that I provide below.

[12] The Yale manuscript is held under shelfmark Osborn MS b.233. To avoid confusion, throughout the paper I shall refer to the texts as the Yale and Oxford MSS respectively. I am most grateful to Una Belau and to the staff of the Beinecke Library for their help with, and interest in, my research there.

[13] Wynne-Davies, “ ‘My Fine Delitive Tomb’,”  2000, pp. 113, 127 n.8.

[14] Katie Whittaker, among others, has noticed this in the past--see Mad Madge: Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, Royalist, Writer, & Romantic (London: Vintage 2002), p.370 n.4. Moreover, one of the Oxford MS poems, “The angry curs,” is a specific recrimination of mysterious ill-intentioned people attempting to “haue away/ My Sister Brackley, who’s my true lifes day,” which suggests that Jane may have continued to write these poems herself in response to the people and events around her. See Bodleian Library Rawlinson MS Poet. 16, p. 25.

[15] For examples of her seal, see University of Nottingham Portland Collection MSS Pwl.86, 87, 88, 89, and 90; for the three harts’ heads as a Cavendish family symbol, see the hand-drawn family tree and family crests in Portland Collection MS PwV11 f.10. It is worth noting here that Jane’s stepmother, Margaret Cavendish, famously prefaced several of her published works with an engraving of herself crowned with a laurel wreath as a symbol of her own literary accomplishments (see, for instance, Natures Pictures Drawn by Fancies Pencil to the Life, London 1656).

[16] A.S. Turberville, A History of Welbeck Abbey And Its Owners Vol. I (London: Faber & Faber 1938), p. 91.

[17] The added poems in Bodleian Library Rawlinson MS Poet. 16 are “The angry Curs” (p. 25), a song beginning “A man and a wife when once they marry” (p. 26), “The discoursiue Ghost” (p. 26), “The speakeing Glass” (p. 42), “Loues Conflict” (p. 43), “On my Worthy Friend Mr. Richard Pypes” (p. 44), “On my Worthy Friend Mr. Haslewood” (p. 44), and “Hopes Still” (p. 45).

[18] Bodleian Library Rawlinson MS Poet. 16, pp. 42, 45.

[19] Beinecke Library Osborn MS b.233, p. 14.

[20] The speech prefixes for most of the characters in A Pastorall are unfortunately truncated: these particular names are often guessed to be “Chastity” and “Innocence;” many other possibilities, however, exist for the male characters’ names (“Persistent”? “Persuasion”? “Constant”?) that appear below.

[21] Beinecke Library Osborn MS b. 233,  p. 69.

[22] Turberville  History, 1938, p. 67. It is, I think, important to note that the repeated wish for William to “land” in many of the shared poems does not necessarily refer to getting off of a ship; the verb “to land” also means “to bring into a specified place, e.g. as a stage in or termination of a journey” and “to arrive at a place, a stage in a journey, or the like; to come to a stage in a progression; to end in something” (OED 2, 8).

[23] Another point that supports the contention that The Concealed Fancies was written after the fall of Welbeck is the mention in “A Prologe to the Stage” prefacing the play that “I did tell the Poett plainely trueth/ It looks like 18. or 22. youth,” which accords with how old Elizabeth and Jane respectively would have been in August of 1644 given their dates of birth (Bodleian Library Rawlinson MS Poet. 16, p.87). This dating of the Yale and Oxford MSS also counters Whittaker’s assumption that A Pastorall was written around the same time as The Concealed Fancies, “after William arrived in Paris” (Mad Madge, 2002, p.85).

[24] Beinecke Library Osborn MS b. 233, p. 14.

[25] Beinecke Library Osborn MS b.233, p. 14.

[26] See the Gravell Watermarks Database (http://ada.cath.vt.edu:591/DBs/Gravell), record number 33206, for an example of the flag watermark on a letter (now held at the Folger Shakespeare Library) written by Sir Henry Vans to “a foreign prince” and dated January 3, 1639.

[27] The additional poems take up six pages in the Oxford MS, raising the total number of pages needed to seventy-nine.

[28] Interestingly, the words “and a Play” on the title page of the Oxford MS are clearly a later addition--in different hand and ink--to the rest of the titular announcement thereon, which raises the possibility that The Concealed Fancies was an unexpected addition to that particular text.

[29] The suggestion that Egerton might have written the poem was made by Marion Wynne-Davies and Alison Findlay at the Still Kissing the Rod? Conference in July of 2005; I am grateful to them for the idea. For samples of Egerton’s hand, see British Library Add. MS 33936 f.135 (signed as “John Egerton” in 1635) and Add. MS 40132 f.105 (signed as “J Bridgewater” in 1671). Samples of William Cavendish’s signature can be found in British Library Eg. MS 1048 ff. 21, 22, 23.

[30] The fact that the Oxford MS’s leather binding is stamped with the initials “W.N.,” however, suggests that this particular presentation copy was kept in William of Newcastle’s own library.

[31] I am most grateful to the anonymous reader of EMLS for noting this point in her or his comments on the original version of this paper.

[32] See Wynne-Davies, “’My Fine Delitive Tomb,’” 2000, p. 127 n.6.

[33] The portrait is currently held in a private collection; a colour photograph of it appears in Whittaker’s book.

[34] See Adam Littleton, A Sermon at the Funeral of the Right Honourable the Lady Jane Eldest Daughter to his Grace William, Duke of Newcastle, And Wife to the Honourable Charles Cheyne, Esq.; at Chelsey. Novem.1. Being All-Saints day. (London, 1669), especially pp. 40-49. Charles Cheyne has no separate monument of his own in Chelsea Old Church, seeming content to lie next to his wife and play a supportive role to her achievements in the carving on the tomb.

Responses to this piece intended for the Readers' Forum may be sent to the Editor at M.Steggle@shu.ac.uk.

© 2005-, Matthew Steggle (Editor, EMLS).