« ZurückWeiter »
others, conferred with the Hebrue, with apt notes to sing them withall. Set forth and allowed to be song. in all churches, of all the people together before and after Morning and Euening prayer: as also before and after sermons, and moreouer in priuate houses, for their godly solace and comfort, laying apart all ungodly songes, and balades which tend onely to the nourishing of vice, and corrupting of youth. James v. If any be afflicted, let him pray, and if any be mery, let him sing psalmes. Coloss. iii. Let the worde of God dwell plenteously in you, in all wisedome, teaching and exhorting one an other in psalmes, hymnes, and spiritual songes, and sing vnto the Lord in your hartes. At London printed by Iohn Daye, dwellyng ouer Aldersgate. Anno 1581. Cum &c. 4to. Sixty leaves.
Having enumerated the leading authorities I shall proceed to the list of persons who assisted in the first metrical version adopted in church service.
Thomas Sternhold, supposed to have been born in Hampshire. He held the situation of Groom of the Robes to Hen. VIII. and Edward VI. and by the firstesteemed a sufficient favourite to obtain a bequest of 100 marks in the Royal will.* He died 1549. His portion is the first seventeen; 19, 20, 21, 25, 28,† 29, 32, 34, 41, 43, 44, 49, 63, 68, 73, 78, 103, 120, 123,
"Henry the Eighth, for a few psalmes of David, translated and turned into English meetre by Sternhold, made him Groome of his Privie Chamber." Brathwait's English Gentleman, 1630, p. 191.
By misprint this stands as 27, and 123 as 122, in edition 1561, and also in another noticed by Herbert, p. 549, containing only 19: again, 33 stands for 34; but 138 is a mistake for 128. A copy is in Mr. Bindley's possession, it was printed without date.
128, in all thirty-seven: in these numbers both the early copies uniformly agree. The following are additions of 1581. Psalm 18,* 23, 53, 56, 66, 67, making the whole 43. Of these number 23 is a second translation, following one by Whittingham, and unusually entitled "an other of the same by Thomas Sternehold." This circumstance favours the idea that some portion by this writer was posthumous in its appearance. To 56, 66, and 67+ the initials are repeated in 1583, though in the Stationer's reprint of 1609, 1616 and 1620, and by Field (the printer to the University of Cambridge) 1666, they are displaced for those of Hopkins.
John Hopkins, a clergyman and schoolmaster, in Suffolk. He was living 1556. To him Wood has given 58; the certain ones are 24, 27, 30, 31, 33, ‡ 35, 36, 38, 39, 40, 42, 45, 46, 47, 48, (a second version of) 50, 52, 54, 55, 57, to 62 inclusive; 64, 65, 69 to 72 inclusive; 74, 76, 77, 79 to 99 inclusive; 146, in all 56.
William Whittyngham, Dean of Durham, died. 10 June 1570, aged about 55. Only five are generally given to him, but he contributed more largely, and in
• Warton notices this as one "in which Sternhold is supposed to have exerted his powers most successfully." Should it be hereafter confirmed as the attempt of Sternhold, its posthumous appearance, joined to the revision and continual alterations of Hopkins, will leave it doubtful from which is derived that well-known passage, so happily rendered, of
"The Lord descended from aboue, and bowed the heauens hye, And vnderneath hys feete he cast the darckness of the skye,
On Cherubes and on Cherubins full royally he rode;
And on the winges of all the windes, came flying all abroad.”
+ This was substituted instead of one by Whittingham.
In some places given to S., but 33 is one of the seven, printed by H.
the edition of 1561 the numbers are 23, 37, 50,¶ 51,
67, 71, 114, 115,* 119, 121, 124, 127, 129,* 130,
133, 137, in all 16. He paraphrased the ten commandments, still inserted at the end of the Psalms, and also the Song of Simeon, and two versions of the Lord's Prayer, now only to be found in ed. 1561.
William Kethe, an exile, during the reign of Queen Mary. He was "no unready rhymer," and another distinguished contributor towards the "fourscore and seven;" though his name was at first unknown to Warton, it is there given at length. He translated 27,* 36,* 47,* 54, * 58, * 62,* 70,* 85,* 88, 90, 91,* 94,* 100,§ 101,* 104, 107, 111,|| 112, 113, 122, 125, 126, 134, 138, 142, in all 25. Of these only twelve were retained by Hopkins, the others being new versions either by himself or Norton.
Joh Pullain, (the name is thus spelt ed. 1561), born in Yorkshire, admitted senior student of Christ Church, 1547, at the age of thirty. He preached the reformation privately at Saint Michael, Cornhill, 1556, but afterwards became an exile. He returned in the happier period of Elizabeth, and was made Archdeacon of Colchester. He died 1565. His numbers are only 148 and 149. * The first stands in the general collection, and by mistake with I. H. prefixed. [The above asterisks denote the translations afterwards rejected.]
¶ In 1581 and 1583, same reprinted as anonymous.
By 1581 he appears to have added a prayer at their conclusion.
Two versions of the hundreth Psalm are printed 1581 and 83 as anonymous. The first is by Kethe; the other unknown. T. N. is sometimes prefixed.
Retained in the whole collection, and improperly, under the letter N.
D. Cox. A version of the Lord's Prayer, printed anonymously 1561, is given afterwards with this
Thomas Norton, a Barrister at Law, and assistant of Lord Buckhurst in the once popular tragedy of Gorboduc. His name, and the subsequent notices, first occur in the entire version. He appears to have studiously supplied deficient numbers. The initials T. N. are to a second translation of number 51, but the usual distinguishment is only the N. as prefixed to 75, 101, 102, 105, 106, 108, 109, 110, 115, 116, 117, 118, 129, 131,† 135, 135,‡ 138 to 145 inclusive; 147, 149, 150, in all 28.
Robert Wisdom. A second version of psalm 1258 and a well-known prayer at the end of the collection. M. Unnoticed by Ritson, it might be John Mard
* A writer not mentioned by Ritson. He has likewise a grace before and after meat, in sixteen lines each, of alternate rhime, in a Manyel of Christian Prayers by Abraham Fleming, printed by Peter Short for the assignes of William Seres, 1594, 16mo.
Letter M. in 1581, the other authorities N.
A second version by T. C. added at some period after 1583. From that period, when ascertained, the probab.lity will appear of its being done by Thomas Churchyard.
§ So little care or research has been considered essential to rectify errore upon the present subject, that every mention of this writer particularizes this number as 25.
It seems improbable that this "arch-botcher of a psalm or prayer” should be ridiculed into celebrity by the facetious Bishop Corbet, unless he was a noted psalm singer, or author of more than generally ascertained. He is likew se mentioned by Sir Thomas Overbury, who says a Precisian "conceiues his prayer in the kitchin, rather than in the church, and is of so good discourse, that he dares challenge the Almighty to talke with him extempore. He thinks every organist is in the state of damnation, and had rather heare one of Robert Wisdom's psalmes, then the best hymn a Cherubin can singe." Wife, &c. 1638. Wisdom died in 1568.
ley, who "turned twenty four psalms into English odes, and made many religious songs." Supposing the first supplied number 132, from the last might be selected "the humble sute of a sinner," and "the lamentation of a sinner."
T. B. Usually supposed to denote Thomas Bastard, but appears too doubtful to be applied to the Morning and the Evening Prayer.
E. G. Initials unapplied, prefixed to Da pacem Domine.
Anonymous. Of the prefixtures, Veni Creator, Veni exultemus, Te Deum, Song of the Three Children, Benedictus, Magnificat, Song of Simeon, Creed of Athanasius, the Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and Complaint of a Sinner. Of the affixtures, the Creed, Prayer to the Holy Ghost, the Lamentation and Thanksgiving. Some of these are attributed to Whittingham in the History of English Poetry, Vol. III. p. 163.
To this detail of numericals may be subjoined comparative specimens of the psalmody. As an introduction I shall borrow part of Warton's just and appropriate observations, reviewing the translation as well with respect to the period of its first appearance, as also embracing the variation of an incumbered idiom arising from the lapse of time. "It is certain had they been more poetically translated, they would not have been acceptable to the common people. Yet however they may be allowed to serve the purposes of private edification, in administering spiritual consolation to the manufacturer and mechanic, as they are extrinsic to the frame of our liturgy, and incompatible with the genius of our service, there is perhaps no impropriety in wishing that they were remitted.—Whatever estimation,