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Jean R. Brink

the stake along with Hugh Latimer. 1 John Rogers, John Bradford, and Edmund Grindal were Fellows of Pembroke while Ridley was Master. Rogers was burned at Smithfield, where Spenser reportedly grew up; both he and Bradford left accounts of their martyrdom. Grindal, who escaped to the Continent, became a symbol of Protestant heroism and a revered senior statesman of Pembroke College. Grindal seems to have controlled

in The early Spenser, 1554–80
‘Minde on honour fixed’
Author: Jean R. Brink

This revisionary biographical study documents that Spenser was the protégé of a circle of churchmen who expected him to take holy orders, but between 1574, when he left Pembroke College, and 1579, when he published the Shepheardes Calender, he decided against a career in the church. At Pembroke College and in London, Spenser watched the Elizabethan establishment crack down on independent thinking. The sequestration of Edmund Grindal was a watershed event in his early life, as was his encounter with Philip Sidney, the dedicatee of to the Shepheardes Calender. Once Spenser exchanged the role of shepherd-priest for that of shepherd-poet, he understood that his role was not just to celebrate the victories of Protestant England over the Spanish empire, immortalize in verse the virtues of Gloriana’s knights, but also to ‘fashion a noble person in vertuous and gentle discipline’. The received biography of the early Spenser emphasizes Gabriel Harvey, who is reported to have been Spenser’s tutor. Brink shows that Harvey could not have been Spenser’s tutor and argues that Harvey published Familiar Letters (1580) to promote his ambition to be named University Orator at Cambridge. Brink shows that Spenser had already received preferment. His life is contextualized by comparisons with contemporaries including Philip Sidney, Lodowick Bryskett, Shakespeare, and Sir Walter Ralegh. Brink’s provocative study, based upon a critical re-evaluation of manuscript and printed sources, emphasizes Philip Sidney over Harvey and shows that Spenser’s appointment as secretary to Lord Grey was a preferment celebrated even years later by Camden.

Jean R. Brink

We have virtually no documentary evidence regarding Spenser's whereabouts from summer 1574, when he is last mentioned in the Pembroke College Account Books, until 1578. In 1578, we can document by two independent sources that he was employed by John Young, Master of Pembroke and then Bishop of Rochester. It seems likely that Spenser was employed in London from 1574 to 1578 by John Young, Master of Pembroke. This continuity of

in The early Spenser, 1554–80
Abstract only
Jean R. Brink

allusion treated as fact and the other ignored? One explanation may be that it has become an accepted tenet in Spenserian criticism that Spenser and Sidney never met. It seems consistent, as well as reasonable, to keep both autobiographical allusions, one from the November eclogue and the other from Colin Clouts Come Home Againe , in mind when we try to place Spenser in 1579–80 and in 1589–90. When Spenser entered Pembroke College in 1569

in The early Spenser, 1554–80
Jean R. Brink

them as his wife-to-be, Elizabeth Boyle; his mother; and his queen. Spenser's name does not appear in the admission records of the Merchant Taylors’ School. His father's name was not recorded when he enrolled at Pembroke College, Cambridge. We have no concrete evidence of his social class. It is possible that he was illegitimate; in this period to be born outside of wedlock did not carry the same stigma that it was to have in the nineteenth

in The early Spenser, 1554–80
Abstract only
Jean R. Brink

Edmund Spenser was born in 1554. The numerological structure of the Amoretti and the Epithalamion suggests that he was born in 1554, a date confirmed by the dates of his matriculation at and graduation from Pembroke College. We do not know who his father was. R.B. Knowles and Alexander Grosart guessed that Edmund was the son of a journeyman merchant tailor named John Spenser to account for his having attended

in The early Spenser, 1554–80
James Doelman

their seasoning of his verse. Crashaw went on from Charterhouse to Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he had a similar obligation to fulfil the requirements of the Watts scholarship, which called for the composition of an epigram on one of the lectionary readings each Sunday.57 This Watts scholarship was held by other notable figures as well, including Lancelot Andrewes, Matthew Wren and Roger Williams; presumably they composed and posted individual sacred epigrams also, which may very well survive somewhere in manuscript.58 Austin Warren points out that the Watts

in The epigram in England, 1590–1640
Jean R. Brink

, such as Cartwright, be nominated to serve as an archbishop in the established church! The earlier account of events at Cambridge has implications for religious toleration in Ireland. In 1569, the very year that Spenser matriculated at Pembroke College, Cambridge, Thomas Cartwright was appointed Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity. By December 1570, Whitgift had succeeded in depriving him of that position. With the assistance of Andrew Perne

in The early Spenser, 1554–80
Steve Sohmer

some thirteen miles from Cambridge, where he was Fellow of Pembroke College and Reader of Rhetoric. On 27 July at Audley End, members of the university including Harvey held a Latin disputation before Howard, Leicester, Oxford, and other visiting grandees. The events of that afternoon were immortalized in Latin verse by Harvey, and by Nashe in not one but two of his books. Nashe

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind
Jean R. Brink

country estate, or at a residence in Saffron Walden close to the Harvey home. Although Harvey may have made Smith's acquaintance prior to his matriculation at the university, we know that they were actively connected in late 1570 and early in 1571. Harvey received his B.A. in 1570 at Christ Church and was ninth in the Ordo Senioritatis but was not elected a Fellow. Through the influence of Smith, Harvey was elected a Fellow at Pembroke College on

in The early Spenser, 1554–80