Saturday, April 11, 2009

John Lumley, First Baron Lumley, dies

John Lumley, First Baron Lumley, dies April 11, 1609

Sometimes cited as the "seventh Lord Lumley," there were several creations of that title; the John Lumley of the 16th century is properly remembered as First Baron Lumley.

(1534-April 11,1609) was a fascinating man. He was caught intriguing to help Mary Queen of Scots gain the throne, and found himself jailed in 1570 along with his father-in-law, the Earl of Arundel. He apparently "came around" as he gradually regained favor at Court. He sat as one of the jurors (alongside the Earl of Oxford), in October 1586, at the trial of Mary Queen of Scots. He also sat in judgment of the Earl of Essex in 1602.

Known as a scholar, art- and book-collector, Lumley has even been proposed as the author of The Arte of English Poesy, 1589, more often credited to Puttenham.
The catalog of Lumley's library was published as: THE LUMLEY LIBRARY THE CATALOGUE OF 1609, edited by S. Jayne and F. Johnson., London : Trustees of the British Museum 1956. A description follows:

"The library of John, Baron Lumley (1534?-1609), consisted in part of works from the Cranmer library, obtained by way of Lord Arundel, and was in turn acquired, after Lumley had tripled its size, by Prince Henry, later incorporated into the royal library and eventually into the British Museum. An introduction discussing Lumley, the collection and the catalogue is followed by a typographic transcript of the 1609 library catalogue (about 3,000 items) made after Lumley's death for Prince Henry."

After Lumley's death, on April 11, 1609 the book collection was purchased by King James and became the basis for the "Royal Library." A musical tribute to Lumley, by John Bull, is found in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book.

LUMLEY and the 17th Earl of Oxford

In June 1583, Oxford wrote to Burghley on Lumley's behalf:

"I have bene an ernest suitor unto your Lordship, for my Lord Lumley, that it would please you for my sake to stand his good lord and friend whiche as I perceive your Lordship hathe alreadie very honorable ... for the which I am in a number of thinges more then I can reckon bound unto your lordship so am I in this likewise especially. for he hath matched with a near kinswoman of mine, to whose father I alwayes was behoulding unto, for his assured and kind disposition unto me. Further among all the rest of my blood, this only remaynes in account ether of me or else of them, as youre lordship dothe knowe very well, the rest havinge imbraced further alliances, to leave their nearer consanguinite...." Edward Oxenford
To the ryght honorable and his very good lord my lord Thresorer of England giue thes. [seal]

Erl of oxford for ye Lord Lumly

We can detect a close relationship between Baron Lumley and the 17th Earl of Oxford. First of all, they were related by marriage, as in the letter excerpted above. In 1582, Lumley married his second wife, Elizabeth Darcy, whose grandmother, Elizabeth de Vere, was Edward de Vere's aunt. [see also Nelson, Monstrous Adversary, p. 292; Miller, Oxfordian Vistas, p. 562. ). Lumley is listed as one of the mourners at Anne Ceil Oxford's funeral in 1588. (Nelson, p. 309] An early Oxford biographer, BM Ward, believed that Lumley wrote Arte of English Poesy (which has a praise of Oxford's literary skill). This was noted again, briefly, by the senior Ogburns (This Star of England, p. 777) and in Miller, op. cit.



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