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INTRODUCTION .............. 37
II. ............. 201
OF the life of the author of Hudibras little is known, except that he was born in humble circumstances, and died in want. The obscurity of his birth did not prevent him from becoming famous; and his celebrity did not protect him against neglect and poverty.
Samuel Butler, or Boteler,* the father of the poet, was a farmer at Strensham, in Worcestershire, where he possessed a small property of his own, worth about eight or ten pounds a-year, called Butler's Tenement, a name which it retained to the close of the last century. He also rented a considerable farm, of the estimated annual value of £300, from Sir William Russel, the lord of the manor of Strensham. Samuel Butler appears to have been a person of some education, for he wrote a good hand, which was by no means a common accomplishment in those days; and he was evidently held in good
* See Nash's History of Worcestershire. The name was originally spelt Boteler, and the old orthography seems to have been retained during the lifetime of the poet. In a royal warrant, bearing the date of 1677, and signed by Sir John Berkenhead, printers and booksellers are prohibited from reprinting or selling 'a book, or poem callid Hudibras, or any part thereof, without the consent and approbation of Samuel Boteler, Esq., or his assignes. The original of this injunction is preserved in the British Museum.-Misc. Pap. Bibl. Birch., No. 4293.
+ Wood erroneously calls this gentleman Sir Thomas Russel. The family of the Russels were early seated in Worcestershire. In the reign of Edward II., Nicholas Russel filled the office of sheriff; Robert Russel, in the reign of Richard II. ; under Henry VIII. Joh. Russel, junior, of Strensham, served the office three times; and the names of Thomas and Joh. Russel occur several times in the lists of sheriffs during the reigns of Elizabeth and James I. Sir William Russel, from whom Butler's father leased his farm, served the office of sheriff in 1636.