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time nor trouble in aiding my inquiries about Marlowe in his native city, I feel myself greatly indebted; and to the Rev. W. S. H. Braham, Rector of St. George's, Canterbury, I am not without obligations.
Having reason to believe that Marlowe had been educated at the King's School, Canterbury, I requested the Hon. D. Finch, Auditor, to examine certain old Treasurer's Accounts, which, I was told, were preserved in the Cathedral, and were likely to determine the point. With this request Mr. Finch complied; and informed me that Marlowe was mentioned in those Accounts, as one of the King's Scholars who had received the usual stipend during such and such years. But there his civilities ended. It was in vain that I continued asking him, as a particular favour, either to permit me to make the necessary extracts from those Accounts, or to allow a clerk to make them for me ;-in Mr. Finch's opinion, my solicitations were unreasonable. Several months after, a gentleman, whose influence is powerful at Canterbury, was induced (through the medium of a mutual friend) to exert himself in my behalf; and, in consequence of his kind interposition, the extracts from the Accounts were at last forwarded to me, accompanied with a special notice that "ten and sixpence" must be sent, in return, to Mr. Finch.
The task of tracing Marlowe's course at Cambridge was voluntarily undertaken for me by the Rev. George Skinner, of Jesus College; and he performed it with a zeal for which I feel truly grateful.
To the Rev. John Mitford, to W. J. Thoms, Esq., and to W. H. Black, Esq., I have to offer my thanks for various and not unimportant assistance.
The first edition of Marlowe's Hero and Leander was lent to me by the late Mr. Miller of Craigentinny.
When the latest biographer of Marlowe set out with a declaration that “the time of this writer's birth cannot be ascertained,” * he rather hastily assumed the impossibility of discovering it. Christopher Marlowe, the son of John Marlowe, shoemaker,+ was born at Canterbury in February 1563-4, and baptized there in the Church of St. George the Martyr on the 26th of that month. I
Lires of English Dramatists, i. 49. (Lardner's Cyclop.) † “ Marlowe a shooe makers sonne of Cant.” MS. Note, in a very old hand, on the margin of a copy of Beard's Theatre of God's Judgments, 1598, which, when I saw it, belonged to the late Mr.
B. H. Bright.—“His (Marlowe's] father was a shoemaker in Canterburie.” MS. Note in a copy of ! Hero and Leander, ed. 1629, now in the possession of Mr. J. P. Collier.—See also the last stanza but four of the ballad called The Atheists Tragedie, Appendix I. to this volume.
#1563-4, “The 26th day of ffebruary was christened Christofer the sonne of John Marlow." Register of St. George the Martyr, Canterbury.—The following entries are found in the same Register ; which, though very old, is only a transcript ; and the scribe was unable to decypher the Christian names in the fourth, seventh, and eighth entries :
1548, “ The 28th day of December was christened Marget the daughter of John Marlow."
1565, “ The [date illegible) day of December was christened Margarit the daughter of John Marlowe."
1568, “ The last day of October was christened [sic] the sonne of John Marlow."
1566, “ The 10th day of December was buried Simon the sonne of Thomas Marlow."
23. does the last entry refer to the elder or to the younger John Marlowe (see the fifth entry)? It is possible that, while our poet's father followed the business of a shoemaker (which, according to the stanza of the ballad referred to in the preceding note, he continued to do till his death), he also held the situation of “ clarke of St. Maries."
So unsettled was the orthography of the time, that our author's name (as will be seen) was written in ten different ways, -Marlo, Marloe, Marlow, Marlowe, Marley, Marly, Marlye, Marlen, Marlin, Marlyn !
Our poet's history has hitherto been a blank up to the period of his graduating at Cambridge ; but that deficiency is now in some sort supplied by the following particulars.
The King's School at Canterbury was founded by Henry the Eighth for a Master, an Usher, and fifty Scholars between the ages of nine and fifteen,—the Scholars having each a stipend of four pounds per annum, and retaining their Scholarships for five years. To enable some of the more deserving Scholars, on completing their education at this establishment, to proceed to one of the Universities, several benefactions were made at various times. The earliest which I find recorded is that of Archbishop Parker. In 1569 he founded two Scholarships, each of the value of £3. 68. 8d., in Corpus Christi alias Benet College, Cambridge, to maintain, during the space of two hundred years, two Scholars, natives of Kent, and educated at the King's School, who were to be called Canterbury Scholars, and to be entitled to all the advantages enjoyed by the other Scholars in the college. Archbishop Whitgift having renewed this foundation, it is now perpetual.*
That the King's School may henceforth claim the honour of having contributed to the instruction of Marlowe is proved by a document which I obtained with great difficulty,t—an extract from “the Treasurer's Accounts” concerning the “Stipend. sive Salar. La puerorum studen. Grammatic.," for the year ending at the Feast of St. Michael, 21st Eliz. It commences with “ Idem denar. per dictum Thesaur. de exit. officii sui hoc anno solut. quinquaginta pueris studen. Grammatic. pro salariis suis ad s. iiijli pro quolibet eorum per annum," and contains four notices of the usual sum having been paid “Xrofero Marley,"_" in primo termino hujus anni," “in secundo termino hujus anni," " in tercio termino hujus anni,” and “in ultimo termino hujus anni.” If I may depend upon the information which I received together with the extract just quoted, Marlowe did not continue at the King's School the full period which its statutes allowed him to remain. I
At the proper age Marlowe was removed to Cambridge ; and, as Benet was the college of which he became a member, I at first concluded that he had been elected to one of the Parker Scholarships already mentioned ; but a careful examination of the records both of the University and of Benet, which has recently been made at my request, leaves, I am told, very little doubt that he did not obtain a Scholarship.Ş
* For other particulars concerning the King's School, see Hasted's Hist. of Kent, iv. 583 sqq. + See Preface.
I “Marlowe’s name,” I am informed, “does not occur in [the Accounts for] 1575, 1576, 1577, nor 1581 : the intervening Accounts are wanting.” (It could not occur in the Accounts for 1581).—The present Master of the King's School observes to me “that no special patronage was required for Marlowe's election as a Scholar; any boy of good ability may at any time get into the School.”
$ The only mention of him in the Books of Corpus (Benet) Coll. is an entry of his admission in 1580 ; and there he is called “Marlin,” without the Christian name. My correspondent at Cambridge observes ; "the University books enter both the Christian name and the surname in all cases; the Benet Books only in the case of Scholars. It therefore seems nearly certain that Marlowe was not