Published online by Cambridge University Press: 02 December 2020
Since the appearance of Professor Berdan's edition of Cleveland's poems little has been added to our knowledge concerning the poet's biography. The purpose of this paper is to present certain biographical data which supplement those given by Professor Berdan.
1 J. M. Berdan, The Poems of John Cleveland, New Haven and Lond., 1903; reprinted in 1911.
2 Wills in the York Registry, 1514–1553, pp. 595, 630 (Yorkshire Arch. Assoc., Record Ser., xi, 1891).
Wills in the York Registry, 1603–1611, p. 148 (Yorkshire Arch. Assoc., Record Ser., xxvi, 1899).
Wills in the York Registry, 1594–1602, p. 136 (Yorkshire Arch. Assoc., Record Ser., xxiv, 1898).
3 Wills in the York Registry, 1612–1619, p. 155 (Yorkshire Arch. Assoc., Record Ser., xxviii, 1900). See also Bishop Stubbs' Genealogical History, p. 140 (Yorkshire Arch. Assoc., Record Ser., lv, 1915).
4 Wills in the York Registry, 1568–1585, p. 195 (Yorkshire Arch. Assoc., Record Ser., xix, 1895). See also Yorkshire Fines for the Stuart Period, i 1603–14, pp. 56, 215. (Yorkshire Arch. Assoc., Record Ser., liii, 1915.)
5 Leicestershire Marriage Licenses, 1570–1729, p. 29. (Index Library, xxxviii. London, 1910.)
6 Leicestershire Marriage Licenses, 1570–1729, pp. 44, 91, 331. (Index Library, xxxviii. London, 1910.) Other traces of the Hebbe family are found in Leicestershire Marriage Licenses, 1570–1729, p. 205; Leicestershire Wills and Administrations, 1495–1649, pp. 124, 145 (Index Lib. xxvii. London, 1902); The Register of St. Mary, Leicester, Vol. i, 1600–1738, p. 15. London, 1909.
7 Leicestershire Wills and Administrations, 1495–1649, p. 174. (Index Lib. xxvii. London, 1902.)
8 Leicestershire Marriage Licenses, p. 274.
9 J. E. B. Mayor, St. John's College, Cambridge, Admissions. Cambridge, 1882.
10 The dates are 2 May, 27 October, 3 November, 1634; 29 April, 28 November, 1635; 21 January, 23 July, 1636; 25 January, 2 May, 26 June, 4 December, 1637; 4 June, 13 June, 29 September, 1638; 6 February, 27 March, 3 April, 26 June, 1639; 24 April, 9 May, 4 July, 1640; 18 May, 4 June, 1641; 4 June, 1642. All of these references are in connection with students who are either “admitted ... under Mr. Cleveland” or “admitted ... surety Mr. Cleveland.” Among the pupils thus admitted a Thomas Kirkelton of Hinckley and the future collectors of his works, Samuel Drake and John Lake, are the only ones of interest.
In Tanner MS. 88 are preserved transcripts of several letters by Cleveland written “in ye Name of ye Mr. & Fellows of St. John's Coll. in Camb.” These letters appear to belong to this same period in his life but, since they are concerned only with the affairs of the college, they need not concern us here. An unpublished Latin oration of Cleveland's is to be found in Rawlinson MS. 951 but it, too, is purely formal and of no personal interest.
11 Clievelandi Vindiciae, 1677. Preface.
12 G. Murphy, A Bibliography of English Character Books, 1608–1700, Oxford, 1925 p. 60.
13 Catalogue of the Pamphlets ... collected by George Thomason, London, 1908, i, 360.
14 Quoted from Murphy, loc. cit.
15 Also cited by Murphy, loc. cit.
16 Feb. 10–17. No. 70.
17 G. Murphy, (op. cit. pp. 60, 61) gives three editions of this character in the year 1644. It seems that these editions are the ones named by the Mercurius Britannicus.
18 J. Granger, A Biographical History of England, London, 1769, i, 488; DNB, xi; T. Corser, Collectanea Anglo-Poetica, Part 4, p. 405 (Chetham Society, lxxvii. 1869).
19 T. Carlyle, Oliver Cromwell's Letters and Speeches, iii, 240–241.
20 S. R. Gardiner, History of the Great Civil War 1642–49, iii, 103–4. A reference not previously noticed shows Cleveland's presence in Newark within a few days of the surrender and at the same time guarantees the genuineness of his reply to the besiegers of Newark (cf. 1687 ed., p. 129). Mercurius Britannicus No. 128, the issue of April 27 to May 4, 1646, states “The second Summons sent into Newark hath foiled Cleveland's wit for an answer, and brought back a return of humble Inclinations towards a treaty.” Evidently Cleveland was known as the official spokesman or letter-writer for the garrison.
21 T. Corser, op. cit., Part 4, p. 404. Corser quotes the 1659 ed. of Cleveland.
22 Gardiner, op. cit., iii, 188.
23 It is of importance to note that his Character of a London Diurnall which, as we have noted above, came out no less than three times in 1644 and 1645, was printed in 1647 together with some selected poems and that this edition reached a third printing in that very year. (Murphy, op. cit. p. 61). Did Cleveland look after the publication of this edition, as he apparently did the edition of February, 1645?
24 Gardiner, ii, 184.
25 Ibid., i, 340.
26 Ibid., ii, 233.
27 Ibid., ii, 274.
28 Ibid., ii, 271.
29 Ibid., ii, 307.
30 R. S. Crane, and F. B. Kaye, “A Census of British Newspapers and Periodicals 1620–1800.” Studies in Phil. xxiv (1927), 1–205 and G. Davies, Bibliography of British History, Stuart Period, 1603–1714. Oxford, 1928 assign it to Cleveland in part. J. B. Williams, A History of English Journalism. London 1908, pp. 83–84 quotes two other Mercuries of April, 1648, and July, 1649, which directly assert Cleveland's part in Mercurius Pragmaticus.
31 J. B. Williams, op. cit., p. 86, definitely ascribes these words to Cleveland.
32 The Library of Congress has only single numbers of these periodicals.
33 Op. cit., p. 92.
34 Thomason, op. cit., ii, 113. British Museum E. 838 (9) p. 2850. The date is Thomason's.
35 The account of his arrest in November, 1655, says that he had come from London to Norwich “about a year since” and that he had been there ever since. Thurloe's State Papers, iv, 184.