L. C. Martin (ed.), The Poems of Richard Crashaw: English Latin and Greek (Second Edition)

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Memoires of the Lives, Actions, Sufferings & Deaths of those Noble, Reverend, and Excellent Personages, That Suffered … for the Protestant Religion, And the great Principle thereof, Allegiance to their Soveraigne, In our late Intestine Wars, … By Da: Lloyd, A.M. sometime of Oriel-Colledge in Oxon. London … MDCLXVIII.

(p. 618)

Mr. Richard Crashaw, his Father had done so well in the Temple where he was Preacher; and he promised so much where he was a Scholar, that two great Lawyers, I think Sir Henry Yelverton, and Sir Randolph Crew took him to their care, the one paying for his Diet, the other for his Cloaths, Books, and Schooling till he was provided of both in the Royal Foundation at Charter-House, where his nature being leisurely advanced by Art, and his own pretty conceits improved by those of the choicest Orators and Poets, which he was not onely taught to understand, but imitate and make, not only their rich sense his own, but to smooth his soul as well as fill it, for things are rough without words, their expressions too; the essays Mr. Brooks (his worthy Master still alive, whose even, constant, and pursuing diligence and industry, did wonders in that School) imposed upon him, on the Epistles and Gospels, at School, were the ground of that Divine fancy, so famous in (a) Pembroke-hall, where he was Scholar; and Peter-house, where he was Fellow, in Cambridge, where he was esteemed the other (b) Herbert of our Church, for making Poetry, as pg 416Divine in its object, as in its Original, and setting wit disparaged in talking out most of its gallant Genius on Fables, Women, Drollery, or Flattery; upon a matter and subject as noble as its nature, making his Verses not in his Study at St. Peters-house, but in his Devotions, wherein he spent many a night, at St. Maries Church; warbling his Hymns for St. Ambroses his Saints, under Tertullians Roof of Angels; having no other Helicon, than the Jordan of his eyes; nor Parnassus, than the Sion where dwelled his thoughts, that made the Muses Graces, and taught Poems to do what they did of old, propagate Religion, and not so much Charm as Inspire the Soul. Hebrew, Greek, Latine, Spanish, French, Italian, were as familiar to him as English. Philosophy came as plausible from him as his Speeches or Sermons; those thronged Sermons on each Sunday and Holiday, that ravished more like Poems, than both the Poet and Saint (two (c) of the most sacred names in heaven and earth) scattering not so much Sentences and [? read 'as'] Extasies, his soul brea[t]hing in each word, was the soul of the Assembly, as its original is of the World. Poetry, Musick, Drawing, Limning, Graving, (exercises of his curious Invention, and sudden Fancy) were the subservient recreations of his vacant hours, not the grand business of his soul; his diet was temperate, to a Lesson [read 'Lessian'] exactness, whence his memory was so clear, that he had ready at his service the choicest treasures of Greek and Latine Poets, those Gibeonites to draw water to the Tabernacle. This Divine Poet, that had set a Language (made up of the Quintessence of Fancy and Reason) for the Angels (as the Schoolmen state their way of discourse) to converse in; seeing Atheism prevailing in England, embraced Popery in Italy, chusing rather to live in the Communion of that corrupt Church, in the practise of fundamental truths, confessed to be then mixed with some errors, than to stay here, where was hardly the face of any Church, after the overthrow of, those to make way for all errors; being resolved to any Religion, than that which taught a holy Rebellion (d) and Perjury, a pious Sacriledge, a godly Parracide, and made the very horrors of nature, the glory of Christianity. And died of a Feaver, the holy order of his soul over-heating his body, Canon of Loretto, whence he was carried to heaven, as that Church was brought thither by Angels, singing.

pg 417Wood: Fasti Oxonienses(In Athenae Oxonienses, 1691, 2, Vol. II, col. 688, Incorporations for 1641.1)

This year Rich, Crashaw of Cambridge was incorporated, not that it appears so in the publick register, but in the private observations of a certain Master of Arts that was this year living in the University; but in what degree he was incorporated those observations mention not. This person who was the Son of an eminent Divine named Will. Crashaw, was educated in Grammar learning in Suttons Hospital called the Charter-house near to London, and in Academical, partly in Pemb. Hall of which he was Scholar, and afterwards in Peter House of which he was Fellow; where, as in the former House, his admirable faculty in Latin and English Poetry was well known. Afterwards he was Master of Arts, in which degree, 'tis probable, he was incorporated: But being soon after thrown out of his Fellowship, as many others of the said University of Cambridge were, for denying the Covenant in the time of the rebellion, he was for a time put to his shifts. At length upon an infallible foresight that the Church of England would be quite ruined by the unlimited fury of the Presbyterians, he changed his religion and went beyond the Seas, and took up his abode for a time in the great City of Paris: But being a meer Scholar and very shiftless, Mr. Abr. Cowley the Poet, did, upon intimation of his being there, find him out in a sorry condition, an. 1646 or thereabouts. Whereupon exhibiting to him, as much as laid in his power, for the present, did afterwards obtain for him Letters of commendation from Henrietta Maria Queen of England, then in those parts, and some relief. Afterwards he journied into Italy, and by virtue of those Letters he became Secretary to a Cardinal in Rome, and at length one of the Canons or Chaplains of the rich Church of our Lady at Loretto some miles distant thence, where he died and was buried about 1650. Before he left England he wrot certain Poems, which were intit. Steps to the Temple, because in the Temple of God, under his wing, he led his life, in S. Maries Church near to Peter House before mention'd. There, as 'tis said, he lodged under Tertullians roof of Angels. There he made his nest more gladly than Davids pg 418swallow near the House of God, where like a primitive Saint he offer'd more prayers in the night, than others usually offer in the day. There he pen'd the said Poems called Steps to the Temple for happy Souls to climb Heaven by. To the said Steps are joyned other Poems intit. The delights of the Muses, wherein are several Latin Poems; which tho of a more humane mixture, yet they are sweet, as they are innocent. He hath also written Carmen Deo nostra, being Hymns and other sacred Poems, addressed to the Countess of Denbigh. He was excellent in five Languages besides the Mother Tongue, viz. in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Italian and Spanish; the two last whereof tho he had little use, yet he had the knowledg of them, &c.

Documents from Peterhouse, Cambridge.


Anno Domini millesimo sexcentissimo tricesimo sexto vice-simo die mensis Nouembris Richardus Crashaw admissus fuit a Reuerendo in Christo Patre ac Domino Domino Francisco Episcopo Eliensi ad locum siue societatem Magistri Simon Smeth legitimè vacantem in Collegio siue Domo Sancti Petri, & vicesimo secundo die ejusdem mensis coram Magistro & Socijs ejusdem Collegii personaliter constitutus, juramentum præstitit quod singulis ordinationibus & statutis Collegii (quantum in ipso est) reverenter obediret, & specialiter præter hoc de non appellando contra arnotionem suam secundum modum & for-mam statutorum prædictorum, & de salvando cistam Magistri Thomæ de Castro-Bernardi & Magistri Thomæ Holbrooke (quantum in ipso est) indemnem, quo juramento præstito admissus fuit a Magistro Collegii in perpetuum socium eiusdem Collegii & in locum supradictum

Per me Richardum Crashaw Londinensem

II. THE LOAN TO THE KING.(As quoted by T. A. Walker, in Peterhouse, 1906, p. 108.)

July 2, 1642.—It was ordered this day by ye Mr and all ye fellowes then att home yt ye Mr lending one hundred pound pg 419for his Mtyes use, and ye College chest fourty, yt threescore pound borrowed for ye same use, in ye name of ye fellowes, for wch ye present fellowes have given security, shall be payd by all ye fellowes out of their next dividend.

['signed by Cosin, by John Tolly, Richard Crashaw, John Wilson, and Matthew Hanscomb.']

III. THE COLLEGE PLATE AND THE KING.(Autograph signature.)July 6, 1642

Memorandum that it was this day decreed that the plate of the CoAPPENDIX II. together wth that of the Chappel wch can bee spared should bee in these dangerous times deposited in the kings hand, in witnesse whereof wee al the fellows then present in the Cołł have heereto set our hands

  • John Tolly Præses
  • Ri: Crashaw.
  • Jo: Wilson Proc jun /
  • Matthew. Hanscomb.


Whereas in pursuite of an ordinance of Parliamt for regulating and reforming of ye Vniuersitie of Cambridge I haue ejected Mr Beaumont, Mr Penniman, Mr Crashaw, Mr Holder, Mr Tyringham late fellowes of Peter-house in Cambridge And whereas Mr Charles Hotham, Robert Quarles, Howard Becher, Walter Ellis, Edward Sammes haue beene examined and approved by ye Assembly of Divines now sitting at Westminster according to ye said ordinance as fitt to bee ffellowes These are therefore to require you and every of you to receiue the said Charles Hotham, Robert Quarles, Howard Becher, Walter Ellis, Masters of Arts, & Edward Samẽs Bachr as ffellowes of your Colledge in roome of the said Mr Beaumont, Mr Penniman, Mr Crashaw, Mr Holder, M' Tyringham formerly ejected and to giue them place according to theire seniority in the Vniuersity in reference to all those that are or shall pg 420hereafter bee putt in by mee accordinge to ye ordinance of Parliamt aforesaid Given vnder my hand and seale the eleaventh day of June Anno 1644.

To the Master President and ffellowes of Peter-house in Cambridge


Documents from the Archives of the Santa Casa respecting Crashaw's appointment and death at Loreto.1

I. Cardinal Pallotto's Letter of Appointment.2

Ioannes Baptista Miseratione Diuina Tituli Sancti Siluestri de Capite Sanctæ Romanæ Ecclesiæ Presbiter Cardinalis Pallottus nuncupatus Almæ Domus, et Civitatis Lauretanæ Apostolica Auctoritate Comprotector. Dilecto Nobis in Christo Riccardo Croseo, Sacerdoti Anglo, familiari nostro, salutem in Domino sempiternam.

Uitæ ac morum honestas, aliaque laudabilia probitatis, et uirtutum merita super quibus apud nos fide digno commendaris testimonio et 〈quæ〉 sufficienter experti sumus nos inducunt ut tibi reddamur ad gratiam liberales. Cum itaque, sicut accepimus, Beneficiatus quem in Ecclesia Cathedrali Almæ Domus Lauretanæ dum uiueret obtinebat Petrus Paulus Massiccius, per obitum ipsius Petri Pauli de mense currenti, uacauerit et uacet ad præsens: Nos ad quos tamquam Comprotectorem præfatæ Almæ Domus Lauretanæ Apostolica auctoritate deputatum, ut in Litteris Apostolicis in 〈forma〉 breuis expeditis sub die 27 Septembris anni 1645, collatio provisio, et omnimoda alia dispositio dicti Beneficiatus, ut supra, et quorum-cumque aliorum Beneficiorum in dicta Ecclesia existentium, dum illa in mensibus Sedi Apostolicæ reservatis uacent pg 421in uim indultorum Apostolicorum expectant et pertinent, Tibi de cuius idoneitate nobis legitime constat præmissorum meri-torum intuitu specialem gratiam facere uolentes Beneficium prædictum, siue præmissis, siue alio quouis modo uacet, cum illi forsan annexis et omnibus iuribus et pertinentiis suis, tibi, in uim indultorum prædictorum, ac omnibus aliis melioribus, uia iure, et causa, et forma quibus possumus ac debemus tenore præsentium conferimus, et te de illo etiam prouidemus, mandantes propterea Reuerendis Dominis Capitularibus et Canonicis dictæ Ecclesiæ, ac Notariis, et Tabellionibus quibus-cumque aliisque nobis uigore dictæ Comprotectionis subditis personis quatenus ipsi aut aliquis eorum per se uel alium seu alios fuerint requisiti seu requisitus, te, uel Procuratorem tuum, nomine tuo, in corporalem possessionem dicti Beneficiatus et illi annexorum Iurium et pertinentiarum predictarum inducant et inducat auctoritate nostra et defendant seu defendat inductum, amoto exinde quolibet illicito detemptore, facientes, seu faciens, te, uel pro te, Procuratorem tuum ad huiusmodi Benefitium, ut moris est, admitti, Tibique de illius et annexorum eorumdem fructibus, redditibus, prouentibus, iuribus, et obuentionibus uniuersis integre responderi, in contrarium facientibus non obstantibus quibuscumque. In quorum omnium et singulorum fidem præsentem manu nostra sub-scriptam fieri et per infrascriptum Secretarium nostrum subscribi, sigillique iussimus et fecimus impressione muniri.

Datum Romæ extra Portam Angelicam hac die Uigesima quarta Mensis Aprilis Millesimo Sexcentesimo quadragesimo nono, Pontificatus Sanctissimi in Christo Patris et Domini Nostri Domini Innocentii diuina prouidentia Papæ Decimi anno quinto.

Ioannes, Baptista, Cardinalis Pallottus Comprotector

Trolius de Troliis Secretarius

Omisso sigillo impresso in capsula stanea appenso cum Cordulis rubri coloris.

II. Letter of Attorney appointing Crashaw's deputy for the ceremony of induction ('propter loci distantiam').1

In Nomine DominiAmen.

Præsenti publico Instrumento cunctis ubique pateat euidenter, et notum sit quod Anno ab eiusdem Domini Nostri Jesu Christi Natiuitate, millesimo Sexcentesimo quadragesimo nono, Indictione secunda, Die uero uigesima quarta mensis Aprilis; Pontificatus autem Sanctissimi in Christo Patris, et pg 422Domini Nostri Domini Innocentij D〈i〉 Prouidentia Papæ decimi Anno eius quinto, In me Notarij publici Testibusque infrascriptorum ad hæc omnia et singula uocatorum habitorum specialiter, atque rogatorum præsentia præsens, et personaliter Constitutus Illustris, Admodum Reverendus D. Ricchardus Crosius filius quondam Guglielmi sacerdos Anglus mihi Notario cognitus asserens, et affirmans ipsum fuisse, et esse prouisum de uno beneficiatu in Ecclesia Cathedrali, ac Alma Domo Lauretana per obitum quondam Reverendi Domini Pauli Massucij uacante, ab Eminentissimo et Reverendissimo Domino Ioanne Baptista Presbitero Cardinali Pallotto nuncupato dictæ Almæ Domus Lauretanæ Apostolica auctoritate Com-protectore, uolens igitur ipse Reverendus Dominus Constitutus illius possessionem capere, et quia personaliter ad infrascripta peragenda uacare non potest, propter loci distantiam suum propterea decreuit, et deliberauit constituere Procuratorem. Ideo citra reuocationem &c. sponte et ex certa eius Scientia, spontaneaque, et deliberata uoluntate non per errorem aliquem seductus, uel circumuero, sed omnibus meliori modo uia lure, titulo, et causa quibus magis melius ualidius, et efficacius de lure fieri potuit, et debuit ac potest, et debet fecit constituit creauit, deputauit, et solemniter ordinauit suum uerum, certum, legitimum, et indubitatum Procuratorem, actorem Nuncium generalem, et specialem Ita tamen quod specialitas generalitati non deroget nec é contra uidelicet Perlllustrem et Admodum Reverendum Dominum Alessandrum Crucianum in eadem Ecclesia Cathedrali Canonicum Thesaurarium absentem &c. ad ipsius Reverendi Domini Constituentis nomine et pro eo, ac eius parte, ueram, realem, actualem ciuilem, et corporalem possessionem supradicti beneficiati, omniumque et singulorum illius Iurium, membrorum, et pertinentiarum quarumcumque capiendum, adipiscendumet apprehendendum, captamque, adeptam, et apprehensam retinendum, et continuandum &c. et si necesse erit in dominio a quibus opus fuerit recognosci faciendum &c, omnesque, et singulos alios actus super premissis necessarios, et opportunos, et in supradicta Cathedrali Ecclesia fieri solitos, et consuetos peragendum &c, et generaliter omnia alia, et singula faciendum, dicendum, gerendum, et exercendum in premissis necessaria, et opportuna, et quæ ipse Dominus constituens faceret ac facere posset si predictis omnibus, et singulis præsens, et personaliter Interesset etiam si talia forent, quæ mandatum exigerent pg 423magis speciale, quam presentibus est expressus promittens habere ratum &c. releuans &c. super quibus omnibus, et singulis prædictis petitum fuit à me Notario Publico Infrascripto ut unum uel plura, publicum, seu publica Instrumentum et Instrumenta conficerem, atque traderem, et pro ut opus fuerit, et requisitus ero Actum Romæ In officio mei &c. Regionis Pontis præsentibus ibidem audientibus, et Intelligentibus his uidelicet Perlllustri et Admodum Reverendo Domino Stephano Torretto filio quondam Augustini Cammerineris, et Illustri et Reverendo Domino Ioanne Garcia de Cortigera filio quondam Dedaci Burgero testibus ad prædicta omnia et singula uocatis, habitis specialiter, atque rogatis

Ego Augustinus Teulus Curiæ Cancellarius Cameræ

Apostolicæ notarius de prædictis rogatis presens

Instrumentum subscripsi et publicaui rogatus

III. The certificate of induction.

In Dei Nomine, Amen. Anno Domini Millesimo Sexcentesimo quadragesimo nono Indictione secunda, die uero Uigesima octaua Mensis Aprilis, Tempore Pontificatus Sanctissimi in Christo Patris, et Domini Nostri Domini Innocentii diuina providentia Papæ Decimi Anno quinto.

Cunctis ubique pateat euidenter et notum sit qualiter In mei notarii publici testiumque infrascriptorum præsentia præsens, et personaliter existens Perlllustris et admodum Reverendus Dominus Gaspar Lusignanus Archidiaconus Cathedralis Ecclesiæ Lauretanæ in Choro dictæ Ecclesiæ cum maiori numero perlllustrium Dominorum Canonicorum, Beneficiatorum, et Clericorum Capituli, hora Tertiarum in executione supradictarum literarum a me Cancellario lectarum et publicatarum in actualem realem, et corporalem possessionem dicti Beneficiatus et Prebendæ illiusque Iurium et pertinentiarum suarum posuit immisit, et introduxit Perlllustrem et admodum Reverendum Dominum Alexandrum Crucianum Canonicum Thesaurarium Ecclesiæ Lauretanæ Procuratorem Perlllustris et admodum Reverendi Domini Riccardi Crosii Angli, prout de dicto Mandato Procuræ constat sub rogitu Domini Augustini Theuli Notarii Cameræ Apostolicæ sub die 24 Aprilis 1649, ad quod &c. et eidem Domino Procurator!, ut moris est, genuflexo in Choro dictæ Ecclesiæ birretum in capite imposuit, et alia gessit et fecit quæ in pg 424similibus requiruntur, et Stallum in Choro assignauit, mandans de fructibus, prouentibus iuribus, et obuentionibus uniuersis dicto Domino Riccardo Croseo, siue eius Domino Procuratori in futurum per quos spectat integre responderi aliisque gestis, et obseruatis iuxta stilum ueram possessionem denotantibus, dictusque Perlllustris Dominus Alexander Crucianus Thesaurarius Procurator declarauit, et declarat se in dicta possessione pro dicto principali continuare uelle, et protestatus fuit quod per suum inde recessum non intendit huiusmodi possessionem dimittere, sed illam animo, et corpore retinere, et continuare donee &c. nemine contradicente, nec in aliquo se opponente &c. Super quibus &c.

Actum Laureti in Choro dictæ Ecclesiæ, præsentibus ibidem Reuerendo Domino Francisco Montano de Laureto et Domino Petro Guerrino Organista testibus ad prsedicta &c.

Ego Jacobus Carrellus Notarius et Cancellarius rogatus &c.

IV. The record of Crashaw's death.1Anno Domini 1649 die 21 Augusti

Reverendus Dominus Riccardus Crosius Beneficiatus Almæ Domus Lauretanæ de Anglia ætatis suæ annorum 36 circiter in Communione Sanctæ Matris Ecclesiæ Animam Deo reddidit, cuius confessionem audiuit Reuerendus P. Erigus Lindunus Pœnitentiarius, sed a Reverendo Domino Giorgio Tinto Curato roboratus fuit sacra Olei unctione, cuius corpus sepultum est in tumulo sacerdotum.

V. A further note of Crashaw's appointment.2

Riccardo Crashaw Inglese fu familiare del Card. Pallotto Protettore. Con Bolla 24 aprile 1649 ottenne il beneficio N° 7 le cui rendite consistevano in appezzamenti rustici e fruttavano scudi 96: 46. oltre la porzione di pane e vino quotidiana e un assegno in danari.


(a) Whose way of versifying on sacred subjects was brought by Sir R. Dallington, sometimes Greek Scholar there, into the Charter-house, where he was Master and another Justinian.

(b) Mr. Herbert Brother to the Lord Herbert of Cherbury, Orator of the University of Cambridge, a Priest of the Church of England, whose Lyturgy he was ravished with, as all are with his Poems the Temple.

(c) A. C.

(d) He was turned out for not taking the Covenant.

1 Two unimportant notes by Wood have been omitted.

1 The abbreviated words in this document are given in their extended forms.

1 The abbreviated words in the original documents are here given in their extended forms.

2 Documents Nos. I and III are from the Archivio Storico del Pio Istituto di Santa Casa, 'Registro di Lettere Apostoliche, Ordini, etc.', vol. iv (1645–72), fo. 25 V–7 v.

1 From Archivio Storico, Busta I, Tit. VIII, fascicolo 10—Capitolo e Clero an. 1507–1806. Docum. sciolti fo. 375–6.

1 From the Archivi Parrochiali di Loreto, 'Liber Mortuorum', vol. ii (1646–57), fo. 73. The date of the letter, similar to No. 1 above, appointing Crashaw's successor, is Aug. 25, 1649. ('Registrodi Lettere, etc.' fo. 30 v.)

2 From the Archivio Capitolare di Loreto, 'Libro di memorie', fo. 280.

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