Sir Thomas Stanhope
Steven W. May and Alan Bryson (eds), Verse Libel in Renaissance England and Scotland
Editor’s NotePOEM 6Sir Thomas Stanhope against John Markham, 1592
To Master John Markham one of the yonger sonnes of Master Robert Markham of Cottam.
- 1Thou crooke-backte, scabbed, scurvie° Squyer,
- 2Thou plaiest the knave for flatterye and hyer;
- 3Thou shalte have to portion,° by thie birthe right,
- 4The Gallowes most fitt for so scurvie a wight.°
- 5And for the Cooche cutting, and libells sett upp,
- 6Thou arte a Calf and a Sheepe's face, no wiser then a Tupp;°
- pg 1007A scurvie knave thou arte, and so thou wilte dye—
- 8Farewell scabbed crooke-back, not worthie a flye.
copy text: Lambeth Palace Library MS 701, f. 67
To Sir Thomas Stanhope in requytall of the Libell above written.
Haste thou (base and unworthie knight) been so longe practized in Machiavel's dampned devises, and can thie groose hedd in the conclusion78 of thie corrupted carkasse, bringe fourth no better fructe then doultishe fooleryes? Yett sithe thie cankered knightshipp hath in rymes given the first occasion of this scoulding combatt, I in my proose will make replycacion, not to thie self, (leaste I shoulde so farre move thie pacyence, as in thie fearefull Choller, offring to caste my letter from thee, thou shouldest with it, cast thyne arme from thie bodye, and so peradventure coosen79 the divell of his dewe, by thie toe speedie deathe) and therfore to avoyde that I will scoulde with thee, and by these, challenge thie brothers, Sonne, Sonne in lawe, or to conclude, any gentleman thie Kynsman, or frende, who will maynteigne thie execrable actions, and therfore to them or any of them, I by these (for thie sclaunderous libells) give the lye in their throotes in dispightfullest manner.
Nowe Sir knight to aunswere thie libelous lyes, for the factor,80 being (as I thinke) one of thie bawedye Instrumentes, I leave hym to the revenge meete for a keepe doore or a carrye whoore.81 And, good well shapte knight, though I be crookte backed, yett is it not the pockes,82 or any bawdye disease that makes me sitt like a deformed ape under a Tree, with my hedd and knees so conjoyned, as yf I loved them so well, that my whoale pleasure consisted in their kyssing; neither doo any noysome salves of myne trooble any, as thyne generally tyer all that conferre wth thee. For the Gallowes, which is termed my birthright, yf any of myne auncestors hadd happened to dye so unkyndly,83 as one vnder a Tree, and an other (beinge condempned to hanging) have his hedd stricken from his shoulders, I muste have blushed to suffer any of my knaves to have offred the Gallowes to thee. For thie Cooche cuttinge, or any Libell setting upp, knowe, thou confused excrementes of nature,84 that to any of thy followers, kynde,85 or freindes, who thinke I touche them for this and the whole lybell, I geve them the lye in the throate.
For my name of knave, I houlde thie knaverie thie best meane of living, and therfore duringe thie lief keepe it thie self, and after thie deathe leave it to thyne heires. But nowe Sir, to conclude, lett me a little question with you: Are you not an odyous, sclaunderous knave upon Recorde? Did you ever offer a horrible rape to one of your neere kynde, and in her resistaunce rente her Smock?86 Or did you ever offer or performe the most dampned offence of Incest? Howe longe, I pray you Sir, have you hadd (with your bawdye actions) the Greenecomes, the yellow or black Jaundeys, or the most hated disease called La gran verola?87 And to conclude, howe manye hast thou been the deathe of, by causing suche as begged their breade, to sell their Fryeng pannes, with other necessaryes, and to pyne88 their wives, Children, and them selves, to paye thee dooble rentes at thie Daughter's wedding?89
Nowe Sir, yf in all these thou be faultie, all the worlde will saye with me, thou arte the most vyle, Filthie, Sclaunderous, incestuous, Dampned, knavishe knight that ever receaved that honorable order. And nowe, careles90 to offend thee, but doubting91 to be too tedyous to the multytude I meane shall viewe these, I rest.
- From thie Godsonne who deadlie
- hateth thie damphned condicions,
- John: Markham92