Chertsey, Andrew (DNB00)

CHERTSEY, ANDREW (fl. 1508–1532), translator, undertook several translations into English of French devotional books for Wynkyn de Worde the printer. The following are attributed to him: 1. 'A Lytell treatyse called the Lucydarye' (colophon) Wynkyn de Worde, London, 1508? 4to, from a French version of the 'Elucidarius' of Honorius (Augustodunensis). 2. 'Ihesus. The Floure of the Commaundementes of God, with many examples and auctorytees extracte and draw as well of Holy Scryptures as other doctours and good auncyente faders, the whiche is moche utyle and profytable unto all people.' The colophon describes the book as 'lately translated out of Frēsshe in to Englysshe,' Wynkyn de Worde, London, 1521, fol. The name of the translator is given together with his coat of arms at the end of the book. 3. 'A Goostly Treatyse of the Passyon of Christ, with many devout cōtemplacions, examples, and exposicyons of ye same,' in prose and verse, Wynkyn de Worde, London, 1532, 4to. This book is stated to have been 'translated out of French into Englysch by Andrew Chertsey, gentleman, the yere of our lord mdxx.' A poetical prologue by Robert Copland is prefixed, in which Chertsey is stated to have translated many other books

               in volumes large and fayre
From French in prose of goostly exemplayre.

Two of these volumes Copland describes as dealing with 'The Sevyn Sacraments,' another was entitled 'Of Christen men the ordinary,' and a fourth 'The craft to lyve well and to dye.' Of this last work alone is anything now known. Caxton printed a book with the same title about 1491, consisting of translated extracts from a French work, and this translation was due to Caxton himself. But in 1506 Wynkyn de Worde published a complete translation of the same French work, and for this Chertsey was doubtless responsible. Warton states that George Ashby (d. 1475) [q. v.] was probably the author of some of the books ascribed by Copland to Chertsey, but decisive evidence is altogether wanting.

[Tanner's Bibl. Brit. p. 175; Warton's Hist. of English Poetry, iv. 756; Bullen's Brit. Mus. Cat. of books before 1640.]

S. L. L.