Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Darell, William

DARELL or DORELL, WILLIAM (d. 1580), antiquary, canon of Canterbury, was probably a member of the Kentish house of the Darells of Calehill, near Ashford, though his name does not occur in the ordinary pedigrees of the family (Hasted, Kent, iii. 224; Burke, Commoners, i. 133). In April 1554, being already in holy orders, he was appointed by Queen Mary to a prebend in Canterbury Cathedral (Fœdera, xv. 381–2). Some time after this apparently he proceeded M.A. of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. On Elizabeth's accession he, with only three other prebendaries and the dean, assembled to elect Parker as archbishop, and Darell was chosen publicly to declare the election in the cathedral choir and to act as proxy for the chapter in its subsequent proceedings. As reward, perhaps, for such compliance, he became chaplain to Queen Elizabeth, and in 1560 sub-dean of Canterbury. In 1564 he reported to the archbishop that uniformity of ceremony and worship was duly practised in the cathedral. Between 1565 and 1570 he was chancellor of Bangor (B. Willis, Surrey of Bangor, p. 160). His attachment to the church settlement was apparently lukewarm, and zealous protestants heard with alarm of his proposed elevation to the see of Armagh in 1567. Grindal did his best to prevent his appointment, on the ground that ‘Dorell hath been convicted before me and other commissioners for sundry misdemeanours, and I know him to be an unfit man for so high an office’ (Grindal, Remains, p. 292, Parker Soc.). There was also a ‘Sir Patrick Dorrell, chanter of Armagh,’ who rendered some services to the Irish government about the same time (Cal. State Papers, Ireland, 1509–73), but it was doubtless the canon of Canterbury that Grindal objected to. Darell got no further promotion than the prebend of Flixton in Lichfield Cathedral, to which he was collated on 16 Aug. 1568 (Le Neve, Fasti Eccl. Angl. ed. Hardy, i. 603), but which he apparently at once resigned, as another prebendary was collated early in 1569. In 1568 Parker complained of Darell that, like other queen's chaplains, he shirked residence and the duty of hospitality at Canterbury (Parker, Correspondence, p. 292, Parker Soc.) Darell died in 1580. He was an antiquary of some note, and was one of the group of careful and laborious students whom the example and patronage of Parker impelled to the study of English history (Wharton, Anglia Sacra, i. pref. xviii). Among his books was the manuscript (Lambeth MS. No. 1106) from which Bishop Stubbs has derived his text of the ‘Annales Paulini.’ Darell acquired it from his brother prebend and fellow antiquary Bale. That it passed from him to Ireland suggests some connection with that country (Stubbs, Chron. Edw. I and II, i. pref. l–li). Darell wrote a treatise in Latin called ‘Castra in Campo Cantiano ab antiquo ædita nobilium ope et diligentia,’ which, though surviving in manuscript in the College of Arms, has never been completely printed. Parts of it are also to be found in Lansdowne MS. 229, f. 31 b, and Harl. MS. 309, ff. 203 b, 204 b. That part concerning Dover Castle has been printed in the ‘History of Dover Castle,’ London, 4to, 1786, with an English translation by Alexander Campbell. It was reprinted in 1797 with a ‘Series honoratorum virorum qui a Gulielmo Normanno Arci Dovariæ et Quinque Portubus præfuerunt.’ Darell dedicated his book to William Brooke, sixth lord Cobham, constable of Dover Castle, and lord warden of the Cinque Ports, ‘in recollection of many favours.’

[Cooper's Athenæ Cantab. i. 430; see also Strype's Memorials, 8vo, III. i. 478; Strype's Parker, 8vo, i. 103, 144, 364; Strype's Grindal, 8vo, 177, 314.]

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