Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Tate, Francis

657152Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 55 — Tate, Francis1898Albert Frederick Pollard

TATE, FRANCIS (1560–1616), antiquary, born in 1560 at Gayton, was the second son of Bartholomew Tate (d. 1601) of Delapré, Northamptonshire, by his wife Dorothy, daughter of Francis Tanfield of Gayton. On 20 Dec. 1577 he matriculated as a commoner from Magdalen College, Oxford (Oxford Univ. Reg. II. ii. 76), but left the university without a degree and entered the Middle Temple. He was called to the bar in 1587, but devoted his attention mainly to antiquarian researches. He was an original member of the Society of Antiquaries (Archæologia, vol. i. p. xii), and was for some time its secretary; a volume of collections by him (Stowe MS. 1045) is said to consist of matters discussed by the society. In 1601 Tate was returned to parliament for Northampton. On 22 Feb. 1603–4 he was placed on commissions of the peace in the counties of Glamorgan, Brecknock, and Radnor, and from 1604 till 1611 he sat in parliament as member for Shrewsbury. In 1607 he was Lent reader in the Middle Temple, and about the same time was employed as justice itinerant in South Wales. He died, unmarried, on 11 Nov. 1616.

Tate made various antiquarian collections which were used by Camden and others, but remained unpublished at his death. Selden describes him as ‘multijugæ eruditionis et vetustatis peritissimus’ (Hengham, ed. Selden, 1616, pref. p. vi). His tract on ‘The Antiquity, Use, and Privileges of Cities, Boroughs, and Towns,’ extant in Tanner MS. 248 in the Bodleian Library, and his ‘Antiquity, Use, and Ceremonies of laufull Combats in England,’ extant in Tanner MS. 85 and in the domestic state papers, Elizabeth, cclxxviii. No. 53, were both printed in Gutch's ‘Collectanea Curiosa,’ 1781, vol. i. His treatises on ‘Knights made by Abbots,’ dated 21 June 1606; on the ‘Antiquity of Arms in England,’ dated 2 Nov. 1598; on the ‘Antiquity, Variety, and Ceremonies of Funerals in England,’ dated 30 April 1600; on the ‘Antiquity, Authority, and Succession of the High Steward of England,’ dated 4 June 1603, and his ‘Questions about the Ancient Britons’ are all printed in Hearne's ‘Curious Discourses,’ 1775. A treatise ‘Of the Antiquity of Parliaments in England,’ extant in Harleian MS. 305 and in Lansdowne MS. 491, is printed in Doddridge's ‘Several Opinions,’ 1658; and a similar ‘Discourse importing the Assembly of Parliament’ is extant in Harleian MS. 253. His ‘King Edward II's Household and Wardrobe Ordinances … Englisht by F. Tate,’ was printed by the Chaucer Society in 1876 (2nd series, No. 14). Letters to Sir Robert Cotton are extant in Cottonian MS. Julius C iii. ff. 97, 103, and to Camden in Julius F. vii. f. 288. Wood also mentions ‘Nomina Hydarum in com. Northampton,’ which was used by Augustine Vincent [q. v.] in his ‘Survey of Northamptonshire,’ an ‘Explanation of the abbreviated Words in Domesday Book,’ and a collection of ‘Learned Speeches in Parliaments held in the latter end of Q. Elizabeth and in the Reign of K. James I,’ which have not been traced. Copies of most of Tate's works are extant among the Stowe manuscripts in the British Museum (see Index to Catalogue, 1896).

Zouch Tate (1606–1650), parliamentarian, son of Francis Tate's brother, Sir William (d. 1617), by his wife Eleanor, daughter of William, lord Zouch, matriculated on 26 Oct. 1621 from Trinity College, Oxford, entered the Middle Temple in 1625, and was returned to the Long parliament as member for Northampton in 1640. He sided with parliament in the civil war, took the covenant, and in 1644 moved the famous self-denying ordinance. His speech, delivered on 30 July 1645, was printed in ‘Observations on the King and Queen's Cabinet of Letters,’ 1645. He was sequestered in 1648, and died in 1650 (Wood, Athenæ, ii. 179–80; Walker, Sufferings of the Clergy, i. 91; Foster, Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714; Bridges, Northamptonshire, i. 366).

[Works in Brit. Mus. Library; Catalogues of Harleian, Cottonian, and Lansdowne MSS.; Cal. State Papers, Dom.; Off. Return of Members of Parl.; Camden's Annals of James I, s.a. 1616; Wood's Athenæ, ii. 179; Dugdale's Orig. Jurid.; Bridges's Northamptonshire; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714.]

A. F. P.