Kemp, William (fl.1590) (DNB00)

KEMP or KEMPE, WILLIAM (fl. 1590), writer on education, matriculated in June 1578 as a pensioner of Christ's College, Cambridge, whence he migrated to Trinity Hall (B.A. in 1580 and M.A. in 1584). He appears to have settled at Plymouth, and as early as 1581 was acting as master of the grammar school there at a yearly salary of 20l. He seems to have held the post till 1604–5. In 1587 he issued ‘A Dutiful Invective against the most Haynous Treasons of Ballard and Babington: with other their Adherents latelie executed. Together with the Horrible Attempts and Actions of the Q. of Scottes; and the Sentence pronounced against her at Fodderingay. Newlie compiled and set foorth in English verse. For a New Yeares gifte to all loyall English Subjects, by W. Kempe,’ London, 1587, 4to; dedicated to George Barne, lord mayor of London (Brit. Mus.). A tract dealing with the execution of Babington and his associates, entitled ‘The Censure of a Loyal Subject,’ 1587, 4to, has been assigned to Kemp; it is by George Whetstone.

Kemp was author of two educational works, both of which are now very rare; copies are in the British Museum. The earlier was entitled ‘The Education of Children in learning. Declared by the Dignitie, Utilitie, and Method thereof,’ London, 1588, 4to; it was dedicated to William Hawkins (d. 1589) [q. v.], mayor of Plymouth. The second was ‘The Art of Arithmeticke in Whole Numbers and Fractions. … Written in Latin by P. Ramus and translated into English by William Kempe,’ London, by Richard Field for Robert Dextar, 1592. This was dedicated to Sir Francis Drake, and verses by ‘A. W.’ in honour of Drake precede Kemp's translation.

It is possible that the Plymouth schoolmaster may be the ‘Kemp’ mentioned in ‘Theses Martinianæ,’ 1589 (sig. D, iii. v.), as one of the pamphleteers in behalf of the bishops against the puritans in the Martin Mar-Prelate controversy.

[Information kindly supplied by the Rev. J. Ingle Dredge; R. N. Worth's Hist. of Plymouth, 1890; Cooper's Athenæ Cantabr. ii. 41; Kemp's Works; Ames's Typogr. Antiq., ed. Herbert.]

S. L.