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

KINWELMERSH, KYNWELMERSH, or KINDLEMARSH, FRANCIS (fl. 1570), poet, belonged to an Essex family, whose name is spelt in a variety of ways. Thomas Kinwolmersh of Much Dunmow, Essex, served in the war in France in 1513 (Letters, &c., of Henry VIII, i. 596). Richard Kinwelmersh held in 1562 the manor of Newton Hall, now Great Dunmow (Morant, Essex, ii. 424). He entered Gray's Inn in 1557. Two students of the same surname, Anthony and Robert, were admitted to the same inn in 1561 and 1563 respectively, and were probably Francis's brothers (Foster, Gray's Inn Reg. pp. 27, 29, 32). Francis became intimate with the poet, George Gascoigne [q. v.], who was his fellow-student at Gray's Inn, and in 1566 they produced conjointly a blank-verse rendering of Euripides's ‘Phœnissæ,’ which they entitled ‘Jocasta.’ It was performed in the hall of their inn in the course of 1566, and was first published in Gascoigne's ‘Hundredth Sundrie Flowres’ in 1572. Kinwelmersh was responsible for acts i. and iv. Gascoigne wrote poems upon mottos suggested by Francis and his brother Anthony about 1566 (see Gascoigne, Works, ed. Hazlitt, i. 64–5). Francis was a contributor to the ‘Paradyse of Daynty Devises,’ 1576, and his initials, ‘F. K.,’ appear on the title-page in the list of ‘sundry learned gentlemen’ whose poems are included. In the title-pages of the editions of 1580 and 1600 the initials are expanded into ‘F. Kindlemarsh.’ Seven poems, chiefly on religious topics, bear the signature ‘F. K.’ in the first edition, and six in that of 1600. A poem (‘for Whitsunday’) in all the editions is signed ‘M. Kindlemarsh,’ and another piece is subscribed ‘M.K.’ In Bodenham's preface to ‘Belvedere, or the Garden of the Muses,’ 1600, ‘Francis Kindlemarsh, Esq.,’ figures, together with Norton, Gascoigne, Atchelow, and Whetstone, among deceased authors, to whose published and unpublished writings ‘due right’ is given by the compiler. According to a letter from Sir Francis Englefield [q. v.] to the Duchess of Feria [see Dormer, Jane], on ‘Kindlemarsh,’ who seems to have been friendly with the Dormer family, was at Louvain in August 1569 (Cal. State Papers, Dom. Add. 1566–79, p. 285). ‘Francis Kinwelmarshe, Esq.,’ was elected M.P. for Bossiney, Cornwall, on 27 April 1572, at the same time as Gascoigne was returned for Midhurst.

[Ritson's Biographia Poetica, p. 264; Brydges's Censura Literaria, i. 258, 264; Gascoigne's Works; Return of Members of Parl. i. 408; see art. George Gascoigne.]

S. L.