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Michelborne, Edward (1565-1626) (DNB00)


MICHELBORNE, EDWARD (1565–1626), Latin poet, son of a gentleman of Hampshire, was brought up as a Roman catholic. The family of Michelborne was widely disseminated in Hampshire and Sussex, and from the Sussex branch of Bradhurst sprang John Michelborne [q. v.], the governor of Londonderry (cf. Berry, Sussex Genealogies, p. 50). Edward the poet had two brothers, Thomas and Lawrence (Fitgeffrey, Affaniæ, 1601, p. 165). He matriculated at Oxford as a commoner of St. Mary Hall on 27 March 1579, aged 14, and afterwards migrated to Gloucester Hall, but took no degree owing to religious scruples. He appears to have lived most of his life at Oxford, and was, according to Wood, ‘the most noted Latin poet in the university.’ His compositions, which Wood declares to have been numerous, seem mainly to have been contributed to books by his friends. ‘The poets of his time,’ writes Wood, ‘did mostly submit their labours to his judgment before they were made public.’ His closest friends were Charles Fitzgeffrey [q. v.] and Thomas Campion [q. v.] Fitzgeffrey dedicated his ‘Affaniæ,’ 1601, to him, and inscribed seven other poems in the volume to him, besides printing some complimentary Latin verses by Michelborne. Four of Campion's ‘Latin Epigrams,’ 1619, are addressed to him in very affectionate terms (bk. i. nos. 180, 192, bk. ii. nos. 77, 121). Both Campion and Fitzgeffrey lament the modesty which prevented their friend from publishing his verse. Two poems by Michelborne in praise of the author are prefixed to ‘The Art of Brachygraphy,’ 1597, of Peter Bales [q. v.], and he is a contributor to ‘Camdeni Insignia,’ 1624. Michelborne died at Oxford on 27 Dec. 1626, and was buried in the church of St. Thomas the Martyr.

Fitzgeffrey inscribes several poems in his ‘Affaniæ’ to Edward's brothers—three to Thomas (pp. 84, 165), and two to Lawrence (pp. 5, 32), while each brother is the subject of an epigram by Campion (bk. ii. no. 34 on Lawrence and no. 69 on Thomas). Lawrence was residing at Oxford in 1594, although his name does not appear in the university register (Oxf. Univ. Reg., Oxf. Hist. Soc., II. i. 318). Thomas prefixed Latin hexameters—‘In Dracum Redivivum Carmen’—to the first edition, and some English stanzas to the second edition of Fitzgeffrey's poem on ‘Sir Francis Drake,’ 1596. English commendatory verses by him also figure in Thomas Storer's poetic ‘Life and Death of Thomas Wolsey, Cardinall,’ 1599, and in Sir William Vaughan's ‘Golden Grove,’ 1608.

[Wood's Fasti Oxon. ed. Bliss, i. 428; Foster's Alumni Oxon.; Ritson's Bibliographia Poetica, pp. 278, 283; Campion's Works, ed. Bullen, pp. 301, 304, 323, 332, 346.]

S. L.