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Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 07.djvu/177

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Buc
Buc
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had decided a chancery suit in Buc’s favour. A second edition, with numerous alterations and a dedication to Sir John Finch, lord chief justice of the common pleas, was published in 1635 under the title of ‘The Great Plantagenet. Or a Continved Svccession of that Royall Name from Henry the Second to our Sacred Soveraigne King Charles. By Geo. Buck, Gent.' After the preface comes a second title-page, ‘An Eclog treating of Crownes,' &c. Whoever this ‘Geo. Buck, Gent.,’ may have been, he did not scruple to claim the authorship of the ‘Eclog,’ and afterwards of the ‘History of the Life and Reign of Richard the Third,’ written by Sir George Buc. Corset sa s that at the time of the publication of the ‘Eclogue' the author was twenty-three years of age ; but there appears to be no foundation for this statement. The ‘G. Bucke’ who prefixed a complimentary quatorzain to Watson‘s 'Έκατομπαθία’ about 1582 was not improbably Sir George Buc. Two persons of the name of Bucks accompanied the Cadiz expedition in 1596; one a Captain John Bucke, and the other a gentleman adventurer, George Bucke, whom it would be safe to identify with Sir George Buc. In Howes's ‘Stow' (1615), p. 776, col. 2, we read that ‘George Bucke was despatched by the lords generals to her majestie to make relation of that which had passed in the armie since the fleetes departure from the bay of Cadiz.' The instructions given him on that occasion are contained in ‘Otho,’ E. ix. 319 (Cottonian MSS.) In 1601 Buc was sent to Sir Francis Vere at Middleburgh, with instructions from Sir Robert Cecil. Two copies of these instructions are in ‘Cotton. MS. Galba,’ D. xii. 322, and the second copy is signed ‘Vera Copia, G. Buc,' in the unmistakable handwriting of Sir George Buc. On 13 July 1603, the day before the coronation, Buc was knighted by James. On 21 June 1603 he received the reversionary grant of the mastership of the revels (Cal. State Papers, Dom. Series, 1603-1610, p. 16). Collier states that in 1610 he assumed the office as successor to Edmund Tylney, who died in the October of that year (Engl. Dram. Lit. 2nd ed. i. 360). For some time previously he had acted as Tylney’s deputy. On 21 Nov. 1606 he licensed Sharpham’s ‘Fleire ’ for publication; but on 29 June 1607 we find Tylney licensing ‘Cupid‘s Wliirligig’ (Arber, Transcripts, iii. 333, 354). In spite of Col1ier’s statement (for which no authority is given) it would seem that Tylney had been superseded by Buc in the autumn of 1608, for on 4 Oct. of that year Middleton’s ‘A Mad World, my Masters,' was licensed for publication by Buc‘s deputy (ibid. p. 391). It is improbable that there would have been two deputies. From Sir Henry Herbert’s ‘Register’ we learn that Buc's office books, which would have had the deepest interest for students of the drama, were consumed by fire. Chalmers, in his ‘Supplemental Apology’ (198-207), gives a list of the plays licensed for publication by Buc. Among the ‘State Papers,’ under date 6 Sept. 1610, is a document signed by Buc, licensing three men to ‘shew a strange lion brought to do strange things, as turning an ox to be roasted,' &c. There is also preserved among the ‘ State Papers’ a letter of Buc’s, dated 10 July 1615, to John Packer, secretary to lord-chamberlain Somerset, llowing Samuel Daniel to appoint a company of youths to perform comedies and tragedies at Bristol. The writer ends by saying that he has received no stipend since 13 Dec., and begs for payment of arrears. In a letter to Sir Dudley (garleton, dated 30 March 1620, Chamberlain writes: ‘Old Sir George Buck, master of the revels, has gone mad’ (Cal. State Papers, Dom. Series, 1619-23, p. 364). Two years afterwards Buc had become too infirm to discharge his duties, and on 2 May 1622 a patent was made out appointing Sir John Astley master of the revels. On 22 May he was formally superseded in a privy seal (extant in the Chapter-house, Westminster), which directed that as Buc, ‘by reason of sickness and indisposition of body wherewith it had pleased God to visit him, was become disabled and insufficient to undergo and perform ’ his duties, the office had been conferred on Sir John Astley. From Sir Henry Herbert's ‘Register’ it appears that Buc died on 22 Sept. 1623.

Sir George Buc is the author of ‘The Third Universitie of England, or a Treatise of the Foundations of all the Colledges, Avncient Schooles of Priviledge, and of Hovses of Lenming and Liberall Arts, within and abovt the most famovs Cittie of London,’ a treatise appended to IIowes's edition of Stow's ‘Annales' (1615). In this work the author mentions a treatise which he had written on ‘The Art of Revels,’ of which no copy is now known. The ‘History of the Life and Reign of Richard the Third. Composed in five Bookes,’ was issued in 1646, ful., as the work of ‘George Buck, Esq.’ A charred fragment of a manuscript copy of this work, in the handwriting of Sir George Buc, is reserved among the Cottonian MSS. (Tib. E. x.) In this manuscript the history was described as ‘gathered and written by Sir George Buc, Knight, master of the King's office of the lievels and one of the gentlemen of his majestie’s privy chamber, corrected and amended in every page.' The leaf containing this passage is not now in the manuscript; but so the title is given in Smith’s