[Dr. Rost in the Athenæum, No. 2870; Prof. Max Müller in the Academy, No. 546; Col. Yule in the Times, 20 Oct. 1882.]
BURNELL, EDWARD (fl. 1542), professor of Greek at Rostock, published in 1542 an ‘Epitome of Dialectics’ written in Latin for the use of the Rostock students. He also wrote some commendatory verses prefixed to the ‘Πτωχομυσεῖον, or Poore Man's Librarie of William Alley, bishop of Exeter,’ 1565. Burnell probably had left Rostock before 1560, as his name is not mentioned in the ‘Scripta in Academia Rostochiensi publice proposita,’ 1560–7. An Edward Burnel was one of the six preachers of Canterbury Cathedral in 1560. He was probably the same as the preacher ‘Thomas Burnel’ in 1556, and may have been the Rostock professor.
[Tanner's Bibl. Brit. 143; Alley's Πτωχομυσεῖον; Strype's Memorials, iii. i. 478; Life of Abp. Parker, i. 144.]
BURNELL, HENRY (fl. 1641), dramatist, belongs to the Anglo-Irish family of Burnell, which acquired considerable estates in Leinster; members of it held offices at Dublin as judges and legal officials in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Henry Burnell appears to have been the son and heir of Christopher Burnell of Castleknock, near Dublin, and to have married Frances, daughter of Sir James Dillon, earl of Roscommon. The only known production of Burnell is that printed at Dublin in 1641 under the following title: ‘Landgartha, a tragi-comedy, as it was presented in the new theater in Dublin, with good applause, being an ancient story. Written by H.B.’ ‘Landgartha’ is stated to have been first acted, ‘with the allowance of the master of the Revels,’ on St. Patrick's day, 1639, at the theatre then recently established at Dublin by John Ogilby, and with which James Shirley, the dramatist, had been for a time connected. Among ‘the persons of the play’ were ‘Frollo king of Sweland and conqueror of Norway; Landgartha, a Norwegian lady; Scania, sister to Landgartha; Fatyma, cousin to Landgartha and Scania; Marfisa, a humorous gentlewoman, cousin to Fatyma; Reyner, of Denmarke; and Hubba, an humorous mery Danish captaine.’ The prologue to ‘Landgartha’ was ‘delivered by an Amazon, with a battle-axe in her hand.’ The epilogue to ‘Landgartha’ was also spoken by the Amazon ‘with her sword and belt in her hand.’ From the prologue it seems that Burnell had previously produced a play which was unfavourably received, but the name of it is not mentioned. The epilogue contains a statement that the tragi-comedy of ‘Landgartha’ was composed by Burnell ‘with the expense of less than two months’ time,’ with the commendatory verses in Latin prefixed to ‘Landgartha’ some were by Burnell’s son. Lines were also addressed in English by an anonymous author, in which the writer mentions that although Burnell had never been in England, he was ‘far more like’ to Ben Jonson than they ‘that laid claim as heirs’ to that author. In reply to critics of ‘Landgartha,’ Burnell wrote that ‘a tragi-comedy should neither end comically or tragically, but betwixt both.’ ‘To the rest of babblers,’ he added, ‘I despise any answer.' Burnell was a member of the Irish confederation established in 1642, but the dates of his birth and death do not appear to have been recorded.
[Gifford's Works of Ben Jonson, 1816; Hist. of Dublin, 1854; Hist. of Irish Confederation, 1641-3. Dublin, 1882; manuscripts in office of Ulster King of Arms, Dublin Castle.]
BURNELL, ROBERT (d. 1292), bishop of Bath and Wells and chancellor of England, was descended from a knightly family in Shropshire, and was born at their seat of Acton Burnell, near Shrewsbury (Rot. Pat. 12 E. I. m. 6). Aiter he became famous the monks of Buildwas forged a genealogy which traced his family back to the Conquest; but in authentic history it is known for less than a century before his birth, and in the preceding generation it had been disgraced by one of its house becoming a felon and outlaw. The exact relationship of Burnel1 to the earlier members of his family is unknown. He was one of at least four brothers, probably not the eldest, though death apparently put him early into the possessions of his family. He had, however, adopted the church and the law for his profession, and appears first as a clerk of Prince Edward, to whom he attached himself very early in life, and whose intimate friendship he soon obtained. In November 1260 Burnell accompanied Edward to France. Three years afterwards he had obtained sufficient wealth to begin to acquire large estates in Shropshire. In 1263 he apparently accompanied Edward to Shrewsbury, and received a patent of protection during the Welsh campaign of that year. In March 1265 he received another safe-conduct into South Wales to transact business on Edward's behalf. In 1266 Henry III allowed him to impark his land within the royal forest (Rot. Pat. 50 H. III, m. 1), and in 1269 granted to Acton the privilege of a weekly market and two annual fairs. In