centuries a favourite haunt of the legal faculty. Matteo Gentili soon followed his eldest son to England, but after some years' practice of his profession in London became a confirmed invalid, and, dying in 1602, was buried at St. Helen's, Bishopsgate. Alberico in 1582 published a remarkable volume of dialogues in defence of the older school of jurists, as against the ‘humanists’ and their leader, Cujas. Henceforth he seldom passed a year without producing a new book, confining himself at first to the civil law, but before long dealing with the law of nations, the subject which he made peculiarly his own.
The Oxford civilians (lately, with those of Cambridge, congregated for London practice in the College of Advocates) were already recognised as experts in the rudimentary science of the law of nations. In 1584 Gentili was consulted by the government as to the proper course to be taken with the Spanish ambassador, who had been detected plotting against Elizabeth, and it was in accordance with his opinion that Mendoza was merely ordered to leave the country. Gentili chose the topic to which his attention had thus been directed as the subject of a disputation when Leicester and Sir Philip Sidney visited the schools at Oxford in the same year, and the disputation was, six months later, expanded into the ‘De Legationibus,’ dedicated to Sir Philip Sidney. In 1586 Gentili was appointed to accompany the embassy of Horatio Pallavicino to the elector of Saxony, and bade farewell to his English friends, apparently with no intention of returning. In the autumn he was at Wittenberg listening to a disputation by his brother Scipio, procuring a professorship there for Conrad Bruno, and dedicating a book to the Dukes of Brunswick and Lüneburg. But in June 1587 he was recalled to Oxford, through the influence of Walsingham, to become regius professor of civil law. In this capacity he delivered at the comitia of 1588 an oration on the ‘Law of War,’ which resulted in the publication in successive parts of his ‘De Jure Belli Commentationes Tres’ (1588–9), destined to develope nine years later into the work upon which his reputation mainly rests, the ‘De Jure Belli Libri Tres.’ The same subject was further illustrated in the ‘De Injustitia Bellica Romanorum Actio’ (1590); but, in the profusion of books which followed, Gentili touched upon an extraordinary variety of topics, dealing not only with questions of civil and international law, but also with witchcraft, casuistry, canon law, biblical exegesis, classical philology, the Vulgate, English politics, and the prerogative of the crown. He maintained the lawfulness of play-acting against Dr. J. Rainolds, afterwards president of Corpus, who had censured the performance of the ‘Rivales’ by William Gager [q. v.] before the queen on the occasion of her visit to the university in 1592. He was also involved in discussions as to the occasional permissibility of falsehood, and as to the remarriage of divorced persons. Strong language was freely used in these controversies, and Gentili had to complain of being described as ‘Italus atheus.’
After 1590 Alberico seems to have finally taken up his residence in London with a view to forensic practice, leaving most of his work at Oxford to a deputy, and reappearing there only at the comitia or on the occasion of a royal visit. His name does not occur on the roll of the advocates of Doctors' Commons, but he certainly enjoyed a large business in the maritime and ecclesiastical courts. On 14 Aug. 1600 he was admitted a member of Gray's Inn, and in 1605 accepted, with the permission of King James, a permanent retainer as advocate for the king of Spain. Notes of many of the cases conducted by him in this capacity in the court of admiralty are preserved in his posthumously published work, the ‘Advocatio Hispanica.’ About 1589 he married a French lady, Hester de Peigni, by whom he had Robert [q. v.], Anna, a second Anna (all baptised at the French church in Threadneedle Street), Hester, and Matthew (baptised at St. Helen's, Bishopsgate Street).
Among the opinions of Alberico preserved in the British Museum is one with reference to a suit pending in June 1608 as to property in goods taken by a Tunisian pirate, and it seems he was to argue the case in court. He was probably unable to do so, for on the 14th of that month he made his will, died on the 19th, and on the 21st was buried, in accordance with his last wishes, by the side of his father in the churchyard of St. Helen's, Bishopsgate, two feet beyond the ‘nun's grate.’ Hester, the widow, died in 1648 at Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, where her daughter Anna the younger became the wife of Sir John Colt of Woodoaks Manor, which passed by the marriage of their granddaughter, Gentilis Colt, into the Tichborne family. None of the other children are known to have had issue. The directions left by Alberico to his brother Scipio that all his manuscripts, except that of the ‘Advocatio Hispanica,’ should be burnt, were not carried out, since no less than fifteen volumes of them, for the most part commonplace books on topics of Roman law, were in 1805 purchased from the representatives of the great collector D'Orville of Amsterdam for the Bodleian Library.
The attractive character and varied ac-