[Ackerman's Secret Service Payments (Camd. Soc.), 138, 141; Ayscough's Cat. of MSS. p. 226; Life of Mrs. Aphra Behn, prefixed to her novels (1718); Biog. Brit. iii. 2140 n.; Clarendon's Hist. of the Rebellion; Hist. of Colchester (1803), i. 241, 245; Cooper's Annals of Cambridge, iii. 533; Ellis Correspondence, i. 232; Ellis's Letters, 3rd ser. iv. 271; Evelyn's Diary (1850), ii. 48, 118; Fairfax Correspondence, iv. 47; Gargani's Memoir of Guasconi; Gent. Mag. ccxviii. 616; Granger's Biog. Hist. of England, 5th edit. iii. 51; Grey on 3 Neal, p. 326; Hist. MSS. Comm. vii. 514, xi. pt. ii. 69; Morant's Colchester, i. 58, 61, 66–8; Notes and Queries, 5th ser. vi. 447, vii. 15; Cal. State Papers, Dom. Charles II (1660–1), 249, 291, (1661–2) 113, 131, 132, 133, 515, (1663–4) 218, 232, 325, 430, 530, 607, (1664–5) 319, 436, 437, 543, (1665–6) 169, (1666–7) 51, 68, 556, (1667) 67, 72, 108, 116, 215, 370; Strickland's Queens of England (1865), iv. 442; Symonds's Diary, p. 48; Thomas's Hist. Notes, p. 581; Thomson's Hist. of the Royal Society, Append. p. xxv; Watt's Bibl. Brit.; Winstanley's Royall Martyrology, p. 89; Wood's Fasti Oxon. (Bliss), ii. 102.]
GASCOIGNE, Sir CRISP (1700–1761), lord mayor of London. [See Gascoigne.]
GASCOIGNE, GEORGE (1525?–1577), poet, was eldest son of Sir John Gascoigne of Cardington, Bedfordshire, by his wife Margaret, daughter of Sir Robert Scargill of Scargill, Yorkshire. Through his mother's family he was kinsman to Sir Martin Frobisher [q. v.] His father's father, Sir William Gascoigne, was great-grandson of Sir William Gascoigne [q. v.], chief justice of the king's bench; was sheriff of Bedfordshire in 1507, 1514, and 1516; was knighted by Henry VIII, and was controller to the household of Cardinal Wolsey. The poet, when dedicating his ‘Tale of Hemetes’ to Queen Elizabeth in 1576, declares that he ‘poured forth’ in his writings ‘such Englishe as I stole in Westmerland,’ expressions that seem to imply that he was brought up in Westmoreland. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where Stephen Nevynson was his tutor. He left without a degree, and is said to have entered the Middle Temple before 1548. In that year he is often stated to have suffered imprisonment for dicing. This story is founded on an account of the arrest of ‘Mr. Gastone the lawyare … a great dicer’ in the ‘Autobiographical Anecdotes of Edward Underhill,’ 1551 (cf. Narratives of the Reformation, Camd. Soc.) But Gastone and Gascoigne are in all probability quite different persons. Gastone moreover is said in the same place to have ‘an old wife,’ whereas the poet seems at the time to have been a bachelor (cf. Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. ix. 15, 152). It is true that the poet's father disinherited him on account of his extravagance, and it was not till late in life that he checked his squandering propensities. In 1555 he became a student of Gray's Inn (Harl. MS. 1912, f. 33), and is probably the ‘Gascoine’ called as an ‘ancient’ of the inn on 24 May 1557. He paid a formal fine as an ancient in 1565. He sat in parliament as M.P. for Bedford in 1557–8 and 1558–9. In the spring of 1562, while riding between Chelmsford and London, he began a first poem entitled ‘The Complaint of Philomene,’ but soon flung it aside, and did not complete it till 1576. An early disappointment in love unfitted him for settled occupation. Travel in England and France occupied him about 1563–4. Returning to his home in Bedfordshire he visited his friends the Dyve family, and was introduced to Francis Russell, second earl of Bedford, and doubtless to Arthur, lord Grey de Wilton, who became his special patron. Lord Grey invited him to shoot deer in his company one winter, and presented him with a cross-bow. Gascoigne proved a poor shot, and excused himself in verse for his incapacity. In 1566 he produced at Gray's Inn ‘The Supposes,’ a prose adaptation of Ariosto's comedy ‘Gli Suppositi.’ Aided by Francis Kinwelmersh, who contributed acts i. and iv., he also wrote a blank-verse tragedy in five acts called ‘Jocasta,’ and adapted from Euripides's ‘Phœnissæ.’ Sir Christopher Yelverton supplied an epilogue. A folio manuscript of this play, dated 1568, was in the possession of Mr. Corser.
Gascoigne was now, he writes, ‘determined to abandon all vain delights, and to return unto Gray's Inn, there to undertake again the study of common laws’ (Poems, i. 63). Five fellow-students, Francis and Anthony Kenwelmersh, John Vaughan, Alexander Nevile, and Richard Courtop, challenged him to write five poems on as many Latin mottoes proposed by themselves; he consented, and in these verses, published some years later, freely reproached himself with past excesses. His first published verse was a sonnet prefixed to ‘The French Littleton … by C. Holiband,’ London, 1566. To retrieve his fortunes he married about this date Elizabeth, the well-to-do widow of William Breton, citizen of London. The lady's first husband, by whom she was mother of Nicholas Breton [q. v.], the poet, and of four other children, died on 12 Jan. 1559. Gascoigne must have married her some time before 27 Oct. 1568. On that day the lord mayor, in the interest of Gascoigne's step-children, directed an inquiry into the disposition of William Breton's pro-