the inquiries of the commissioners appointed in 1589 to report on the plantation of Munster, is a holograph (State Papers, Irish, cxliv. 70; cf. Cal. State Papers, Irish, 1598–9, p. lvii).
[Gabriel Harvey's Letter-book (Camden Soc.), 1884, and Harvey's Works, ed. Grosart, with the published Calendars of Irish State Papers, 1580–1599, and of the Carew Papers, are the chief contemporary authorities. Aubrey's Lives supplies some seventeenth-century gossip. Dr. Grosart's copious memoir forms vol. i. of his edition of Spenser's Works (1882–4, privately printed). The best biography is that by Dean Church in the Men of Letters series. Other useful memoirs are prefixed to Todd's edition of the Works (1805) and, by Professor J. W. Hales, to the Globe edition (1869, revised edit. 1897); Craik's somewhat diffuse Spenser and his Times (3 vols. 1845), Cooper's Athenæ Cantabrigiensis, and Professor Morley's English Writers (vol. ix. 1892). Collier's Bibliographical Account supplies many useful hints; see also paper by Professor Gollancz, read before British Academy 27 Nov. 1907 (The Times, 28 Nov. 1907). Among separately issued critical essays are John Jortin's Remarks on Spenser (1734); Thomas Warton's Observations on the Faerie Queene (1752 and 1762); William Huggins's comments on Warton in The Observer Observ'd (1756); Mrs. C. M. Kirkland's Spenser and the Fairy Queen (New York, 1847); and J. S. Hart's Essay on the Life and Writings (New York, 1847). A Spenser Society, founded at Manchester in 1866 by James Crossley [q. v.], has, with the object of illustrating Spenser's work, issued reprints of the works of his less-known contemporaries in some thirty-four volumes (1867–82). Of recent contributions to Spenserian criticism (not separately published) the most suggestive are Leigh Hunt's essay in his Imagination and Fancy; John Wilson's seven papers in Blackwood's Magazine, 1834–5; Mr. J. R. Lowell's essay in his volume on The English Poets; the essays by Aubrey de Vere and Professor Dowden in biography by Dr. Grosart; Mr. Ruskin's analysis of the first book of the Faerie Queene in The Stones of Venice; Mr. Roden Noel's preface to Spenser's Works in the Canterbury Poets; and Dean Church's Introduction to a selection from Spenser's poetry in Mr. Humphry Ward's English Poets.]
SPENSER, JOHN (1559–1614), president of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, son of John Spenser, gent., was a native of Suffolk, and was born in 1559. His sister married William Cole, D.D. [q. v.], president of Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He must apparently be distinguished from the John Spenser (presumably a younger brother of the poet, Edmund Spenser) who was admitted a scholar of Merchant Taylors' school, 3 Aug. 1571. The future president first joined Corpus Christi College, Oxford, according to Dr. John Rainolds [q. v.], as a ‘famulus collegii.’ He was doubtless one of the two ‘famuli præsidis,’ of whom one seems usually to have acted as a kind of private secretary. After graduating B.A., 29 Oct. 1577, he was appointed Greek reader in the college, but owing to an appeal to the visitor against his appointment he was not admitted to the fellowship, which he held in virtue of that office, till 7 May 1579, when the appeal had been decided in his favour. The opposition may have been partly owing to the unpopularity of the president, who was Spenser's brother-in-law. He proceeded M.A. 16 March 1580–1, B.D. 21 March 1589–90, D.D. 20 April 1602. Spenser resigned the Greek readership, after holding the office for the accustomed ten years, in 1588, but, for a while, retained his fellowship. Leaving Oxford, he held successively the livings of Alveley, Essex, 1589–92, Ardleigh, Essex, 1592–4, Faversham, Kent, 1594–9, and St. Sepulchre's, Newgate, from 1599 to his death, besides being presented to Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, in 1592. He was elected to the presidency of Corpus Christi College on 9 June 1607. At the time he must have been resident on his cure of St. Sepulchre's, London, as, on taking the oaths, he is described as ‘diocesis Londinensis.’ He held the presidency during an uneventful period in the college history until his death, 3 April 1614. He was also one of the fellows of Chelsea College, and was chaplain to James I. In 1612 he was appointed prebendary of St. Paul's. A sermon by him on ‘God's Love to his Vineyard,’ preached at Paul's Cross, was published posthumously in 1615.
Spenser was associated with two literary undertakings of great moment—the translation of the authorised version of the Bible and the completing of the publication of the works of his friend, Richard Hooker [q. v.] He was on the New Testament committee, his special department being the Epistles, while his predecessor, Rainolds, was on that of the Old Testament. The fact appears to be symbolised in their respective monuments opposite each other in the Corpus Chapel, where Rainolds is represented as holding in his hand a closed book, Spenser an open one.
The first posthumous edition of any part of Hooker's ‘Ecclesiastical Polity’ was brought out by Spenser, who in 1604 published an edition of the first five books ‘without any addition or diminution whatsoever,’ with a brief but graceful and pregnant address ‘To the Reader.’ He also took great