Utterson, Edward Vernon (DNB00)

UTTERSON, EDWARD VERNON (1776?–1856), literary antiquary, born in 1775 or 1776, was the eldest son of John Utterson of Fareham, Hampshire. He was educated at Eton and at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he entered in 1794, was admitted pensioner on 17 Feb. 1798, and graduated LL.B. in 1801. On 31 Oct. 1794 he was entered at Lincoln's Inn, and on 1 Feb. 1802 he was called to the bar. He practised in the court of chancery, and in 1810 was described as of '1 Elm Court, Temple, home circuit, equity draughtsman' (Law List, 1810). In 1815 he was appointed one of the six clerks in chancery; he held the office until its abolition in 1842, being allowed after his retirement to retain his full salary. He employed his leisure in collecting and editing rare early English works. In 1807 he was elected fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and was an original member of the Roxburghe Club, founded in 1812. From about 1835 he resided first at Newport and then at Beldornie Tower, Pelham Field, Ryde, Isle of Wight, where he set up the 'Beldornie Press.'

He died at Brighton, aged 80, on 14 July 1856. In St. Thomas's Church, Ryde, are memorial tablets to him and his wife, Sarah Elizabeth Brown, who died, aged 69, on 22 Sept. 1851, leaving a family.

Among the more important works edited by Utterson are:

  1. 'Virgilius. This Boke treateth of the Lyfe of Virgilius, and of his Deth, and many Marvayles that he did in hys Lyfetyme, by Whychcrafte and Nygromancy, thorough the helpe of the Devyls of Hell,' London, 1812, 8vo.
  2. 'The History of the Valiant Knight Arthur of Little Britain. A Romance of Chivalry. Originally translated from the French by John Bourchier, Lord Berners,' London, 1814, 4to. This superb edition is illustrated with a series of plates contained in a valuable manuscript of the original romance.
  3. 'Select Pieces of Early Popular Poetry: republished principally from early printed copies in the Black Letter,' 2 vols. London, 1817, 8vo.
  4. 'A Little Book of Ballads,' Newport, I.W., 1836, 8vo, dedicated and presented to the Roxburghe Club.
  5. 'Kyng Roberd of Cysylle,' a poem, London, 1839, 8vo.

His reprints at the Beldornie Press, 1840–1843, usually limited to a very small number of copies, are as follows:

  1. Barnefielde's 'Cynthia,' 1593.
  2. 'Zepheria,' an amatory poem, 1594.
  3. 'Diella: Certaine Sonnets. By R. L.,' 1596.
  4. Thomas Bastard's 'Chrestoleros. Seuen Bookes of Epigrames,' 1598.
  5. 'Skialetheia, or A Shadowe of Truth in certaine Epigrams and Satyres,' by Edward Guilpin, 1599.
  6. 'Microcynicon: Sixe Snarling Satyres,' 1599.
  7. 'Looke to it: for Ile Stabbe ye,' by Samuel Rowlands, 1604.
  8. 'The XII Wonders of the World,' by John Maynard, 1611.
  9. 'The Knave of Clubbs,' by Rowlands, 1611.
  10. 'Knave of Harts,' by Rowlands, 1613.
  11. 'The Melancholie Knight,' by Rowlands, 1615.
  12. . 'More Knaues yet? The Knaues of Spades and Diamonds,' by Rowlands, n.d.
  13. 'Certain Elegies done by Sundrie Excellent Wits,' 1620.
  14. 'The Night Raven,' by Rowlands, 1620.
  15. 'Good Newes and Bad Newes,' by Rowlands, 1622.
  16. 'Songs and Sonnets, by Patricke Hannay,' 1622.

[Addit. MS. 28654, ff. 180–2; Dibdin's Literary Reminiscences, pp. 278, 297, 316, 323, 374, 379, 469, 626, 629; Law Lists, 1805–43; Lincoln's Inn Records, 1896, i. 551; Gent. Mag. 1856, ii. 262; Graduati Cantabr. (Romilly); Lovelace's Poems (Hazlitt), p. 168; Lowndes's Bibl. Brit. (Bohn); Martin's Privately Printed Books, 2nd edit. p. 199; Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. i. 6, 37; Proc. Soc. Antiq. (1859), iv. 61, 62; Stapylton's Eton School Lists (1863), p. 13; information from Mr. A. W. W. Dale of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and Mr. H. H. Pollard.]

T. C.