Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Warren, William

WARREN, WILLIAM (fl. 1581), poet, was author of:

  1. ‘A pithie and plesaunt discourse, dialoguewyse, betwene a welthie citizen and a miserable souldiour; brieflye touching the commodyties and discommodyties of warre and peace. By W. Warren.’ This is licensed to Richard Jones in the ‘Stationers' Register,’ 7 Nov. 1578. No copy is known to exist (Arber, Transcript, ii. 340).
  2. ‘A pleasant new Fancie of a fondlings device. Intitled and cald the Nurcerie of Names, wherein is presented (to the order of our Alphabet) the brandishing brightnes of our English Gentlewomen. Contrived and written in this last time of vacation, and now first published and committed to printing this present month of mery May. By Guillam de Warrino. Imprinted at London by Richard Jones, dwelling over against the signe of the Faulcon, neere Holburne Bridge,’ 1581, 4to, b.l.

In the ‘Stationers' Register’ the ‘Nurcerie of Gentlewomans Names’ is ‘tollerated unto’ Richard Jones on 15 April 1581 (ib. ii. 391). The prefatory matter of the volume consists of some short Latin poems and a euphuistic ‘Proæme to the Gentleman Readers,’ signed ‘W. Warren, Gent.,’ as well as an ‘Address to the Gentlewomen of England.’ In the latter Warren speaks of himself as ‘your poor Poet and your olde friend.’ The poems, in fourteen-syllable verse, on women's names are extravagant and conceited, but the versification is unusually true. The poem on Elizabeth is an excellent example of the contemporary style of compliment to the queen. Each page of the poems has a woodcut border. Only two copies are known to exist, one at Britwell and the other in the Huth Library. The interest if not the merit of the volume, which Corser very emphatically insists upon, makes it surprising that it has never been reprinted.

[Corser's Collectanea Anglo-Poetica, v. 359; Hazlitt's Handbook, p. 643.]

R. B.