The Earl of Essex, Fulke Greville, and the employment of scholars

Hammer, Paul E JStudies in PhilologyChapel Hill:  Spring 1994Vol. 91, Iss. 2;  pg. 167

Abstract (Article Summary)

Although some authorities have attributed the authorship of a letter written to Fulke Greville at the end of the 16th century to Francis Bacon, more convincing evidence suggests it was written by Robert Devereaux, the second earl of Essex. The context in which the letter was written and the content of the letter are discussed.

Full Text (5540   words)

Copyright University of North Carolina Press Spring 1994

ALTHOUGH historians of early Stuart England have long been interested in the inter-relationship between scholarship and high politics,(1) this perspective has seemed strangely remote from the work on Elizabeth's reign.(2) In their accounts of the 1590s, for example, historians have traditionally emphasized matters of personality and patronage, rather than of policy. The vibrant intellectual activity of these years has therefore barely been seen to intrude into the realm of high politics at all. The result of such blinkeredness has been an impoverishment of our understanding of the politics of this period. The well-known events concerning John Hayward's The first part of the life and raigne of King Henrie IIII have been denied their proper context,(3) and the intellectual seriousness of the earl of Essex, and perhaps also of other politicians, has been underestimated.

One particularly interesting piece of evidence about the practical use of scholarship at the end of the sixteenth century is a letter that was allegedly written by the earl of Essex to his friend Fulke Greville, a letter that is important because it allows us a rare opportunity to go beyond the finished texts of formally composed letters and advices and to observe the kind of thinking that shaped the research on which these productions depended. Unfortunately, the inherent interest of this letter is matched by real difficulties about its provenance and character. Some of these problems will perhaps always remain insoluble. However, our present understanding of the letter can be improved in certain material points. Moreover, the effort to sketch out the context in which it may have been composed enables us to appreciate at least one of the roles played by intellectual endeavor in late Elizabethan politics.

The letter to Fulke Greville has been published on two separate occasions. James Spedding first printed it in the second volume of his massive compilation of the letters of Francis Bacon in 1862.(4) Arguing that the style of the letter was distinctively Baconian, Spedding simply printed the letter as a companion-piece to several other documents he attributed to Bacon.(5) Spedding offered no firm suggestion about the dating of the letter but implied that, like those other documents, it might relate to the year 1596. Spedding's version of the letter came from what is clearly a copy, found among the Tanner Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library.(6) In 1960, V. F. Snow re-printed the letter from what he argued is the original.(7) This had been miscalendared and erroneously bound in with a volume of the main series of the Jacobean State Papers, Domestic, for the year 1610.(8) Differences between the two versions of the letter are minor. Snow's main argument is that his reading of the original supports the hypothesis of Spedding that the letter is the work of Francis Bacon. Snow bases his claim both on an ingenious explanation for a "cryptic signature" at the end of the original(9) and on the style and technical nature of the letter's contents. Snow also offers a rough date for the letter, using internal evidence to suggest a terminus post quem of 1599. He also suggests a terminus ante quem of 1605, when Bacon published his Advancement of Learning.(10)

Although resourceful, Snow's arguments about the authorship of the letter are ultimately unconvincing. His explanation of the device at the end of the letter is entirely speculative. Without the support of other, more substantial evidence that Bacon did in fact write the letter, this argument simply falls to the ground. Snow puts rather greater emphasis on the character of the letter. Unfortunately, the style and content of such a written set-piece as this are very poor guides to authorship. As has been pointed out with formula letters,(11) the nature of such careful productions tells us more about the sources and intended purposes of the author than about the author himself. Lastly, and most important, Snow dismisses the connection with the earl of Essex altogether too lightly. Snow is surely right to reject the tentative dating of 1610 offered in the State Papers, and, with it, any association between the Greville letter and the young third earl of Essex. However, because the third earl was at the time youthful and "more interested in military pursuits than scholarship,"(12) it does not follow that his father can be similarly ignored. Both the endorsement of the copy among the Tanner Manuscripts and the (misdated) catalogue entry for the State Papers record the letter as being from "the earl of Essex to Fulke Greville." As I have argued elsewhere, the second earl of Essex certainly considered himself to be an intellectual and surrounded himself with men of proven academic ability as a matter of deliberate choice.(13) Furthermore, the copy of the letter discovered by Professor Snow is very clearly written in the hand of one of these men, Edward Reynoldes. Reynoldes was Essex's "confident" or personal secretary from 1588 until late in 1600.(14)

If the general provenance of the letter therefore seems to be Essexian, rather than Baconian, Snow's hating also needs to be modified. His suggested terminus ante quem of 1605 must surely be abandoned in favor of the end of October 1600, when Essex's failure to renew his customs farm of sweet wines dashed his last hopes of recovery at Court and plunged him into plotting his abortive coup d'etat of the following February.(15) Snow's terminus post quem may also require some reconsideration. If Snow's identification of "the new French Bibliotheque Historien" with Lancelot Voisin(16) is incorrect, Spedding's implicit dating of the Greville letter in the mid-1590s would seem quite credible, for reasons which will become apparent below. However, if Snow's identification is accurate, it follows that the Greville letter must have been written in either 1599 or 1600. Considering Essex's preoccupation with Irish affairs during most of 1599, and his disgrace and ill-health in the months immediately after his return to England, it would seem most probable that the letter was written during the following year. Essex certainly had plenty of time to write such a letter in 1600. Several of Essex's surviving poems seem to have been written in this period.(17) Henry Cuffe, one of the earl's secretaries and an active participant in his affairs, found time enough in these months to write a work of philosophy, The differences of the ages of mans life.(18) Essex also had good reason to write such a letter in 1600, Or perhaps to have one composed for him. As well as having time for both soul-searching and the continuation of his own personal studies,(19) Essex was increasingly desperate to recover the favor of the queen. In the past, Essex's intellectual qualities had undeniably appealed to Elizabeth, and he may have considered that the composition and circulation of a letter like that ostensibly written to Fulke Greville would aid his quest for rehabilitation.

In order to understand better the milieu from which the Greville letter originated, it is necessary to recognize how Essex used literary productions of a scholarly nature earlier in his career. In the mid-1590s, Essex made a concentrated effort to convince the queen that he had the qualities necessary to replace the ageing Lord Burghley as the chief prop of her administration. One element of this effort seems to have been a campaign to advertise Essex's intellect and judgment. Among the components of that campaign was the circulation in manuscript of a letter of advice about travel on the Continent, purportedly written by Essex to the young earl of Rutland. The wide survival of copies of this document testifies to its great success.(20) As with the Greville letter, James Spedding claimed that this letter to Rutland was actually the work of Francis Bacon and printed it and two further letters to the earl of Rutland in his edition of Bacon's correspondence.(21) Like the Greville letter, these documents expound upon the practical uses of study. In each of them, the Essex figure offers sage advice to a friend on matters which are both technical and of practical importance. 'Essex' is also able to demonstrate his learning by the construction of his arguments and the evidence he adduces to support them.

Spedding is at best only partially correct in asserting Francis Bacon's authorship of the letters to the earl of Rutland. There are three different Rutland letters, of which only the first, dated 4 January 1596, seems to have had truly wide circulation.(22) The second letter in the series, which is undated, exists only as a copy found among various papers of Francis Bacon and he may therefore have had a hand in composing it.(23) However, there are at least two copies of the third letter to Rutland, which was written on the evening of 15 October 1596.(24) In addition, a copy of this letter also survives written in the holograph of Edward Reynoldes but bearing a postscript written in Essex's own hand: "This was written yesternight att St Alben's butt so ill written as I was fayne to use my man's hand to copy yt out...[because of its] hasty writing and my indisposicion after my iorney, which keepes me from correcting yt."(25)

Although the authorship of the first Rutland letter cannot be established with any certainty, it seems most likely that it was the product of a cooperative effort between Essex, his secretaries and, perhaps, Francis Bacon. This seems to have been the case with Essex's well-known Accession Day entertainment of November 1595 which constituted another strand in Essex's propaganda campaign.(26) Rather more can be said, however, about the circumstances in which the initial Rutland letter was composed. According to the version circulated in early 1596, this letter contains imperfections because it was "written in Christmas."(27) Yet Rutland left on his Continental tour much earlier than this. Sir Robert Sidney reported his arrival in the Netherlands, carrying written instructions from Essex, at the beginning of November.(28) This suggests that the letter written over Christmas was either a new set of instructions or they were the same instructions, deliberately polished up over the Christmas period for public circulation.

The Rutland letters, then, offer some clues about how Essex used literary productions of a scholarly nature for political advantage in the mid-1590s. These letters cast the earl in the role of a counselor to a friend in matters which allowed him to display his judgment and learning in active use. Essex himself had a major part in composing these productions but he also used the assistance of his secretariat and possibly also of Francis Bacon. The first of the Rutland letters suggests that the circumstances in which such letters are claimed to have been written cannot be taken at face value. The Greville letter therefore need not be "obviously a response to a letter from Greville himself," as Snow asserts.(29) Consequently, attempting to date the letter by events in Greville's own career(30) may be a quite irrelevant exercise. Finally, the widely varying degrees of dispersion of the three Rutland letters indicate how the relatively subtle propaganda intended by the circulation of such manuscripts could be overtaken by more pressing concerns. In the months after the release of the first letter, Essex became almost entirely absorbed in laying the groundwork for what became the Cadiz expedition. With his attention firmly fixed on matters of war, Essex and his secretaries probably became so preoccupied with organizing his ships and soldiers that less pressing matters, such as making political capital out of the earl's continuing contacts with Rutland, fell almost entirely by the wayside.(31)

Whether the letter to Fulke Greville was originally intended for semi-public circulation in the manner of the letters to the earl of Rutland is unclear. Indeed, this is a question that will probably never receive any definitive answer. Nevertheless, Essex's desperate need during 1600 to curry favor with the queen in a way which would not openly antagonize his enemies makes this at least a possibility. So, too, does the identity of his correspondent, Fulke Greville.(32) Greville had been one of Essex's closest comrades since the time of their shared friendship with Sir Philip Sidney. In 1600, Greville had the rare distinction among Essex's remaining intimates of still enjoying favor with the earl's opponents and an entree with the queen.(33) A letter to Greville, therefore, might offer an indirect means to remind Elizabeth of the exceptional talent that she was wasting by excluding Essex from her Court.

This supposition is supported somewhat by the past history of Greville's dealings with Essex. In 1596, when he sought to reap the political benefits of the victory at Cadiz, Essex attempted to whip up support for the war, and himself, by secretly publishing a "True relation" of the events at Cadiz. In order to conceal his own part in the affair, the earl suggested that Fulke Greville be approached to allow his initials to be used as a cover for the work's true author.(34) In the event, the book was suppressed before it could be printed, but manuscript copies were circulated within Essex's circle, both within England and abroad.(35) Two years later, Greville was involved in the leaking of what became the most widely copied of the works attributed to Essex, his "Apologie."(36) According to Essex, when later questioned about this document by the privy council about its unauthorized publication, this defence of the earl's opposition to peace negotiations with Spain was stolen from among his personal papers and spread abroad without his consent.(37) Privately, Essex blamed Greville for the document's release,(38) although it is hard to tell whether the earl was genuinely angry at Greville. In all probability, Greville made the mistake of circulating this highly partisan and hitherto confidential document just a little too widely, thereby sparking the interest of printers eager for a scoop and alerting the earl's enemies.

Having sketched the context in which the Greville letter must be set, it remains to consider the contents of the letter. Echoing the evaluation of many other commentators on Essex, Professor Snow suggested that the discussion on research techniques in this letter was beyond the earl's competence.(39) Yet Essex had an abiding interest in matters of scholarship and engaged on a more or less equal footing with the intellects of, among others, Francis Bacon, Henry Savile, Henry Wotton, Thomas Smith, Henry Cuffe, Henry Lord Howard and Robert Naunton, not to mention Lord Burghley, Sir Robert Cecil and Queen Elizabeth herself. Furthermore, the thrust of the Greville letter is not an abstract disquisition on research but a discussion about the practical benefits and shortcomings of various techniques. Like the letters to the earl of Rutland, the emphasis is on the practical application of scholarship to the real world.

The extent to which this letter reflects genuine practices can be seen in the scenario to which it is supposedly responding: "Cousin Foulk; you tell me you are going to Cambridge...to get a Scholar to your liking, to live with you and some 2, or 3 others to remain in the University, and gather for you." In fact, this is precisely what Greville had done some years before this letter was written. As is demonstrated in a document which is printed below, Fulke Greville offered John Coke, then a young fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge, the impressive sum of L30 a year(40) to come and be his resident scholarly adviser.(41) Although undated, this letter would seem to have been written about 1589 or 1590. Despite what seems to be a reference to "Sir Fulke Greville," this letter is clearly Coke's first introduction to Greville and we know that Coke was collecting rents for Greville no later than October 1590.(42) This letter was written to Coke by Lionel Sharpe, a fellow of King's College and one of Essex's chaplains.(43) From Sharpe's comments, it emerges that Coke had been eager for preferment into the service of a courtier for some time, much against the better judgment both of Sharpe and of Mr Robert Wright, Essex's old tutor when he had been a student at Trinity.(44) Sharpe and Wright had perhaps envisaged a more narrowly academic future for Coke.

Although the offer to Coke apparently came from Fulke Greville himself, it is indeed striking how powerful are the Essexian connections in this recruitment. Perhaps significantly, although he became Greville's associate and friend, Coke later described himself as having been Essex's servant.(45) Although they had doubts about Coke's ambition for advancement at Court, both Sharpe and Wright also themselves ultimately profited by the same route. Sharpe received various ecclesiastical preferments from Essex and finally became chaplain to Prince Henry. Wright left Trinity to assist Essex in his land transactions and, through Essex's position as master of the horse, subsequently became clerk of the queen's stables.

Taken together, the Greville and Sharpe letters suggest something of how scholarship and politics could be interconnected during the 1590s. Ambitious young men like John Coke were eager to use their university attainments as a means to obtain entry into the life of achievement and reward that was only possible at Court. Certain courtiers with intellectual leanings, like Fulke Greville and the earl of Essex, were anxious to utilize the talents of such scholars for their own intellectual improvement and, in the earl's case at least, for their own political benefit. Between the would-be patrons and clients stood talent scouts and intermediaries like Lionel Sharpe, who had connections both at Court and in the university. As the Greville letter suggests, a further part of the intellectual network remained rather distant from the pressure and rewards of courtly life. These were the "2 or 3 others" who still resided at the university, where they "gathered" the basic information that stocked the intellectual magazines of Greville, of Essex and his secretaries, and probably of Coke as well. Inevitably, this latter part of the academic network, in particular, now seems invisible to the historian. However, Essex's letter to Fulke Greville and Lionel Sharpe's letter to John Coke both testify to the existence of such connections between Court and the universities. Scholars of Elizabethan politics would do well to be aware of this fact.


Undated letter from Lionel Sharpe to [John] Coke.(46)

Addressed: 'To my very lovinge frend Mr Cooke of Trinity Colledge'

Endorsed in Coke's hand: 'Mr Lionel Sharp from the Cort. Chaplen to the Erle of Essex. Latin.'

Quo animo semper erga te fuerim, quam benevolo, quam propenso, et ipse mihi, sum conscius, et tu potes ex memoria nostrae consuetudinis facillime iudicare. Quae licet inter nos sine intima familiaritate coleretur, tamen erat semper eiusmodi, ut te non modo propter illud commune academiae vinculum, quo tecum coniungebar, sed propter privatam opinionem, quam tecum nonnunquam agens de tua virtute doctrinaque conceperam, diligendum putarem. Quo certe factum est, ut sicut eo tempore, quo tecum, in academia commorabar, de tuis elegantissimis studiis optime iudicarem, ita nec nunc quidem tuae voluntati in ea, quam instituisti, petitione repugnarem, nisi id tuis rationibus accommodatissimum fore arbitrarer. Dicam vere et syncere quod sentio: minus mihi iam quidem e re tua videtur esse, quam tum videbatur, cum tecum colloquebar, ut id, quod petis, obtineas. Quod eo magis adducor ut existimem, quia Magistrum Wrightum, quem tui perstudiosum fuisse animadverti in eadem etiam iamdiu opinione fuisse intelligam. Species ista aulicae vitae, perstringit oculos nonnullorum academicorum. Solidus ab ea fructus accidit nisi et sero, et perpaucis et iis etiam certo et commodo loco constitutis, ut, aeque expeditam habeant rationem accepti ac expensi. Aliter quae ratio est, ut sine impendio exiles reditus nostros, languescenti spe, comite sera in fundo parsimonia profundamus? Quod si necessarii tui ad sumptus tuos perferendos, ut ex te audivi te adiuvabunt: quaeso le, Mi Coke, nonne multo satius est tuis pecuniis integris cum ad omnem eventum reservatis ex alterius in praesens modo honesto et liberali stipendio vivere quam eo repudiato ex incerta alienae gratiae spe, pendentem tuas interim pecunias dissipare. Iam forte accidit cum redissem ut in Dominum Fook Grevillum inciderem eumque, cum nonnullorum academicorum, qui eius gratiam ambiunt, ingenia begustasset tui tamen, quod de te ante audisset, quam caeterorum cupidiorem esse perspicerem. Laetabar, et quam de tua virtute doctrinaque conceperat opinionem, eam comendatione mea, quantum poteram, confirmebam. Inde factum est, ut te potius expeteret, neque rogaret ut ad te scriberem et tibi si tuam in artibus operam velles sibi uni adiungere triginta libras annuatim certas promitteret. Significabam Wrighto quid accidisset. Gaudebat mihique gratias agebat. Tu quid facturus sis tui iudicii est. Vives in literis cum homine nobili apud omnes aulicos, apud Comitem Essexium imprimis et apud principem gratioso, comes cum homine sapiente, iudicio peracri, optimis studiis, suavissimis moribus, qui propter famam ingenii ut ipse amatur a literatis, ita amat literatos. Vives liberali stipendio et annuo et certo. Quod utrum accepturus sis, nescio: responsum expecto die Jovis ad [?](47) Hebdomidae proximae. Si potes, nil mihi rescribas attamen ipse veni. Vale MiCoke, tibique perswade me nisi hanc quam ingressus sum professionem suscepissem neque totum Domino Essexio devovissem numquam tales condiciones repudiaturum. Item vale

Tuus certe quidem

Leonellus Sharpe


Of what mind I have always been towards you, how supportive and kindly disposed, I am privately aware and you can very easily judge by reflecting on your past dealings. Although it has developed without intimate familiarity, our association has nevertheless always been based on my belief that you are worthy of esteem, not only because of that common bond which we share through our university, but also because of the private opinion which I conceived of your character and learning during my occasional dealings with you. As a result, just as at that time when I was staying with you at the university and evinced such a high opinion of your superb studies, so not even now would I oppose your will in that matter which you raised in your petition unless I thought it would be perfectly in keeping with your plans. I shall tell you truly and honestly what I feel: it seems to me now in fact even less to your advantage than it seemed at the time when I was talking to you for you to obtain what you are asking for. I am all the more strongly of this opinion because I understand that Mr Wright, whom I noticed was thoroughly in support of you, has had the same view for a long time now. That vision of yours of life at Court draws the eyes of many university men. The only substantial return to be had there comes belatedly and to very few, or else to those men who have been established in a secure and advantageous post so that they have a speedy reckoning of their income and expenditure alike. Otherwise, what reason is there without income to squander our meagre incomes, with hope fading and with economy our companion in the end when we reach the bottom of the money box? What if your relatives, as I have heard you say, will help you bear your costs: I put it to you, my dear Coke, that it is surely far better to keep your own money intact along with that which you have held ready for any eventuality and to live for the present on someone else's honorable measure and generous pension than to refuse him because of the uncertain hope of obtaining reward from another and to consume your money while you hang on in the meantime? Now it just so happened, when I had returned, that I bumped into Sir Fulke Greville. I realized that, although he had sampled the talents of several university men who are seeking to win his favor, he was nevertheless more desirous of your talent than theirs, because he had heard of you before. I was filled with joy and this opinion which he had conceived of your character and learning I set about reinforcing to the best of my ability by my own commendation. As a result, he wished for you all the more and, although he did not ask me to write to you, he promised you a guaranteed L30 a year if you wished to commit your work in the arts to him alone. I informed Wright of what had happened. He rejoiced and thanked me. You must make up your own mind up about what will do. You will live by means of letters with a man who is noble in the eyes of all the courtiers, in the eyes of the earl of Essex especially, and a man who is in good favor with the queen. You will be the companion of a man of wisdom, sharp judgment, sublime learning and the most urbane manners, and who is loved by men of letters because of his renowned abilities as much as he loves them. You will live on a generous stipend, guaranteed every year. Whether you intend to accept, I do not know. I await your reply at [?] on Thursday of next week. If you can, do not reply by letter but visit me yourself. Goodbye, my dear Coke, and be persuaded that if I had not committed myself to this vocation which I have entered into, and had I not totally devoted myself to the earl of Essex, I would never refuse such conditions. Again, farewell.

Truly yours,

Lionel Sharpe

1. More recent works which investigate aspects of this inter-relationship include K. Sharpe, Sir Robert Cotton 1586-1631: History and Politics in Early Modern England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979); and Politics and Ideas in Early Stuart England: Essays and Studies (London and New York: Pinter Press, 1989); L. L. Peck, Northampton: Patronage and Policy at the Court of James I (London: Allen and Unwin, 1982), esp. chap. 6; and D. R. Woolf, The Idea of History in Early Stuart England: Erudition, Ideology and the 'Light of Truth' from the Accession of James I to the Civil War (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1990).

2. An honorable exception is Professor Patrick Collinson, who has pointed to Lord Burghley's use of "think tanks" in the 1570s and 1580s: The Monarchical Republic of Queen Elizabeth I," Bulletin of the John Rylands Library of Manchester 69 (1986-7): 394-424; idem, "Puritans, Men of Business and Elizabethan Parliaments," Parliamentary History 7 (1988): 187-211.

3. For a convenient summary of the debate on Hayward, and for the first-ever publication of the "Second part" of Hayward's work, The first and second parts of John Hayward's The life and raigne of King Henrie IIII, ed. J. Manning, (Camden Society, 4th ser., 42, 1991).

4. The letters and life of Francis Bacon, including all his occasional works, ed. J. Spedding (7 vols., London, 1861-1874) 2:21-26.

5. Spedding,3-20.

6. Bodleian Library, Oxford, Tanner MS 79 fols. 29r-30v.

7. V. F. Snow, "Francis Bacon's advice to Fulke Greville on research techniques," HLQ 2 (1959-60):369-78.

8. Snow gives the reference for this document as P[ublic] R[ecord] O[ffice], S[tate] P[apers] 14/59 fol. 451b. This is inaccurate. The upper right-hand corner of the first folio of this letter is marked either 467B or 461B. More to the point, this reference is now itself irrelevant. Using the stamped foliation common to most series of State Papers, the correct reference for this document should be: PRO, SP 14/59, fols. 4r-5v.

9. Snow, "Bacon's advice," 370, 374 n. 14.

10. Snow, 376-77.

11. N. K. Farmer, "Fulke Greville's letter to a cousin in France and the problem of authorship in cases of formula writing," RenQ 22 (1969): 140-47.

12. Snow, "Bacon's advice," 375.

13. P. E. J. Hammer, "The Uses of Scholarship: The Secretariat of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, c.1585-1601," English Historical Review 109 (1994): 26-51.

14. For Reynoldes, see Hammer, "The Uses of Scholarship."

15. G B Harrison, The Life and Death of Robert Devereux earl of Essex (1937; reprint, Bath: Cedric Chivers, 1970) 274ff.

16. Snow, "Bacon's advice," 371 n. 6, 376-77.

17. S. W. May "The poems of Edward de Vere, Seventeenth Earl of Oxford, and of Robert Devereux, Second Earl of Essex," SP 77 (Texts and Studies, 1980): 47-48.

18. Published posthumously in London, 1607 (STC 6103).

19. For example, Essex continued to study about magnetism and the principles of navigation with William Barlowe and Edward Wright until the very last months before his rebellion: Hatfield House, Hertfordshire, Cecil MSS, 75/105, printed in H[istorical] M[anuscripts] C[omission, A calendar of the manuscripts of the Most Hon. the marquis of] Salisbury, [KG, &c, preserved at Hatfield House, Hertfordshire] (14 vols., London: HMSO, 1883-1976), 10:4. I am most grateful for permission to cite from the papers of the marquess of Salisbury.

20. Copies include: B[ritish] L[ibrary], Add[itional] MS 12511, fols 38r-45v; BL Add. MS 37132, fols. 94r-97r; BL Egerton MS 2262, fols 1r-4r (an incomplete copy); Trinity College, Cambridge, MS R.5.18, fols. 69r-72r; F[olger] S[hakespeare] L[ibrary, Washington DC], MS V.b.214 fols. 64v-67r. Spedding also notes three copies among the Harleian MSS at the BL (Spedding, Letters, 2:6).

21. These are the same three letters which were noted above as having been printed by Spedding alongside the Greville letter and which thereby implicitly suggested a mid-1590s date for it.

22. Printed in Spedding, Letters, 2:6-15.

23. L[ambeth] P[alace] L[ibrary] MS 936, no. 218 (printed in Spedding, Letters, 2:16-18.

24. Printed in Spedding, pp. 19-20. The manuscript copies are BL Lansdowne MS 238, fols. 158r-159r; BL Add. MS 37232, fol. 97r-v.

25. HMC. Twelfth report, appendix ix (London: HMSO, 1891), p. 173. At the time of the final submission of this article, the original manuscript of which this letter is part (formerly BL Loan 23) was in the process of being sold by its current owners and it was therefore not possible to cite from it here.

26. Most of the extant remains of this entertainment are printed in Spedding, Letters, 1:375-90. Although some of the surviving fragments indicate that Francis Bacon had a share in writing the piece (Spedding, 387-90; PRO, SP 12/254 fols. 139r-140r), the corrected draft of another of the speeches is in the hand of Edward Reynoldes (Spedding, fol. 141r-v). However, at the least, Essex himself ultimately shaped this entertainment to suit his own fancy. Professor S. W. May goes further and claims that Essex actually scripted the central part of the entertainment himself, leaving only the accompanying pieces to Bacon (May, "Poems," 88-90).

27. Spedding Letters, 2:15.

28. LPL MS 652, fol. 166r.

29. Snow, "Bacon's advice," 369.

30. Snow, 377-78.

31. Essex's administrative burden in overseeing much of the preparation for the Cadiz expedition was extremely heavy. For complaints from the beleaguered Edward Reynoldes, for example, see LPL MS 656, fols. 75r, 268r.

32. For Greville, see especially R. A. Rebholz, The Life of Fulke Greville First Lord Brooke (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971).

33. Rebholz, 120-23.

34. LPL MS 658, fol. 88r-v.

35. LPL MS 658, fols. 135r 259v; LPL MS 659, fol. 408r; LPL MS 660, fol. 254r; HMC, Salisbury, 7:95.

36. As well as surviving in many manuscript copies, this work was printed in at least two allegedly "pirated" editions during Elizabeth's reign, one in 1600 (STC 6787.7) and another in 1603 (STC 6788). Both editions were suppressed.

37. Hatfield House, Cecil MSS, 67/38, 79/40 83/9, 180/93 (printed HMC, Salisbury, 8:545, 10:141-2, 14:129).

38. PRO, SP 12/261, fol. 114r. This letter from Toby Matthew, Jr., to Dudley Carleton is undated but is endorsed "[15]98."

39. Snow, "Bacon's advice," 376.

40. This can be compared, for example, with Henry Cuffe's salary of L40 a year as regius professor of Greek at Oxford (PRO, C 66/1400, m. 29), which Essex matched when he took Cuffe into his service (FSL MS G.b.4 fol. 55r).

41. M. B. Young, Servility and Service: The Life and Work of Sir John Coke (London: Royal Historical Society, 1986), 9-11; Rebholz, Greville, 96. Young refers to the letter printed below and describes it as opaque and "intractable" (Young, Coke, 10 n. 25).

42. BL Add. MS 37482, fol. 66r. For various monies collected by Coke, and payments to him, see also fols. 67v, 68r, 68v, 69v. Coke's payments as a fellow at Trinity finally ceased during 1591 (Young, Coke, 7-8). Greville was not knighted until 1603.

43. For Sharpe, see DNB, xvii, 1349-50. Perhaps significantly, Sharpe also seems to have dealt in other academic matters for Essex on other occasions. In December 1595 on Essex's direction, he lobbied the bishop of Winchester in support of Henry Savile's bid to become provost of Eton (BL Lansdowne MS 79, fol. 124r).

44. DNB, xxi, 1039-40.

45. Young, Coke, 270 n. 4.

46. BL Add. MS 69891, folio number still to be assigned. This document was formerly one of the Coke Manuscripts at Melbourne Hall, Derbyshire (104/18, packet 66). Along with the other Coke MSS, it is currently in the process of being rearranged into volumes of the Additional MSS series of the British Library. I am particularly indebted to Mr. Hilton Kelliher of the British Library's Department of Manuscripts for his invaluable assistance in answering my queries about this document. I am also deeply grateful to my colleague Assoc. Prof. Robert Baker of the Department of Classics and Ancient History at the University of New England for correcting the infelicities of my transcription and translation.

47. I cannot decipher this word. However, it seems to refer to the time of day at which Sharpe expects to receive Coke's answer.