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HENRY HOWARD, EARL OF SURREY


Peter Brueghel. Gloomy Day [detail], 1565.
Peter Brueghel. Gloomy Day [detail], 1565.


AN EPITAPH ON CLERE, SURREY'S FAITHFUL
FRIEND AND FOLLOWER.


NORFOLK sprung thee, Lambeth holds thee dead ;
Clere, of the Count of Cleremont, though hight1
Within the womb of Ormond's race thou bred,
And saw'st thy cousin crowned in thy sight.
Shelton for love, Surrey for Lord thou chase ;2
(Aye, me ! whilst life did last that league was tender)
Tracing whose steps thou sawest Kelsal blaze,
Landrecy burnt, and batter'd Boulogne render.
At Montreuil gates, hopeless of all recure,
Thine Earl, half dead, gave in thy hand his will ;
Which cause did thee this pining death procure,
Ere summers four times seven thou couldst fulfill.
     Ah !  Clere !  if love had booted, care, or cost,
     Heaven had not won, nor earth so timely lost.


    1 These lines were inscribed, with the epitaph above, on a table
in Lambeth Church : —
    “ Epitaphium  Thomæ Clere, qui fato functus est 1545  auctore
Henrico  Howard,  Comite  Surrey.   In cujus  faelicis  ingenii spe-
cimen,  et  singularis  facundiae argumentum,  appensa  fuit haec
Tabula  per  W. Howard,  filium  Thomae  nuper  Ducis  Norfolci-
ensis, filii ejusdem Henrici Comitis.”
    This epitaph occurs, with some trifling variations, in Camden's
Remains,  Aubrey's History of Surrey, v. 247, and in Bloomfield's
Norfolk.   Thomas Clere  was  the  youngest  son  of   Sir  Robert
Clere, of  Ormesby in  Norfolk, (the descendant of Clere, of Clere-
mont in  Normandy,) by Alice,  daughter of  Sir  William  Boleyn,
by  Margaret, daughter and  coheir of  Thomas  Boteler,  Earl  of
Ormond.   He was consequently first  “cousin”  of  Queen Anne
Boleyn,  whom  “he saw crowned”  in  1533, and was connected
with  “Ormond's  race.”   “Shelton”  is  presumed  to  have  been
a daughter of  Sir  John  Shelton,  of  Shelton  in  Norfolk,  but  it
does  not  appear  that  Clere  married  her.   He died on the  14th
of  April, 1545, and was buried at  Lambeth.   These facts explain
most of  the allusions  in the epitaph, and the others are noticed
in the Memoir of Surrey.
    2 Didst choose.




Source:
Surrey, Henry Howard, Earl of.
The Poetical Works of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey.
Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1854. 62-63.




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Images of London:
London in the time of Henry VII. MS. Roy. 16 F. ii.
London, 1510, the earliest view in print
Map of England from Saxton's Descriptio Angliae, 1579
Location Map of Elizabethan London
Plan of the Bankside, Southwark, in Shakespeare's time
Detail of Norden's Map of the Bankside, 1593
Bull and Bear Baiting Rings from the Agas Map (1569-1590, pub. 1631)
Sketch of the Swan Theatre, c. 1596
Westminster in the Seventeenth Century, by Hollar
Visscher's Panoramic View of London, 1616. COLOR



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