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laid it aside, till he had finished his favourite work the 'Britannia;' after which, receiving fresh materials from his friend Sir Thomas Bodley, he in 1615 with a great accession of reputation published the Annals as far as he had proceeded. In 1617, he had brought them down, in a second part, to the death of Elizabeth; but apprehending that there were some passages in this continuation, which might not be well
was written in the very library founded by his illustrious subject. The insertion of the first may gratify the classical reader.
Si sint vivaces hominum monumenta libelli,
Quàm fama, Bodleie, tuæ monumenta supersunt
GUIL, LAUD, Sac. Theol. Doct. et Coll. Johan. Præses.
If, Bodley, 'tis by books lost talents live,
If the fond Muse forbid the wise to die;
Nor fits it, thou in common dust should'st fade,
And many a race yet future shall relate,
received by the court, he would not suffer it to appear so long as he lived.*
Being now grown old and infirm, he resolved to devote part of his fortune to the encouragement of that branch of literature, by which he himself had attained distinction and opulence. With this view, in 1622 he founded a professorship of history † in the University of Oxford with a salary of 1401. per ann., arising out of his manor of Bexley in Kent; and having nominated Mr. Degory Wheare, who had distinguished himself by his historical knowledge, to be his first Professor, it seemed as if the business of his life had been completed: for on the eighteenth of August 1623, as he was sitting in his study, he suddenly lost the use of his hands and feet, and fell upon the floor. From this accident, however, he received no apparent hurt; he even recovered the use of his limbs but the disorder terminated in a fever, of which he died, November 9, at his house at Chislehurst.
The first edition of the supplementary matter was published at Leyden, in 8vo., in 1625: and the first edition of the Annals complete, in folio, at London in 1627. It has been republished by Hearne, with many useful additions, and is one of the best historical productions of the moderns.
The lecturer, as we learn from a MS. of his in the Bodleian Library, was to "read a ciyil history, and therein make such observations as might be most useful and profitable for the younger students in the University; to direct and instruct them in the knowledge and use of history, antiquity, and times past -not intermeddling with the history of the church, or controversies, farther than shall give light into those times which he shall then unfold, or that author which he then shall read, and that very briefly, &c."
His books of heraldry he bequeathed to the Herald's Office; and all the rest, printed and manuscript, to the library of his friend Sir Robert Cotton. By the contrivance however of the Lord Keeper Williams, then Bishop of Lincoln and Dean of Westminster, who took advantage of an equivocal expression in the will, the printed part was subsequently removed to the library newly established in the latter church.
His remains were deposited in Westminster Abbey, in the south-aisle, near the learned Isaac Casaubon of Geneva. His funeral was conducted with great pomp: the College of Heralds attended in their proper habits; several of the nobility and other persons of distinction walked in the procession, and a funeral sermon in Latin was preached by Dr. Sutton the Sub-Dean. A handsome monument, likewise, was erected to his memory.*
The character of Camden, both as a writer and as a man, acquired him the highest degree of reputation; and every one eminent for any branch of learning, either at home or abroad, cultivated his correspondence and intimacy. To have travelled into England, and not to have visited him, would have been deemed a discreditable omission in foreigners; and as to his own countrymen, his most illustrious contemporaries record their veneration for him, and account it an honour to have ranked themselves in the number of his friends. He was visited by six
* This was defaced, it is said, by a young gentleman, who in resentment of some reflexion thrown out by Camden against the reputation of his mother, broke off the nose from his effigies; but it has been lately repaired, at the expense of the University of Oxford.
German noblemen at one time, in each of whose books he inscribed a Lemma, as a testimony of the interview. As an antiquarian, he is justly reckoned the father of that branch of study in England; and, though he did not bring to it all the knowledge and judgement that might have been desired, yet by his industry he collected a mass of materials, which has served as the basis for all subsequent accumulations. As an historian, he deserves considerable praise. "His History of Elizabeth' (we are told by Hume, who is not forward to lavish panegyric upon English authors) may be esteemed good composition both for stile and manner. It is written with simplicity of expression, very rare in that age, and with a regard to truth. It would not perhaps be too much to affirm, that it is among the best historical productions, which have yet been composed by any Englishman.*" It may be suspected, however, that it received no advantage from being submitted to the inspection of Elizabeth's successor. His account of Scottish affairs under Queen Mary, we are assured by Robertson, is less accurate than any other. He had a taste for the elegance of literature, and wrote Latin verse with purity and harmony,
Beside the works already mentioned, a large collection of his Latin Letters, with some small tracts, has been published by Hearne, from the collections of Dr. Smith.
Of his great performance, the Britannia,' an English translation was published in folio by the in
* Close of James I.
defatigable Philemon Holland, in 1611, with the assistance (as it is supposed) of Camden himself; which was reprinted, with many alterations, in 1636. A much better translation, however, was given to the public in 1695, in folio, by Edmund Gibson of Queen's College, Oxford, afterward Bishop of London; with additions worthy of Camden himself. This was reprinted, with additions, in two volumes folio in 1722 and 1773. Finally, in 1789 a new version from the edition of 1607, in three volumes folio, made it's appearance under the following title:
Britannia; or a Chorographical Description of the flourishing Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the Islands adjacent, from the earliest Antiquity. By William Camden. Translated from the Edition published by the Author in 1607. Enlarged by the latest Discoveries, and illustrated with a new Set of Maps and other Copper-Plates, by Richard Gough, F. A. and R. SS.'
Of his minor Tracts, one upon the Antiquity, Office, and Privilege of Heralds in England, is inserted as a specimen of his stile and studies.
Among all civil nations, since civility first entered the world, there have been officers of arms as meditators to negotiate peace and war between princes and countries. The ancient Greeks called them Kngur *, by whose meditation solemn covenants with their enemies were made. They were men of especial reputation, and carried for their ensign a Caduceus (whereupon they were also called 'Caduceatores') which was a white staff, whereunto were fixed two serpents, male and female, whereunto was added afterwards Copia-cornu. The staff was white, in