Bradshaw, Henry

, an early English poet, was a native of Chester, where he was born about the middle of the fifteenth century. Discovering an early propensity to religion and literature, he was received, while a boy, into the monastery of St. Werbergh, in that city; and having there imbibed the rudiments of his education, he was sent afterwards to Gloucester college (now Worcester) in the suburbs of Oxford, where, for a time, he studied theology, with the novices of his order, and then returned to his convent at Chester: here in the latter part of his life, he applied himself chiefly to the study of history, and wrote several books. He died either in 1508, or in 1513. Before the year 1500, he wrote the “Life of St. Werburgh,” in English verse, declaring that he does not mean to rival Chaucer, Lydgate, Barklay, or Skelton, which two last were his contemporaries, and his versification is certainly inferior to Lydgate’s worst manner. This piece was first printed by Pinson in 1521, 4to. a volume of great rarity^ but amply analysed by Mr. Dibdin in his second volume of | Typographical Antiquities, who thinks that he may stand foremost in the list of those of the period wherein he wrote. His descriptions are often happy as well as minute: and there is a tone of moral purity and rational piety in his thoughts, enriched by the legendary lore of romance, that renders many passages of his poem exceedingly interesting. It comprehends a variety of other subjects, as a description of the kingdom of the Mercians, the lives of St. Ethelred and St. Sexburgh, the foundation of the city of Chester, and a chronicle of our kings. 1


Bale, Pits and Tanner.—Warton’s Hist of Poetry.—Dibdin, ubi supra.— Fuller’s Worthies.—Phillips’s Theatrum, edit, 1800.—Ath. Ox. vol. I.—Dodd’s Church History.