Bryan, Sir Francis

, an English poet and warrior, was born of a genteel family, educated at Oxford, and afterwards spent some time in travelling abroad. In 1522, he attended, in a military capacity, the earl of Surrey on his expedition to the coast of Britany, and commanded the troops in the attack of the town of Morlaix, which he took and burnt. For this service he was knighted on the spot by the earl, which Tanner says took place in Germany, 1532, instead of Britany, 1522. In 1528 he was in Spain, but in what service is doubtful. In 1529 he was sent ambassador to France, and the following year ta Rome on account of the king’s divorce. He had also been therein 1522, in the same capacity, when cardinal Wolsey’s election to the holy see was in agitation. In 1533 he was one of those sent by Henry to be witnesses to the interview between the pope and the king of France at Marseilles. He was gentleman of the privy chamber to Henry VIII. and to his successor Edward VI. in the beginning of whose reign he marched with the protector against the Scots, and after the battle of Musselborough in 1547, in which he commanded the light horse with great bravery, he was made banneret. In 1549 he was appointed chief governor of Ireland, by the title of lord chief justice, and there he married the countess of Ormond. He appears to have died in 1550, and was buried at Walerford. He was nephew to John Bourchier, lord Berners, the translator of Froissart.

He translated from the French of Alaygri, “A Dispraise of the life of a Courtier,” which Alaygri had translated from the Castilian language, in which it was originally written by Guevara, London, 1548, 8vo. Several of the “Poems by uncertain authors,” printed with those of Surrey and Wyat, are supposed to have been his production. He left also in ms. letters written from Rome concerning the king’s divorce, and various letters of state, which Ant. Wood says he had seen. Dodd accuses sir Francis Bryan of having administered to the extravagant pleasures of Henry VIII. but perhaps he was not more culpable in this respect than Henry’s other courtiers, and | it is in his favour that he retained the confidence of the succeeding government. 1


Ath. Ox. vol. I.—Warton’s Hist, of Poetry, vol. III.—Phillips’s Theatrum p. 49.—Dodd’s Ch. Hist. vol. I.