Coryate, George

, a Latin poet of some note in his day, was born in the parish of St. Thomas, in Salisbury. He received his education at Winchester-school, and in the year 1562 was admitted perpetual fellow of New college, Oxford. In the year 1566, on queen Elizabeth’s visiting the university, he, together with W. Reynolds, bachelor of arts, received her majesty and her train at New college; on which occasion he pronounced an oration, for which he received great praises and a handsome purse of gold. He afterwards took his degree in arts, and, in June 1570, became rector of Odcombe on the death of Thomas Reade, and some time after, bachelor of divinity. In the year 1594, he was appointed prebendary of Warthill, in the cathedral church of York, and also held some other dignity, but what we are not informed. He died at the parsonage-house at Odcombe, on the 4th of March, 1606. It is asserted that his son, the celebrated traveller, agreeably to his whimsical character, entertained a design of preserving his body from stench and putrefaction, and with that view caused it to be kept above ground until the 14th of April following, when it was buried in the chancel of the church of Odcombe. George Cory ate was much commended in his time for his fine fancy in Latin poetry; and for certain pieces which he had written was honourably quoted by several eminent writers. The only pieces Mr. Wood had seen of his composition were, 1. “Poemata varia Latina,London, 1611, 4to, published by his son after his death, and by him entitled “Posthuxna fragmenta Poematum Georgii Coryate.” 2. “Descriptio Anglise, | Scotiæ, et Hiberniæ,” written in Latin verse, and dedicated to queen Elizabeth, but it does not appear that this piece was ever printed. In 1763, James Liunley Kingston, esq. of Dorchester, published, from a ms. found amongst the papers belonging to a considerable family in one of the western counties, a Latin poem, which appears to have been written in the reign of queen Elizabeth, entitled “Descriptio et Descriptio Londini,” being two poems in Latin verse, supposed to be written in the fifteenth century. This pamphlet Mr. Gough thinks may be part of the poem noticed by Mr. Wood. The mention of only fifteen colleges at Oxford, fixes the date of the verses before the year 1571. Mr. Coryate’s wife, Gertrude, outlived her husband and son many years, and resided at Odcombe or near it until her death. Dr. Humphry Hody, a native of that place, informed Mr. Wood, that she was buried near the remains of her husband on the 3d of April, 1645. It appears that after her husband’s death she married a second time. 1


Ath. Ox. vol. I.Biog. Brit. Gough’s Topography, vol. I.