English, Hester

, a French woman by extraction, was eminent for her fine writing in the time of queen Elizabeth and James I. Many of her performances are still extant both in our libraries and private hands; particularly one in the Harcourt family, entitled “Histories memorabiles Genesis per Esteram Inglis Gallam,” Edenburgi, ann. 1600. It appears by Hearne’s spicilegium to Gul. Neubrigensis, vol. III. p. 751, 752, that she was the most exquisite scribe of her age. A curious piece of her performance was in the possession of Mr. Cripps, surgeon in Budge- row, London, entitled “Octonaries upon the vanitie and inconstancie of the world. Writin by Ester Inglis. The firste of Januarie, 1600.” It is done, on an oblong 8vo, in French and English verse; the French is all in print hand, and the English mostly Italian or secretary, and is curiously ornamented with flowers and fruits painted in water-colours, and on the first leaf is her own picture, in a small form, with this motto,

"De Dieu le bien,

De moy le rien."

All we know of this curious artist is, that she lived single to the age of about forty, and then married Mr. Bartholomew Kello, a North Briton; that she had a son who was educated at Oxford, and was minister of Speckshall. in | Suffolk. His son was sword-bearer of Norwich, and died in 1709. Joseph Hall, bishop of Norwich, when dean of Worcester, 1617, is styled by her, “My very singulaf friend,” in a manuscript dedicated to him, now in the Bodleian library. 1


Massey’s Origin and Progress of Letters.