Ubaldini, Petruccio

, an illuminator on vellum, who was in England in the reign of queen Elizabeth, appears to have been a native of Florence, and, while here, a teacher of the Italian language. Vertue speaks of some of his works as extant in his time, or as having very lately been so; as the Psalms of David in folio, with an inscription by Ubaldini to Henry earl of Arundel, whom he calls his Maecenas. The date is, London, 1565. There was another book on vellum, written and illuminated by him, by order of sir Nicholas Bacon, who presented it to the lady Lumley. This is, or was, at Gorhambury. There were other specimens of his skill in the royal library, now in the British Museum, and he appears also to have been an author. Walpole mentions one of his Mss. in the Museum, entitled “Scotiae descriptio a Deidonensi quodain facto, A. D. 1550, et per Petruccium Ubaldinum transcripta | A. D. 1576,” which was published afterwards in Italian, with his name, at Antwerp, 1588, fol. The Museum catalogue attributes also the following to Ubaldini: 1. “Discourse concerning of the Spanish fleet invading England in 1588 and overthroweu,” Lond. 1590, 4to. 2. “Le Vite delle Donne illustri del regno d’lughilterra, e del regnb di Scotia, &c.” ibid. 1591. Walpole, who appears to have examined this work, gives, as a specimen of Petrucchio’s talents for history, two of his heroines. The first was Chembrigia, daughter of Gurguntius, son of king Bellinus, who, having married one Cantabro, founded a city, which, from a mixture of both their names, was called Cambridge. The other illustrious lady he styles expressly donna senza. name, and this nameless lady, as Walpole says, was the mother of Ferrex and Porrex in lord Dorset’s “Gorboduc,” who, because one of her sons killed the other that was a favourite, killed a third son in a passion. 3. “Precetti moral i, politici, et economici,1592, 4to. 4. “Scelta di alcune Attioni, e di varii Accidenti,1595, 4to. 5. “Rime,

1596, 4to. 6. “Militia del Gran Duca di Toscano,

1597. 7. “Vita di Carlo Magno,1599, 4to; and, 8. “Lo Stato delle tre Corti,” 4to.

Thus far we have gathered from Walpole’s Anecdotes, who adds, that Ubaldini seems to have been in great favour at court, and is frequently mentioned in the rolls of new years-gifts, which used to be reposited in the jewel-office. There is a notice of this kind as far as 1588, but how much longer he lived is not known. But we find Baretti giving other particulars of Ubaldini. He says he was a nobleman of Florence, who lived many years in England, in the service of Edward VI. The “Lives of Illustrious Ladies” he penned with great gallantry and elegance, and he must certainly have been the favourite of the British (English) belles of his time, having been as handsome in his figure, and as valiant with his sword, as he was able at his pen. Baretti also in forms us that in the preface* to his Life of Charles the Great, he says it was the first Italian book that was printed in London; the date is 1581, printed by Wolf, and consequently the date given above from the Museum catalogue must have been a subsequent edition. Ubaldini adds, that he wrote it, because, “having seen how many fables and dreams the poets have writ of that emperor, he thought it the duty of a man, born to be useful to others, to explode, as much as possible, falsehood from the world, | and substitute truth instead.” Baretti informs us that in the Foscarini library at Venice there is a manuscript history of Ubaldini, written with his own hand, of the reign of his master Edward. 1


Walpole’s Anecdotes. Baretti’s Italian Library.