Vaux, Thomas

, Lord Vaux of Harwedon, an English poet, was the eldest son of Nicholas, the first lord Vaux, and was born in 1510. In 1527 he was among the attendants in Wolsey’s stately embassy, when that prelate went to treat of a peace between the emperor Charles V. and the kings of England and France; and in January 1530, he took his place in parliament as a baron. In 1532 he waited on the king in his splendid expedition to Calais | and Boulogne, a little before which time he is said to have had the custody of the persecuted queen Catherine. In the following year he was made a knight of the bath, at the coronation of Anne Boleyn. He appears to have held no public office but that of the captain of the island of Jersey, which he surrendered in 1536. He died early in the reign of Philip and Mary.

As a poet, he has long been deprived of his merit by his pieces having been attributed to his father, Nicholas lord Vaux, an error which Dr. Percy first detected, and the title of Thomas lord Vaux seems now indisputable.*


It must be remarked, however, that the late Mr. Ritson, as well as sir Egerton Brydges, intimate a suspicion that William, the eldest son of Thomas lord Vaux, might have been the writer of these poems. See Poetical Register for 1801, p. 195.

The largest collection of his poetry is in the “Paradise of dainty Devises,” lately reprinted in the “Bibliographer;” and Dr. Percy and Mr. Ellis have printed “The Assault of Cupid,” and the “Dyttye, or sonet made by the lorde Vaus in time of the noble queeneMarye, representinge the image of Deathe;” but the popular notion of lord Vaux’s having composed this last on his death-bed, seems unfounded. From the prose prologue to Sackville’s “Induction,” in the “Mirror for Magistrates,” it would seem that lord Vaux had undertaken to pen the history of king Edward’s two sons cruelly murdered in the Tower of London; but what he performed of his undertaking does not appear. Lord Vaux, as a poet, is more distinguished by morality of sentiment than by imagery; yet even in the latter, his two celebrated poems of “The Assault of Cupid,” and the “Aged Lover’s renunciation of Love,” are far from deficient and the sweet and touching simplicity of the ideas, and the airy ease of the language, entitle them to high commendation. 1

Bibliographer, vols. I. and III, Park’s Royal and Noble Authors. Ath. Ox. vol. I. new edit. Warton’n Hist, of Poetry.