was born in Cheshire, as is said, of very mean parents. Of the place
was born in Cheshire, as is said, of very mean parents. Of the place of his birth, or the first part of his life, we have not been able to gain any intelligence. He was educated upon the foundation at Eton, and was captain of the school a whole year, without any vacancy, by which he might have obtained a scholarship at King’s college. Being by this delay, such as is said to have happened very rarely, superannuated, he was sent to St. John’s college by the contributions of his friends, where he obtained a small exhibition. At his college he lived for some time in the same chamber with the well-known Ford, by whom Dr. Johnson heard him described as a contracted scholar and a mere versifier, unacquainted with life, and unskilful in conversation. His addiction to metre was then such, that his companions familiarly called him Poet. When he had opportunities of mingling with mankind, he cleared himself, as Ford likewise owned, from great part of his scholastic rust.
esmere, an eminent English statesman and lawyer, the son of Richard Egerton, of Ridley, in Cheshire, was born in Cheshire, about the year 1540. In 1556 he was admitted
, lord Ellesmere, an eminent English statesman and lawyer, the son of Richard Egerton, of Ridley, in Cheshire, was born in Cheshire, about the year 1540. In 1556 he was admitted a commoner of Brasencse college, in Oxford, where he continued about three years; and having laid a good foundation of classical and logical learning, he removed thence to Lincoln’s-inn, and applied himself with such success to the study of the law, that he soon became a noted counsellor. The superior abilities he displayed in the line of his profession, and his distinguished eminence at the bar, attracted the notice of queen Elizabeth, and on June 28, 1581, she appointed him her solicitor-general: the year after he was chosen Lent reader of the society of Lincoln’s-inn, and was made also one of the governors of that society, in which office he continued for twelve years successively. His conduct and proficiency in the law, promoted him on June 2, 1594, to the office of attorney-general, and he was knighted soon after. On the 10th of April, 1593, he was appointed master of the rolls, when he shewed his great friendship to Mr. Francis Bacon, afterwards lord Verulam, by assisting him with his own observations in regard to the office of solicitor-general, then likely to become vacant by the advancement of Mr. Edward Coke to that of attorneygeneral, which was acknowledged by sir Robert Cecil as a favour done personally to himself. Upon the death of sir John Puckering, he had the great eal of England delivered to him at Greenwich on the 6th of May, 1596, with the title of lord keeper, by the special choice and favour of the queen, without any mediator or competitor, and even against the interest of the prime minister and his son; and at the same time he was sworn of her majesty’s privycouncil. He was permitted to hold the mastership of the rolls till May 15, 1603, when James I. conferred it on Edward Bruce, afterwards baron of Kmloss.
, herald and antiquary, was born in Cheshire, and descended from the Smiths or Smyths of
, herald and antiquary, was born in
Cheshire, and descended from the Smiths or Smyths of
Oldhough. He was educated at Oxford, but in what college Wood has not ascertained, there being several of
the same names about the latter part of the sixteenth century. When he left the university, we cannot trace his
progress, but on his application at the Heralds’ college for
the office of Rouge- Dragon, it was said that he had been a
merchant and traveller. He was recommended by sir
George Carey, knight marshal; and “
The Society of Arms
finding, by many, that he was honest, and of a quiet conversation, and well languaged,” joined in the supplication,
which gained him this office. Anstis says, that he had
long resided abroad, and had kept an inn, at Nuremburgh,
in Germany, the sign at the door of which was the Goose.
He wrote a description of Cheshire, which, with his historical collections made about 1590, or a copy of them, falling
into the hands of sir Randolph Crew, knt. lord chief justice
of the King’s bench, his grandson, sir Randolph Crew, gave
them to the public. These materials, and the labours of
William Webb, form the bulk of “
King’s Vale-Royal,” published in fol.
The Image of Heraldrye, &c.” a sort of introduction to
the science, which forrrierly belonged to Anstis the other,
Genealogies of the different potentates of Europe, 1578,”
formerly Peter Le Neve’s. A new edition, with additions,
of the “
Vale-Royal,” was published at Chester,