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LAST EARL OF DESMOND:
“On peut tirer un fruit précieux du malheur: une personne sensible, pieuse,
“ Bona rerum secundarum optabilia, adversarum mirabilia.”-SENECA.
IN TWO VOLUMES.
24G, 2, 36,
SIR DENHAM JEPHSON NORREYS,
DEAR SIR DENHAM Norreys,
Having taken possession of the fine old castle in your demesne, for the purpose of introducing the first set of my dramatis persone to the reader, it is fit and proper they should make their bow to the lord of the
Allow me, therefore, the pleasure of dedicating to you a historical romance, the first chapters of which contain an account of some of your own ancestors, of whom honourable mention is made by the Poet Spenser (Vide Vol. I. p. 310, Note C.), and by the Four Masters, who, to say the least, had no English prejudices. They style Sir Henry Norreys,
who fell in battle by the side of the Earl of Essex, near Adare, “A noble knight of great name and honour.” And the good Sir Thomas Norreys, the Lord President of Munster, who also received his death-wound on the field, contrasts most favourably with his successor, the scheming and politic Sir George Carew, whose chicanery is so minutely recorded in the Pacata Hibernia.
I believe I am correct in stating that Sir John Jephson (who married Elizabeth Norreys, the only daughter of Sir Thomas), and whom I call “ Captain Jephson," did not receive his patent of knighthood till 1611. I find this statement in the MS. (containing the account of Sylvanus Spenser, the poet's son, and the disposal of the Kilcoleman pro
you were kind enough to forward to me.
A friend in Cork, on whose authority I can rely, has just written to me to say that “Edmond Spenser, the great-great-great grandson of the poet Spenser, was a resident
in the town of Mallow for many years, where he died somewhere about 1790-91.” You will find the melancholy epitaph, which he is said to have left for his tomb-stone, in Note E. Vol. II. Supposing he might be interred in Mallow church-yard, I spent some time in examining the inscriptions, but found no stone with his name. Two or three
persons, residents of the town, who joined me in the search, say they remember having seen the
I am not disposed to think there is
anything in your MS.-part of which, only, I have given in a note (Vide Vol. II. p. 368)— to cast a doubt on the story of Spenser's death, as told by Ben Jonson, who says,
" He died for lake of bred, in King's-street (London); and refused twenty pieces sent to him by the Lord of Essex,” saying, “ He was sorrie he had no time to spend them.” The son, Sylvanus, inherited part of the property ; but the Irish having burned out the father, it was of course unproductive from the time