ENGLANDS WORTHIES The Liues of the Most Eminent Persons from CONSTANTINE the Great to OLIUER CROMWELL Late Protector; Printed for N: Brooke at the Angel in Cornhill. 1660.

1 C

2 K A

3 St D

4 K I

5 Ed C

6 W th C

7 T B

8 R t 1

9 E t 3

10 B P

11 Sir J H

12 I C

13 H t 5

14 D B

15 E d W

16 R 3d

17 E d S

18 T W

19 T M

20 T C

21 Sr P S

22 E d L

23 W B

24 Sr F D

25 F W

26 N B

27 R E d E

28 R C

29 Sr T O

30 Sr W R

31 W C

32 T S

33 Sir F B

34 Bp A

35 I D

36 D B

37 Sr H W

38 E o S

39 Bp L

40 E d E

41 Sir C L

42 K C

43 Ld C

44 ma M

45 Bp V


47 O C

England's WORTHIES. Select LIVES of the most Eminent Persons from Constantine the Great, to the death of Oliver Cromwel late Protector.

Polib. Historici est, ne quid falsi, audeat dicere; ne quid veri, non audeat.



London, Printed for Nath. Brooke, at the Sign of the Angel in Cornhill, 1660.

• To the Right Honourable, Somerset, Lord Herbert of Ragland, Son and Heir of Edward Marquess of Worcester, Earl of Glamorgan, &c. , • To the Right Honourable William Seimor, Lord Beuchampe, Grand-childe and Heir to the Right Honourable the Marquess of Hertford. , and • To the Right Honourable Charles Dormer, Lord Dormer of Wing, Son and Heir to the Right Ho­nourable the Earl of Canarvan. 

My Lords,

I Have chosen to present you with this Volume, not onely as it is worthy of the Ages past, but also of your Lordships present view, the Affinity of your Blood and Greatness, challenging from me no less then these prostrate respects, as I could desire no firmer nor safer an Anchorage then in so proper a Dedication, no despairing that my Pen hath produc'd something worthy of your entertainments; as I have set be­fore your eyes forty seven Select Lives of our English Heroes, the greatest Princes, the most Reverend Cleargy-men, eminent States-men, and valiant Souldiers all deceast: As to History it self, a Modern Writer expresses, 'tis the study of the Holy Scripture that becomes a Gentleman; of the Ecclesiastical Hi­story, a Christian; and of the Brittish History, an English man; all which Qualifications in some measure meeting in your Honours, as well as in this Work it self, gives me some assu­rance that these my weak endeavours would not be unwelcome to you. My Lords, he that hath the Spirit and Blood of his Ancestours in his veins, cannot be so much turned into a Statue as to stand still and admire the different Fortunes, this mans [Page]greatness, and of that mans lowness, so as not onely to reflect on the tributary brooks of the former Matches of the Nobility, but also to look back to matter of fact what our Predecessours have been, as well as what we our selves at the present are, least falling short of the imitation of their immortal actions, we so strangely degenerate, as not to understand what we our selves ought to be. The clear Fountain flowing from the true Nobility of late being so disturbed, it is the office of an honest and true Historian, if not his duty, to have so much of the He­rald, as to Register the Descents, Issues, worthy Acts, At­chievements, Mannagements of our of late so little imitated Ancestors; of these several alterations in Nobility one ob­serves, there are three principle Actors on the Theater of great Families; the Beginner, Advancer, and Ruiner; in all these our uncivil troublesome times we have heard more of the latter then of the other two; one experiencst though unfortunate good, amongst the many mischiefs, which a Civil War occasions, is that in the ransacking of Studies, accidentally, though determi­ned otherwise, the Togati and the Armati meet; several Manu­scripts which otherwise would have remained useful only to pri­vate persons, have been by Divine Providence miraculously pre­served, contrary to the intentions of the Agents, whose Barba­rismes had snuft out the candle to the present Age, and depri­ved posterity of those Illustrations from which they might know that truth, which otherwise they should never have been ac­quainted with: as they endeavoured that the most remarkable Affairs of these times should have otherwise been hid under a bushel. To your Honor, my Lord Herbert, I make this particular Address, though this Dedication is joynt, as in respect of your happy Assinities, as you are Father-in-law to one of these youth­ful Branches of Honour, in respect of your advantages of some years, so your grandeur and experience renders you a History of your self, and in respect of their tender ages another to them. My Lord, I know to your Honour it is no less then a Prodigy that our English Gentlemen should be more exact and refin'd [Page]in knowing the Religion, Laws, Governments, Strengths, Scites, Customs, and Fashions of Forreign Countreys, then of their own wherein themselves are Natives, which caused a de­serving Historian, as it were, to sigh out this expression, What pitty is it for a proper Gentleman to have such a crick in his neck, that he cannot look so much as over his shoulder to know his own History; much less so far behinde him, as to reflect on actions long since performed. I have presumed to intimate thus much to your Honor, as you are another Burleigh or Raleigh, to give better advice to your youthful Kinsmen. My Lords, I have chosen you as out of the Caesars, to affix your names to this Epitome of Lives, that as Julius was his own History and Commentary, so your Honours though yet but in the abstract of time, might pass it to posterity; to which purpose, I have chosen your united protections. Since I have been writing this History, there hath been no less then three alterations, Regal, Protector­ship, and now a Commonwealth; I first undertook this enterprize in the time of Monarchy, continued it in the short space of Prote­ctorship, and finished it in the immediate initiation of the Com­monwealth: in all which progressions, if the Liberty of the Sub­jects modest prospects are shut up, or not allow'd, if in these days that Lots little one of truth, by these present times posterity must be deprived of, wise and honest men will be seriously sensible of such obstructions; the maliciousness of such Machiavillians puts me in mind of what elegant Mr. Fuller cites what Naturalists observe of the Toad, who before she can be surprized by death, sucks up the supposed precious stone in her head, which till then was but a jelly; thus some men are so cowardly that they had rather have History buried with them, then that the least part of civil truth should be writ whilest they live, as if they deserved no Chronicle, or were only to be suffered in Libellous Pamphlets, which wise men scorn to cast their eyes on. I confess we live in times of Jealousies, nevertheless there is no danger in a Dedi­cation that drives on a harmless design, which for the Innocency of it, craves protection from such tender years. My Lords, I [Page]wish that your Families may ever flourish, whose Charities like the expected showres have refresht our parched English Earth, being nevertheless so undescernable as the winde, the left hand not knowing what the right hand did; the so eminent Noblesses of your Generous Blood hath obliged our English world, and amongst the rest of my Countrey-men, commanded me to present these humble respects to your Lordships. In the tender of these Lives, My Lords, I have turned the Mirror of them to you, ex­pecting that by your future Atchievements you will get up hill to these Worthies, not questioning but some other Pen when I am in my silent grave will raise Pyramids to your Names, and affix you to this Volume: If your Lordships in your inspect at my turning of this Mirror to you, still perceive somewhat re­maining of a sad representation, a once sable mourning cloud, 'tis now so serene, so dispersed with the Beams and Splendors of Honour, that you may safely be so loyal to Heaven, as with a correlative gratitude, to acknowledge the remarks of that He­roe. My Lords, as I designed you the Persons of my Dedication, so you bear the Title of my Book in your promising Years and Blood, there being none in England in whom there is a Nobler confluence of so many Loyal Purple Rivelets of Honour, that a mean Herald by the guidance thereof upwards, may be lead to the Fountain and Head-Spring of the English Nobility. Be pleased to accept of these tenders of Service, as also of my best wishes, that as you have met in your Affinities, so joynt Vertues may be united in your Natures, which shall be his request to Heaven, who is the meanest and unworthiest of

Your Lordships Servants, William Winstanley.

To the Worthy Patron of Ingenuous Endeavors, the truly generous and no­bly minded Thomas Salisbury, Esq;


IT may make you the more to admire at my boldness, that in a midnight as not known to you, I shall nevertheless present these more then ordinary respects; I acknowledge till the Magi of those that rightly knew you had crown'd my tenders with the Laurels of your deserts, I had not laid down this Dedication otherwise, then at the feet of your Eminent Qualifications, as of a proxi­mity to what still remains of the surviving Nobili­ty. Sir, I have plac'd you in the Front of my He­roe's, not disputing after so confirm'd a survey of you by your Friends, that I could not chuse a more fortunate Star to direct these my services, then to your self; as I am informed with your own Pen you have begun with the life of Adam, the creation of History, give me leave after your Italian Victory, to entertain you with these Brittish Triumphs, which take their rise from the Christian Cross of Constantine the Great, and sit down within the Herodian short-liv'd Protectorships. Sir, as to the undertakings of History, you are not unac­quainted that Judgement and a signaliz'd Imparti­ality [Page]eternizes an Historian. That oyl is adjudged the best that hath no taste; that Authour should be the most preferr'd that hath the least tongue of inte­rested affections, a candour of course being due to him that waves the chiding of the present times, in hopes that after Ages may excuse him. Seamen ob­serve that the waters are the more troubled the near­er they come to the Land, because broken by reper­cussion from the shore; I am sensible (though that I cannot imagine wherefore) of the same danger, the nearer I approach to the times, and the end of this History, the more subject some will be to censure what they have so little wit as to interpret to them­selves. One writes, if he did not invent the words himself, that Machiavel used to say, that he that un­dertakes to write a History should have no Religi­on; if so (sayes he) glossing on his own wit, Ma­chiavel himself was the best qualified in his age to be an Historian; the Gentleman is much mistaken, alas he was but a simple fellow to the Religious Je­suites of our times, as he wanted the Holy Vest­ments, the Vizards of Scripture to gild over his designs. Some entertain this position, that the Hi­story of these present times must not be written by any one alive, which in my opinion is disgraceful to an Historian, and very prejudicial to posterity; as if they were to write at a distance, that obscuri­ty might protect their mistakes from discovery: others also say, the Truth is not ripe enough to be writ in the Age we live in, which proves too rotten [Page]for the next generation faithfully to report: these men are extreamly mistaken, for when Impresses of memorable matters are almost worn out, the Hi­story having more of the Authors hand then foot­steps of truth therein, must needs suffer; sure I am that the most informative Histories to posterity, and such as are highly priz'd by the Judicious, have been written by eye-witnesses; such Historians as live in the Times, not by the Times; thus Thu­cidides reports impartially of the Pelopenesian War. Indeed St. Peter followed Christ afar off, so Politicians would not have the Historian to tread on the heels of the times, lest the times tread on his heels; the truth is, we live in such a warlike tra­gical Age, best to write of, but not to write in. Sir, if Wit be such a Plant that it scarce receives heat enough to keep it alive in the Summer of our cold Climate, how can it chuse but wither in the so long and sharp a Winter of our Civil Uncivil Discon­tents. If my endeavors meet with any acceptation in this our English world, it must be from such un­derstanding Persons as your self, as it will remain a perpetual memorial to your name, as first brought forth under the Sphere of your tuition and Good­ness. Worthy Sir, together with the respects I tender to your honoured self, I have entertained it as a Case of Conscience to transmit to the next Age some short Intimations of these times, as any wise Historian may justly fear that Records are not so carefully kept in these so many changes, as they [Page]have been in former Ages; as to the breviary of these Lives, I can only apologize, that no wise man can expect to cut and pollish Diamonds with so little pains as we do Marbles; the chiefest matters contained in Gyant-like Volumes is to be found in this, like a little Watch showing the time of the day as well as a great Clock. Sir, lest having written a Preface in respect of these tedious Lines, you should mistake them for another, I shall end with this short ejaculation, that as Fortune, whom the Poets have so long feign'd blinde, hath opened her eyes to look upon you as to your desires and deserts, so I wish you may enjoy her favours as many more happy Years as there are Lives in this Book. Thus Sir, at the high Altar of my Respects, I lay down this Sacrifice, be pleased to accept the Oblation from the hands of

Yours really, both in Love and Service, WILLIAM WINSTANLEY.

The Preface.

To the still surviving Nobility and Gentry of England.

THere is no treasure so much enriches the minde of man as Learning; there is no Learning so proper for the direction of the life of man as History; no History that carries more weight of concern­ment with it, then that of our own Countrey: In the un­dertaking of which great enterprize, not a word that the Historian writes but should be laden with the truth of mat­ter; as Tacitus sayes of Galba, it ought to be Imperatoria brevitate. It hath been critically observed by some, that most Historians speak too much, and say too little; I doubt others will think, I speak too little, and say too much, so that it will be difficult to please all. My Method shall be, first to discourse of History it self; next of the rules and di­rections that are to be observed in the study of it; then of E­pitomies what they are, the admirable use that may be made of them several wayes, more respectively as to the particu­lar Lives of Persons; afterwards of the use, benefit, and ad­vantages that accrew by the reading of it; concluding with some other Addresses as to the right understanding of this now at last publisht Work. History, as Sir Walter Raleigh writes, makes us acquainted with our dead Ancestours, deli­vering us their memory and fame; out of it we gather a policy, no less otherwise then eternal, by the comparison and applicati­on of other mens forepast miseries with our own like errours and ill deservirgs. History, as it were, thus shooting off a warning-piece, from which we have the dear bought expe­rience [Page]of former and of latter times; that in an hour we know what our Predecessours were many years attaining to: It makes a young man to be ancient without wrinkles or gray hairs, principling him with the experiences, the in­firmities and inconveniences of old age. Thus we clearly perceive how Empires, Kingdoms, and Commonwealths every where have had their periods, but the History of them remains and lives for the instructions of men, and the glory of God, the chief intent and use of this study being to ac­knowledge our Creatour, who onely is unchangeable, and to admire his Wisdom and Providence in humane miscarri­ages. 'Tis undeniable that it hath pleased the Divine Dis­poser of all things to preserve the Arts of reading of men to himself, yet as the fruits tell the name of the tree, so do the outward works of men so far as their agitations are acted, give us to guess at the rest; no man can lay continual masques, so counterfeit behaviours, the things that are for­ced for pretences having no ground of truth, cannot long dissemble their own nature, so irresistable is the force of truth, the Divine Providence so powerful, that howsoever the greatest diligence hath been used to carry all in secret, to act with colourable evasions and glosses, like Tumblers that are squint-eyed, looking one way, and aiming another, yet in these our days, we have known the closest of State se­crets brought to light, the cunningest consultations and contrivances discovered; thus we have seen wicked Politi­cians seldom happy by their baseness, often losing all which either their subtleties, fortune, or other mens labours had cast upon them; and if they retain their ambitions for a life, non gaudet tertius Haeres. To this purpose one writes excellently, History is the mirrour for us to look in, which re­presents to us things past as if they were present, and enables us to make a rational conjecture of things to come. For this world affordeth no new accidents, but in the same sense wherein we call a New Moon, which is the old one in an­other [Page]shape, and yet no other then what hath been for­merly; old actions return again furbusht over with some new and different circumstances. The Premises consider­ed, to all wise men History must bear up, be highly esteem­ed, onely what Pilot in so vaste a Sea is able to steer aright, except he have discovered those Rocks on which others have split, so as to have first rightly poised their errours; he that is not sufficiently knowing of the slips of some Au­thors, and the trips that Writers cunningly give one an­other, will never be so wise as to set up for himself. I ac­knowledge in these last instances I have digressed, as I would as it were praeire, before I arrived at my directions for the reading of History; to prepare the Student in the pursuit of which Subject onely, I shall throughout the whole thred of them interweave some unworthy Observations of my own; yet so as for the main, endeavour to keep close to the scope and sense of a late learned Authour, whose re­maining Manuscripts I could wish for the future good of posterity were committed to the Press. The first thing that is to be undertaken in this Enterprize, is to attain to some skill both in Ancient and Modern Geography, with­out which History is nothing but a Chaos of improbable and indigested tales, as Geography without History is a blank paper; then to betake ones self to some little Chroni­cle, not forgetting to shred it into an exact Chronology, for the series of the History, which will both help the understan­ding and the memory, it being as it were the fractions of time. Read Herodians Lives of the Emperours, Justin, which is a general Compendium of all; then Plutarchs Lives, an exact Systome of the Greek and Roman Affairs, which of all Nations were season'd with the greatest wisdom; ex­tract Political Observations, without which History is little worth, and Fables were as good as Histories; yet under the veil of Fables lies hid all the Divinity and Philosophy of the wise Ancients. That common fault of reading for [Page]pleasure, as the idle people do to pass away the time, is to be avoided; this at the best is but a supine labour. Be di­ligent to collect from variety of events experience and civil wisdom, by observing both Moral and Political Actions; the parties, the causes, the state of them, and parallel them with others of the like nature, for it may prove ver­tue to one, and vice to another; the doing of an action, wis­dom in one, & madness in another, and so continually fortu­nate or unfortunate; which might be made good by several examples, which for brevity I shall omit. Here also the Hi­storian amongst other difficulties will meet with these trou­blesom curiosities, and more then niceties, as they are too usu­ally mistakes; as touching sums of money, numbers of Soul­diers, Ships, the slain in Battle, computation of Time, diffe­rences of Names, Titles, &c. wherein Authours agree not; and it were to be wished that the assured Notes of such par­ticulars were to be had. These things I insert onely as cautions. To proceed, the Student having first in his reading gained forth his remarks, and gleaned his observa­tions into heads, he is next to commit them to paper; for though the memory be the treasure of knowledge, yet we must not trust it too much, we so often finding our accounts fall short; therefore the Student should be sure to rank his observations with all possible order, otherwise they will be troublesome and less profitable. The Authority of the Au­thour is seriously to be regarded, it being the Basis of the whole building; therefore before reading, the best infor­mation ought to be had how he is esteemed, whether suspect­ed of faith or no, whether disinterested in the business he treats of, whether a Native or a Forreigner; these latter grosly mistaking, as Polydor Virgil doth too often in our History. Philip Comines commonly mentions those from whom he had his relations, it being the way whereby credit is extreamly courted, learned men having had a great ac­count of his writings. In the next place those Authors are [Page]to be compared with others of the same subject, that so if it may be possible to reconcile their differences, or to en­cline to those that bring the most colourable reasons or best authority, this will give you a great light to reading, and be an extraordinary help to your judgement and memory; and take it for a general Cannon, never to read a Translation if you can understand and procure the Original: translated Books being like removed Plants, degenerating from their excellency and native worth, because Translators though able, and furnisht with the advantages of language, are never able to attain to the Authors own genious: to them joyn the choycest Commentators, that handle the customs, whether Tacticks or Stratagemicks, few Classick Authors having not some, if not all; the understanding of either of these will mightily augment the life of a Nar­ration.

'Tis now high time to descend to some particular dire­ctions; as for the election of some Authors, begin with the shortest, I have already occasionally cited Justin; I shall now amongst the Romans begin with Lucius Florus, an elegant writer, though somewhat too panegerical: read Veleius Paterculus, an excellent Author, who besides the pu­rity of his stile, slices the time with a diligent calculation, who most accurately Annatomizes the mindes of those great persons who were the chief Authors of those Affairs he treats of. Then you may give essayes to Livy, and Plu­tarch, Dionyssus Halicarnassus, &c. For the Emperours be­gin with Tacitus rather then Suetonius, both because he is not so confused, as for the excellent Theorems of his poli­cy, which he hath almost in every line, but alas his rents witness in him the wounds of Barbarisme; but to remedy that, procure in them what you can to succenturiate in the History diligently, as I have already advised take the thred of time for conduct through the laborynth; then set your minde to observe the customs and alterations: there [Page]are some things (not to instance them they are so general­ly known) that were in the free State of Rome that were not in the Empire; and on the contrary, that in the latter which was not in the former; look also into the manners of the people whose ghests you read, and pry as much as you can into the secret humours of the Governours, the inclinations of the people, how when wantonning with suc­cess, how when feeling the pinches of fortune; observing also what nature they borrow from their climes, the Nor­thern being more fruitful, the Southern more subtil, of whom nevertheless the others have gained ground, as the Gothes of the Romans, the English of the French; as also that mountainous people are ever more hardy then those of the Plains, Husbandmen then Citizens: for the former the Switz may exemplifie, without whose Infantry the French who are excellent Horse-men dare hardly take the Field; for the other, the Lord Verulam (in whose admiration I can never satisfie my self,) giving the reason why we breed so good Foot, sayes, it is because it depends on the yeomanry, the great joysts of a state as well in peace as in War, so na­ture hath infused into every Nation some particular condi­tion; in the Romans desire of Glory and Sovereignty, and a great observation of their promises. The Spaniards are reservedly proud, zealous of the honour of their Countrey. The French in the beginning of a Battel more then men, in the prosecution less then women, hot, fiery, and Mercu­rial spirits, &c. So Herodian observes the Antiochians, apt to any change. Comines, the people of Gaunt in Flanders, loving their Lords before they come into the Government, and then having them, inconstant, seditious, &c. these things will speak themselves, and are commonly the Histo­ry of the whole Nation epitomized.

To be brief, History hath this preheminency above Oratory and Poetry, that Oratory hath been rejected by the Lacedemonians; Poetry by Plato, Tertullian, and o­thers, [Page]as two pernicious instruments in a Commonwealth, to pervert mens mindes; but History was never yet reject­ed by any; for what can be more profitable then to learn wisdom by other mens follies, to get experience by other mens cost and labours, and to be safe by other mens dangers. History is like a watch-tower, on which we may see dangers afar off, and so avoid them; and what can be more pleasant then to see a Tragedy acted to the life, which onely is to be seen in History; for here we shall see the whole world, but as a Stage on which men of all sorts have acted their parts, Princes, Prelates, Peasants of all ages acting the same things, on the same Stage; who after they have laid aside their discriminating Vizards, and per­sonating Garments, they are all alike, as they were before they put them on: for Kings and Beggars have the same way of coming in, and the same way of going out; Mors Sceptra ligonibus aequat: Diogenes cannot distinguish King Philips Skull from the rest; nor is there any difference in Charons boat, between the greatest and the meanest, all must row there alike.

As for my other consideration of Epitomies, what they are, I acknowledge them to be but lively Landskips, such as if naturally drawn, are ex pede Herculem, not to reflect on those common saws, Homers Iliads in a Nut-shell, that life is short, and art is long; nor to retort at the prolixity and dulness of some Historians, some of which like Tom. Coriat memorize where they last urined; to instance one for all, Hollingshead, who discourses of tempests, of lightnings, of thunders, and trifling passages, as the burning of Brew­ers Houses, &c. of whom that learned Historian of our Na­tion Doctor Heylin writes thus, Volumnious Hollingshead and Stow, full of confusion and commixture of unworthy rela­tions. Without question a great part of the perfection of a Historian consists in the wisdom of epitomizing, in picking out the morrow of larger Histories, they being so often [Page]fraught with impertinencies, saucy censures, and too par­tial adorations; to read large Volumes young men in the heat of their youthful diversions will not condescend, and Princes have not the leisure. Virgil (if we may reflect on Tradition,) after he had written thirty verses in a morning, spent the rest of the day to convert them into three good ones; like Ben. Johnson, who to one that told him of his oyl and his lamp, the pains he took before his Births, those happy abstracts of the humours and manners of men; gave this answer, That his were Works, the other printed things for the Stage were but Playes. Dons and Cleavelands Poems, how have they whipt and pedantized the other locusts of Poetry? thus a true Diamond is to be esteemed above heaps of Bri­stol stones. To instance further, as to the writing of Lives, Historians that are thus employed, are, or ought to be the most impartial of all other Authors, except by their inte­rests and flatteries they have resolved to render themselves worse then Pimps to posterity; it being their determined employment and proper duties to pull off the perriwigs and disguises of great men, and to present them in their own colours, as a mans exterior actions are the best indicia of his minde; some men in their publick actions being meer mimicks, whereas in private they put off their assumed ha­bits and become themselves again. A disinterressed Histo­rian, for what next to God he can discover, paints them to the life; the general complaint in this particular is of the scarcity of the writers of lives: Indeed I know but few of the modern have laboured this way, for antiquity we have Laertius and Plutarch, you may happily pardon me if I touch at either of them, there is a certain abundance of moral wisdom in Laertius, he is rich in his examples of ancient Sages, is fraught almost in every page with moral instructions. Plutarchs fortune is to have engaged with warlike spirits, yet you may finde in him counsels as well for the Gown as the Sword. I conceive no reason why [Page] Bodin and some others should bark at him, and say, his Hi­story may well be called Parallels, for they never meet; truly considering their internal inclinations, by their leave, in my judgement they are admirably well suited, nay, most of their actions concur; now if one had not the same fortune, as another Countrey rose when the other fell, it makes nothing against him, since chance may help the weak to the Victory.

But lest contrary to my own Intention I should enlarge my self too much, it will now be high time for me to fall on my next particular, what is the use, benefit, and advan­tages that accrew from the reading of History. From this Study we learn the causes, rises, alterations, revolutions, characters of divers persons, the mutability of Councels, the remarkablenesse of actions, the subtleties of preten­sions, the drifts of interests, the secrets of State, the de­portments of Princes wisely dissimulating with their peo­ple, from whose ambitious pretences Politicians determine that nothing is unlawful to him that hath power, and no­thing so unsafe to a Cedar of State, as to be securely inno­cent. By the assistance of History we finde out the especi­al Affairs of their Kingdoms, their Treaties, Articles, Let­ters, Charts, Ordinances, Entertainments, Provisions of Arms, Businesses of Commerce. It is indeed one of the most profitable employments of a mans life to read Hi­stories, which stirs up men to vertue, and deterrs from vice, whilest they read how the one is rewarded, and the other punished; it makes a man serviceable both to the Church and State; it is a Study fit for Divines, to illustrate and con­firm their Doctrines, whilest they exhort to vertue, and de­hort from vice; it shews them also the encrease and decrease of Religion, with the divers concomitants thereof; it is fit for the Lawyer, to shew him the original, diversities, and changes of Laws and Governments; for the same cause it is a fit Study for all Princes, Magistrates, and Politicians, [Page]without which their Government will be but lame: and no less necessary is it to Souldiers, especially to Commanders and Captains, where they may see the the divers causes, events, attendants, and stratagems of War. Physicians also, Philosophers and Poets may reap no small benefit by reading Histories. Alexander made himself so expert a Warriour as he was, by reading the Life and Actions of Achilles; and Caesar was animated to undertake his great exploits by reading the Life of Alexander. Plutarch reports, that Paulus Aemilius who subdued Perses the Ma­cedonian King, attained to his expertness in Souldiery, by his indefatigable Study in History. Selymus the Turk cau­sed the actions of Julius Caesar to be translated (whereas his Predecessours slighted all Histories as fabulous) and by reading of these, he became so expert a Souldier, that in a short time he over-run a great part of Africa and Asia-Charles the Great was so affected with Histories, that he usually caused them to be read to him as he sat at dinner and supper. And Alexander Severus never undertook any great action, till he had first consulted with Historians. In­numerable other examples might be produced of the bene­fit attained by reading of Histories; now as they received profit from, so were they in ancient times as grateful to Historians. Polybius that wrote the Roman History, and their Wars with the Carthaginians, was honoured with a Statue on high Pillar at Megalopolis. Pompey the Great honoured Theophanes the Historian with the Priviledges of the City of Rome. The Emperour Tacitus commanded the History of Tacitus to be placed in all Libraries, and least it should perish, he caused it every year to be written ten times over. Titus Vespasian bestowed great wealth and honours on Josephus the Jewish Historian, notwithstanding he had before been his deadly enemy, and caused his Statue to be erected at Rome. So did Julian the Apostate upon Aurelius Victor, the Roman Historiographer. We read [Page]of Alphonsus King of Arragon, that he commanded the Musicians from his presence, saying, He heard a better Har­mony out of Livy. The Egyptians were so careful to pre­serve their Histories and ancient Monuments, that they slighted the Grecians, accounting them no better then chil­dren for their neglect herein. History is the general trea­sury of times past, present, and a lively pattern of things to come; and as one rightly terms it, the Work-Mistresse of Experience, and Mother of Prudence: by Prudence we finde that a good Prince that is governed by evil Ministers is in as dangerous a posture of ruine, as if he were evil him­self; we discover by the ruines of some rash great men what Ambition is, torrenti similis, which rises in an instant, and falls in a moment. In the Calamities of a Civil War we may perceive how the Law lies asleep, and how the opi­nions of the Church are traduced when all things are go­verned by the Sword, to see one brought a pallio & crepe­dis from the greatest obscurity to the Purple and Scepter; another once in the Meridian of Majesty, in a short time set below in the Horizon of contempt; the sins of the Fa­ther visited in the progeny of another Prince, of a Prince in a Nation; the hand of God guiding this dance, like the Whitel of a Clock, which moving all the rest hath not of its self any sensible motion; or as we see the Circum-ambulation of the lower Spheres, yet see not the primum mobile, whose Revolution whirles them round about.

Lastly, to consider the great delight of this Study, then which what can be greater then in History, as she reinforces Antiquity from her ruines; what can be nobler then to make the gray head of time white again? what more pleasant then to look back on that which is not, to see great Empires more unknown in their Originals then the Foun­tain head of the Nile, break out with such violent Cata­racts that they have either over-run or terrified the amazed world, and then in the height of their glory pulled down [Page]by some unexpected and improbable means, and in a man­ner so annihilated, that they have kept no Tract of their greatness, save what is found in a piece of paper.

To draw to a conclusion to my own Addresses, as to the right understanding of this Volume: I must for my own part freely acknowledge, that it is more then the Work of one man, were he of never so strong forces, to compose a passible contexture of the whole History of England; in­deed somewhat I might say for my self, as it is well known I have spent some years in these Studies, but withal I know quam sit magnum dare aliquid in manus hominum, especially in this kinde, where more is expected then hath been deli­vered before; in respect of answering the height of some insatiate curiosities, this I must write for my self, what I may profess in singlenesse of heart, that the ambition of my design hath been to keep close to truth, which to me hath seemed more amiable then all other worldly Inte­rests, to which purpose I have rendred her as she is pictured, naked, without any unnecessary tires and advantages of Wit and Eloquence; it having been my chiefest endeavour to set down things in an even and quiet order, not quarrel­ling with the belief of Antiquity, nor obseuring the least particle of truth, which I know needs not, though falshood requires supporters. Thus, as to the Authority of what I have writ, I have bound my self to the truth of History onely, retaining to my self the right of an Authour, my own liberty: As for the Method, Manner, and Phrase of writing, for my Authours I have prefixed a Catologue of them, that my Reader may know that I have not (like the men of the times) done things ex tempore; if every where I have not charged my Book with them, it is because the History for the Impartiality of it is Authour to its self; onely to avoid too often citations; where I could not go abroad, as one writes, the rest I have taken in at the win­dow. I acknowledge I had many supplies besides my own [Page]some years continued studies, I have conversed with the most knowing persons of unquestionable esteem, interest­ed in most of the late Actions, I have had the use of their Manuscripts, consulted with Records, turned over many Volumes, so that my Reader as to the grand composure of this Work shall finde nothing so loose, though one Life sometimes relates to another, but that with Lipsius his soder he may cement them together in their main position, as they will lead him by the hand into the Escurial of the History. One writes that our Historians are now adayes not crook-back'd, as is reported of the Jews, but crook-sided, warped, and bowed to the right or to the left; for my part I have declared my self unbyassed, that posterity may know that some durst still write Truth, whilest other mens fancies are more light then their hands. As it is impossible for any man to ground a true History upon the printed Pamphlets of these times, such things as passe the Presse without con­troul, so lamentable is our condition, that in such a Harvest of Printing we should have so few true Historians; on the one side being either stifled with Pamphlets, or on the other oppressed with monstrous swelled Volumes, able to wear out the eyes with reading, the hand in turning, or the memory in receiving. I must beg pardon if I have imitated Tacitus, of whom one may say without partiality, that he hath written the most matter with the best conceit, in the fewest words of any Historian. For my own part I am so greedy of well doing, as that nothing suffices the appetite of my care herein; I had rather be master of a small piece handsomely contrived, then of vast Rooms ill proportion­ed and unfurnisht. As for this Piece which I have extract­ed out of divers Historians, and contracted into a brief Epitome, I have endeavoured to set down in it all remark­able passages in as little room as I could, the Compendi­ousness whereof will be useful and acceptable to most sorts of men; as first to those who by reason of their other stu­dies [Page]and employments in the world have no leasure to read over the many Volumes of Histories which have been writ­ten; in reading of this they shall not need to spend much time, which is but short, and every wise man will be wil­ling to husband it as well as he can. 2. To those who have no patience to dwell too long upon prolix and tedi­ous Histories, from reading of which many are deterred, as growing weary before they be half way, despairing ever to attain the end of their journey. 3. To these also (Qui­bus res angusta domi) who either cannot because of their narrow means, or will not because of their narrow mindes, part with too much money on Books; in this, they that cannot reach to the price of a long Gown, may buy a short Cloak. Lastly, the benefit will accrew to all men who read this History, that they shall buy at a far cheaper rate the experiences of others recorded here, then they can buy their own; for they that live long and travel far, pay soundly for their experience; but they who read Histories enjoy the experience of all that lived before, which is far greater and much cheaper. My onely fear is, lest by essaying or epito­mizing, I should trespass too much on the soil of other mens inventions or judgements, as to prejudice truth or the persons whose mutual off-springs they are; but these things being but by the by, the Reader will not much set by them. I shall therefore come to the main and most im­portant considerations; this History though it begins with a distance of time, yet the discerning Reader shall finde, that it is not so far off that the foot-steps of time are worne out; and for those passages that have come nearest to our times, I have in my inquisitions gone betwixt the Bark and the Tree; what I have mentioned in Letters I know from whose closet they came, they are many of them never before printed, of the Caballa of State, of those of which Sir Robert Naunton sayes, if they could have been procured, would have told pretty tales of the times. [Page]If there be any persons living, who though they are not na­med, will still reflect so far on themselves as to be con­cerned, such if they rightly understand themselves, can­not be much displeased, since they may imagine what will be said of them in plain truth hereafter: this I am certain of; I have not intermixed any passion in my relations, to make my self a party, in which some have shewed them­selves better Advocates then Historians; all that I shall pretend to in this work, is no more then a bare narrative of matter of fact, digested into order of time, interposing of my own opinion in the interpretation of actions; all which traverses, as I have already expressed, I have infused nei­ther Vinegar nor Gall into my ink; if I mention a charge or impeachment, it relates to the defence that was made by the accused. To be brief, in this small Volume the Reader may see the prosperous and torne estates of Princes and other persons, the declination of the Cleargy, and the af­fairs of the Souldiery; in all which transactions, one life will smooth the way for another, that he that considers the one without the other, sees but with one eye; indeed the chief materials this Volume is built up of, are of the exploits and successes of my own Countreymen, as well in their forreign expeditions, as what was transacted at home. In the com­posure of this Volume, amongst the lives and draughts of the Worthies, I must acknowledge through the perswasi­ons of friends, who prevailed with my pen. I have inserted some few inferiour Lives, amongst the rest Master Lilburnes, which though not agreeing with the title of my Book, may as I have in his strange life expressed, pass as a Wonder, for some of the Royalists at the latter end of the Volume, ex­cept I would have defaced my endeavours, and spoiled the intention of my design, I could not but particularize them; as otherwise I must have made by themselves two little Volumes of the late King and the Protector, to the impro­per alteration, if not the spoiling the method of my designs; [Page]as they are successively placed, so their enemies, if they love to read of their own sad triumphs of their former actions, they will appear even to them as so many beauty spots in the face of this Epitome of the English History. There are several other Lives which were never before writ, these as I had no track in History to finde out the series of their transactions, cost me many hours of conversation with their friends and such as best knew them, from whom I received such light, as that together with their own so well known splendours, their more Heroick publick deportments, which to me as also to themselves were their own History, though it hath been my good fortune to represent them in their still surviving pictures, which I question not but this pre­sent age as also posterity will be very well pleased with. In the choice of these lives I have not so much tickled my own fancy, as pursued our English History in no ordinary me­thod, but such a one as to my knowledge the like is not ex­tant in our English tongue; the general way of writing being of the Chronicles of the Kings, which path in my opinion had been too vulgar, and too much trode in: the lives of particular persons being in them either obscured or too lightly toucht on; whereas giving them their due lustre, these Diamonds, as relating to the Crown, with their splendor illumniate the several Reigns as they fall in their succession of time; and though every Prince is not inser­ted as so vulgarly known, nevertheless his story in these Heroes is for the main continued. I shall excuse my omissi­on of these late Princes, Henry the eighth, Edward the sixth, Queen Mary, Queen, Elizabeth, and King James, as the people have from their continued reading their trans­actions imprinted in their mindes. For those that are still behinde hand, that are not versed in the English History, I thought fit to give them this short advice for the election of their Authors; Speed may be entertained though his Vo­lume be large, he hath fewer impertinencies then some [Page]other more volumnious Historians. Sir Richard Baker is to be honoured for his handsome stile and method; these two Authors the Student may make use of as intire in themselves, though without dispute our English History hath been ren­dred best in parts; the writers having bestowed more pains, and have been more intent upon the Reigns they have undertook. Thus the Readers best way will be to take the admirable Daniel, the most succinct Authour, and the most judicious and notable for his censures, he writes from the beginning of our Story to Richard the Second. Then he must make as good a shift as he can with Trussel, who writes ad rem, though not with so acute a pen; he goes unto Henry the Seventh, whose Reign above all others read the Lord Verulam. Thence proceed to peruse Bishop God­win, whose Annals contain Henry the Eighth, Edward the Sixth, and Queen Mary; the incomparable Cambden goes on with Queen Elizabeth. The parcel Historians that have done excellently in particular Lives, are Sir John Hey­ward, Sir Robert Cotton, the Lord Herbert, Mr. Habington, Dr. Heylin, Mr. Fuller, Mr. Le-Strange, Squire Sanderson, Mr. Rushworth, and others. But I fear I have already been too tedious, I shall immediately conclude with this request, that for the errours and failings of my pen, as it is a com­mon saying, Humanum est errare, so I submit my pen to the censures of the more learned, entreating them in their better Judgements to correct my unwilling mistakes; for the oversight of printing I shall onely crave pardon of course, as it is a fate common to Books and Book-men not to be avoided; whatsoever the faults are; let them redound to my self, I wish the profit to others, but above all attribute the Glory to God.

William Winstanley.

The Names of the Authors cited in this Book.

  • ALluridus Ri­vallensis
  • Mr. Ascham
  • Mr. Charles Allen
  • Alexander ab Ale­xandro
  • Ausonius.
  • Sir Richard Baker
  • Bale
  • Mr. Buckley
  • Mr. Buck
  • Sir John Beaumont
  • St. Bede
  • Du Bartus
  • Carton
  • Cambden
  • Chaucer
  • Chronicum Chro­nicorum
  • St. Chrysostom
  • Comines
  • Mr. Chrashaw.
  • Mr. Cleaveland
  • Cattullus
  • Drayton
  • Sir Simon D'ewes
  • Sir Wil. Davenant
  • Eusebiue
  • Eutropius
  • Enguerrant
  • Erasmus
  • Mr. Fuller
  • Mr. Fox
  • Froysart
  • Fabian
  • Geoffery of Mon­mouth
  • Gower
  • Bishop Godwyn
  • Giraldus Cam­breusis
  • Grafton
  • Habington
  • Dr. Hackwel
  • Hall
  • Sir John Har­rington
  • Lord Herbert
  • Herodian
  • Dr. Heylin
  • Hollingshead
  • Hector Boetius
  • Hoveden
  • Horace
  • Homer
  • Juvenal
  • Joseph of Excester
  • Isaacson
  • King James
  • Leiland
  • Lucan
  • Lidgate
  • Lambert
  • Mr. Le-strange
  • Mathew Paris
  • Major
  • Martin
  • Sir Tho. Moor
  • Marianus Scotus
  • Necham
  • Ninius
  • Mr. Alexander Ne­vil.
  • Sir R. Naunton
  • St. Nazzianzen
  • T. Occleve
  • Ovid
  • Paulus Orosius.
  • [Page]Platina
  • Paradin
  • Paulus Aemylius
  • Plutarch
  • Poggins
  • Propertius
  • Paulus Diaconus
  • Polychronicon
  • Polydor Virgil
  • Paulus Jovius
  • Pindarus
  • Petrarch
  • Mr. Quarles
  • John Rouce
  • Tho. Randolph
  • Rushanger
  • Sandys
  • Shakespear
  • Sleidan
  • Speed
  • Stow
  • Sozomenus
  • Sabellicus
  • Stapleton
  • Suetonius
  • Spenser
  • Sir Philip Sidney
  • Serres
  • Selden
  • Theodoritus
  • Tibullus
  • Tacitus
  • Trussel
  • Nicholas Trivet
  • Tertullian
  • Victor
  • Verstigan
  • Virgil
  • Will. of Newberry
  • Will. of Malms­bury
  • Walsingham
  • Weever
  • Waller
  • Xenophon
  • Zosimus

The Reader is desired to correct these Errata's with his Pen, the most material being in Sir Walter Raleigh's Life; his Letter to the Duke of Buckingham should have been pla­ced after his Voyage to Guyana.

PAge 17. line 30. read falne. p. 24. l. 25. for Danes read English. l. 32. r. depart. p. 44 l. 17. r. Denmark. p. 80. l. 1. r. his. l. 11. r. sky. p. 92. l. 6. for himself r. him. p. 101. l 6. r. progress. p. 129. l. 18. after enterprize, r. which they refused. p. 186. l. 8. r. the. p. 207. l. 12. r. they. p. 228. l, 27. r. bait. p. 251. in the title r. Sir Walter Raleigh. p. 253. l. 17. r. Rams. l. 29. r. unfortunately. p. 255. l. 16. r. intercessor. p. 279. l. 18. r. Pallas. p. 329. l. 2. r. Strafford. p. 333. l. 19. r. Strafford. p. 405. l. 3. r. Louden. p. 477. l. 29. r. fit. p. 520. l. last r. Ship. p. 562. l. 33. r. tail.

The Names of those whose Lives are written in this Book.

  • 1 COnstantine the Great Folio 1
  • 2 King Arthur Folio 8
  • 3 Dunstan Folio 16
  • 4 Edmond Ironside Folio 22
  • 5 Edward the Confessor Folio 29
  • 6 William the Conqueror Folio 38
  • 7 Thomas Becket Folio 49
  • 8 Richard the First Folio 55
  • 9 Edward the Third Folio 66
  • 10 Edw. the Black Prince Folio 79
  • 11 Sir John Hawkwood Folio 88
  • 12 Geoffery Chaucer Folio 91
  • 13 Henry the Fifth Folio 98
  • 14 John D. of Bedford Folio 115
  • 15 Richard Nevil Earl of Warwick Folio 125
  • 16 Richard the Third Folio 140
  • 17 Thomas Howard Earl of Surrey Folio 145
  • 18 Cardinal Wolsey Folio 151
  • 19 Sir Thomas Moor Folio 155
  • 20 Thomas Cromwel Earl of Essex Folio 170
  • 21 Sir Philip Sidney Folio 179
  • 22 Robert E. of Leicester Folio 186
  • 23 The Lord Burleigh Folio 195
  • 24 Sir Francis Drake Folio 205
  • 25 Sir Francis Walsingham Folio 215
  • 26 Sir Nicholas Bacon Folio 219
  • 27 Robert Devereux Earl of Essex Folio 221
  • 28 Sir Robert Cecil Folio 238
  • 29 Sir Tho. Overbury Folio 241
  • 30 Sir Walter Rawleigh Folio 250
  • 31 Mr. Wil. Cambden Folio 261
  • 32 Mr. Tho. Sutton Folio 268
  • 33 Sir Francis Bacon Folio 273
  • 34 Lancelot Andrews Bi­shop of Winchester Folio 289
  • 35 Doctor Donne Folio 298
  • 36 George Villiers Duke of Buckingham Folio 308
  • 37 Sir Henry Wotton Folio 319
  • 38 Tho. Wentworth Earle of Strafford Folio 329
  • 39 William Laud Archbi­shop of Canterbury Folio 343
  • 40 Robert Devereux Earl of Essex, General of the Par­liaments Forces Folio 350
  • 41 Sir Charles Lucas Folio 356
  • 42 King Charles Folio 363
  • 43 The Lord Capel Folio 433
  • 44 James Marquesse of Montross. Folio 446
  • 45 Bishop Usher Folio 469
  • 46 John Lilburne Folio 479
  • 47 Oliver Cromwel Folio 525

Englands Worthies, Select Lives of the most Eminent PERSONS of the Three Nati­ons, from Constantine the Great, to the Death of the late Lord Pro­tector, Oliver Cromwell.