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Of Edward Cheke, Sir John's youngest son, I know little, but that Henry, his eldest brother, was, by his father's will, to pay him an annuity of ten pounds a year. I reckon he died young also: for I find the payment of his annuity ceased after his brother had payed it him six years.
SECT. II. Henry Cheke, Sir John's eldest son. HENRY, the eldest, (who was nine years old at his father's death,) was bred up to learning also, by the care of Mr. Osborn, his father's friend; and afterwards, for improvement of his studies, was removed to King's college in Cambridge, where his father was sometime Provost. Here Bartholomew Clerke, LL.D. (afterward that officiated Dean of the Arches,) an exquisite scholar, took great care of his education; under whom he made a good progress. But to go a little back to the times before. In the year 1563 (when he must have been but young, that iş, about fifteen) he wrote a Greek epistle to Cecil, his uncle: wherein he mentioned the ancient friendship that was between his father and him; and that, for his sake, he was a friend to those that were his father's friends; and whereby he hoped also to ingratiate himself with him : shewing him withal, that his estate was but small, and that his dependance must be upon his learning : and, lastly, devoting himself to his service, and avowing that he honoured him as his father, and hoped in him as the stay and pillar of his family. And accordingly Sir William Cecil took care of him also, and admonished him, that in any need he should apply himself to him for his aid, and promised that he would be ever ready at hand to do any thing for him that might redound to his benefit. And when he was at the University, he had a special eye over him.
By the characters that were given of him to his uncle and patron, he did patrizare; treading in his excellent
father's steps, and, in respect of his probity and learning, SECT. surpassing others. Bartholomew Doddington, the Greek Professor, who was his companion, and, as it seems, his fellow collegian, gave this character of him, that he was a youth summæ probitatis, ingenii, studii, suavissimorum morum ; i. e. of notable goodness of nature, wit, studiousness, and of the sweetest disposition. Dr. Clark, his tutor, wrote frequent letters to Cecil concerning his nephew's good proficiency in his studies. The University, out of a singular love they bore to him, as well as their honourable respect to Cecil, (who was their High Chancellor,) soon gave him his grace for Master of Arts, and adopted him into the rank of their senators in the year 1568, being then scarce twenty years old, and that without any petition or suit of his made for it. Of this Dr. Clerk informed the said Cecil, and withal prayed him to allow Henry to accept it, and to enjoy an honour the University had voted him; since, by his friends' advice, he was purposed neither to accept nor refuse it, till he had the assent and counsel of him, his said uncle. He took this occasion to commend this young student for his parts, spake well of his religion and piety, of his stayedness and modesty, his learning and prudence; in all which respects, he said, one might behold in him the express image of his best and most holy parent; and, that those his abilities might appear to all, the University had appointed him to dispute in the next Commencement. And, lastly, that they had done this as a testimony of their reverence to his excellent father, and knowing the young gentleman to be the beneficiary and candidate of the most wise Cecil. Thus was he made acquainted with all proceedings relating to Mr. Cheke.
To trace this gentleman further. About the year 1569 Marries or 1570 he marries ; falling in love with Frances, daughter Ratclift
. of the Lady Ratcliff, who was wife to Sir Humphry Radcliff, of Elstow, Knight, whose son Edward was Earl of
- Sive enim religionem et pietatem seu gravitatem et modestiam, sive literas et prudentiam spectes, omni ex parte videbis in eo expressam patris optimi ac religiosissimi effigiem.
lates his uncle in Greek.
CHAP. Sussex. Of this his affection he acquainted his uncle Cecil,
to whom he confessed his love, but, notwithstanding, without his advice he would not proceed. And his consent and furtherance he seems to have obtained; for he mar
ried her, and had children by her. Congratu- In the year 1572 he wrote his uncle a Greek epistle
congratulatory, upon his being made Lord High Treasurer, dated from Elnest in Bedfordshire.
Henry Cheke's condition was somewhat strait, and his tion as to incomes scarcely sufficient for his expenses. It appears, worldly
those lands that Queen Mary made over to Sir John Cheke were still held fast, either by the crown or private hands, and not yet possessed by his heir : for, in one of his letters to Cecil, he shewed him, that he had indeed some estate, but not to be enjoyed without much trouble and expense for the recovery, being gotten into other men's possessions, and his houses upon his farms much out of repair. He petitioned the Queen for his estate, and Sir William Cecil presented and forwarded his suit. It was for the manor of Hunden, in the county of Suffolk. The fee simple was in his father, but now in the Queen, and she had promised his mother to restore such things as were his father's. He set forth in his petition, that it was no prejudice to the Queen, but only losing the fine: for as' to the parks, they were more charges to her than she received commodity by them. By this it seems to appear, that the exchange before mentioned, between Queen Mary and Sir John, was not completed at his death, or at least was not enjoyed by him, though that Queen detained and enjoyed his lands so exchanged. Certain it is, that his circumstances were at this time but short, and annuities went out of his estate. He paid 101. a year to his youngest brother, and 10l. a year to his schoolmaster; a gratuity common in those times from gentlemen to their instructors. The remainder was 7461. 6s. 8d. which came yearly into his purse. He was fain to make some benefit of his lands by fines; but yet, notwithstanding, he went behindhand, whatever his good husbandry was: so that he ac
quitted himself of housekeeping, and paying for his board, SECT. · by the courtesy of some of his friends; otherwise he must have fallen into extreme debt, and sold his land, as he signified his case to his uncle Cecil: notwithstanding a lease also, which he had of the Bishop of Winchester, obtained by means of his said uncle, and Mr. Vice-Chamberlain.
For two or three years he and his wife and children Sojourns resided in the country with some of his friends there, viz. friends. in the year 1574 at Wintney in Hantshire, and in 1575 at Bear, in Bear Forest, in the same county.
The Queen was acquainted with his circumstances, and He travels. intended to take him into her service; but she would have him first to travel, the better to fit him for it, which he forthwith undertook. And to fit himself out, he sold so much land as yielded him 4001, the which yet served not to maintain all his charge and expense abroad. In the year 1576 he went abroad, being now about eight and twenty years of age. In this year I find him at Antwerp, hastening towards Italy, and comes to Genoa. In the beginning of the next year he was at Florence, where he was in dan- His danger. ger of his life or liberty; means being used to entrap him, by laying in wait to catch him, with intention perhaps to serve him as they had done his father, out of a hatred conceived to his name. He was advised of this by a certain English gentleman, who coming into the company of one Stewkely, from Genoa to Siena, gave him warning to seek some other place, and to look carefully to himself, as one greatly noted by some of his countrymen, who had spoken such words in his hearing, he said, as he might not declare unto him the particulars. Upon which Mr. Cheke thought fit to ask the counsel of an Italian friend, Seignior Lorenzo Guicciardini, brother unto Vincenzo Guicciardini of London; a grave wise gentleman, and very friendly unto him, and of great credit with the great Duke of Tuscany. By his advice he resolved for Padua. So in the beginning of April he took himself to Ferrara, and found great difficulty to enter into the Duke's estate; forasmuch
vation in these countries.
CHAP. as being a neighbour unto the Venetians, (where the plague then was,) he kept the passages of his territories
From thence he travelled to Padua about the end of the spring. His obser- His endeavour was (among the pleasures of his travels
through this brave country) to attain to speak the language truly and readily, which he hoped to do by Michaelmas; and then he should think he had spent that year profitably: as he wrote to the Lord Treasurer. He noted various things, and made his observations in his travels here. But in the whole he made this remark, “That he had seen
many notable cities, much rich soil, and great variety of “ states; but in his opinion he had not seen any city so “ beautiful as Florence, any soil so rich as that of Lom
bardy, nor any state so happy as the state of Eng66 land.”
He is at home in the year 1579. How much sooner he
returned I find not. Now he resided with his family at Attends the Occham in Surrey. He daily attended the Court, though
with little or no salary, yet in expectation of some place or preferment; for which he ceased not, as he might with modesty, to solicit his uncle, the Lord Treasurer, being his highest friend, at whose hand he looked for his greatest comfort in his necessity: for he had again lately sold some more of his land. He prayed that honourable person to bestow upon him some office in possession or reversion, whereby he might reap some yearly commodity, to the increase of his living. He was forced now, not by his unthriftiness, but by need, to sell a manor, amounting in yearly rent to the sum of 371. 15s. 10d. as well to pay his debts with part of the money, as to employ the rest in use to the best advantage. His debts were contracted by his late travel, and afterwards by his attendance at Court without fee, and other extraordinary expenses.
But some time after, viz. in the year 1581, (when he the Council almost now despaired of succeeding at Court,) by the inin the terest of the Lord Treasurer, he was made Secretary to the
Council in the north, in the room of one Blyth, a very ho