Sidor som bilder

As for king Adenes, or Adenez (whose name in the first passage above is corruptly printed Adams), he is recorded in the Bibliothèque des Romans, Amst. 1734, 12mo. vol. i. page 232, to have composed the two romances in verse above mentioned, and a third, entitled, Le Roman de Bertin; all three being preserved in a MS. written about 1270. His Bon Duc Henry, I conceive to have been Henry Duke of Brabant.

(BB2) King of the Minstrels, &c.] See Anstis's Register of the Order of the Garter, ii. p. 303, who tells us, "The President or Governour of the Minstrels had the like denomination of Roy in France and Burgundy; and in England, John of Gaunt constituted such an officer by a patent; and long before his time payments were made by the Crown to [a] King of the Minstrels by Edw. I. Regi Roberto Ministrallo scutifero ad arma commoranti ad vadia Regis anno 5to. [Bibl. Cotton. Vespas. c. 16. f. 3], as likewise [Libro Garderob. 25 E. I.] Ministrallis in die nuptiarum Comitissæ Hollandfiliæ Regis, Regi Pago, Johanni Vidulatori, &c. Morello Regi, &c. Druetto Monthaut, et Jacketto de Scot. Regibus, cuilibet eorum, xl. s. Regi Pagio de Hollandia, &c. Under Ed. II. we likewise find other entries, Regi Roberto et aliis Ministrallis facientibus Menistrallias [Ministralcias, qu.] suas coram Rege. [Bibl. Cotton. Nero, c. 8. p. 84. b. Comp. Garderob.] That King granted Willielmo de Morlee dicto Roy de North, Ministrallo Regis, domos quæ fuerunt Johannis le Boteler dicti Roy Brunhaud [Pat. de terr. forisfact. 16 E. III.]." He adds below (p. 304), a similar instance of a Rex Juglatorum, and that the "King of the Minstrels" at length was styled in France Roy des Violons (Furetiere Diction. Univers.), as with us, "King of the Fiddlers;" on which subject see below, note (EE2).

(BB3) The Statute 4 Hen. IV. (1402), c. 27, runs in these terms, "Item, pur eschuir plusieurs diseases et mischiefs qont advenuz devaunt ces heures en la terre de Gales par plusieurs Westours,Rymours, Minstralx, et autres Vacabondes,

ordeignez est et establiz qe nul Westour, Rymour, Ministral ne Vacabond soit aucunement sustenuz en la terre de Gales pur faire kymorthas ou coillage sur la commune poeple illoeques." This is among the severe laws against the Welsh, passed during the resentment occasioned by the outrages committed under Owen Glendour; and as the Welsh Bards had excited their countrymen to rebellion against the English government, it is not to be wondered that the Act is conceived in terms of the utmost indignation and contempt against this class of men, who are described as Rymours, Ministralx, which are apparently here used as only synonymous terms to express the Welsh Bards with the usual exuberance of our Acts of Parliament; for if their Ministralx had been mere musicians, they would not have required the vigilance of the English legislature to suppress them. It was their songs exciting their countrymen to insurrection which produced "les diseases et mischiefs en la terre de Gales."

It is also submitted to the reader, whether the same application of the terms does not still more clearly appear in the Commission issued in 1567, and printed in Evan Evans's Specimens of Welch Poetry, 1764, 4to. p. v. for bestowing the SILVER HARP on "the chief of that faculty." For after setting forth "that vagrant and idle persons, naming themselves Minstrels, Rythmers, and Bards, had lately grown into such intolerable multitude within the Principality in North Wales, that not only gentlemen and others by their shameless disorders are oftentimes disquieted in their habitations, but also expert Minstrels and Musicians in tonge and cunynge thereby much discouraged," &c. and "hindred [of] livings and preferment," &c., it appoints a time and place, wherein all "persons that intend to maintain their living by name or colour of Minstrels, Rythmers, or Bards," within five shires of N. Wales, "shall appear to show their learnings accordingly," &c. And the Commissioners are required to admit such as shall be found worthy, into and under the degrees heretofore in use, so that they may "use, exercise, and follow the sciences and faculties of their professions in such decent Percy. 1.


order as shall appertain to each of their degrees." And the rest are to return to some honest labour, &c. upon pain to be taken as sturdy and idle vagabonds, &c.

(BB 4) Holingshed translated this passage from Tho. de Elmham's "Vita et Gesta Henrici V." scil. "Soli Omnipotenti Deo se velle victoriam imputari . . . . in tantum, quod cantus de suo triumpho fieri, seu per Citharistas vel alios quoscunque cantari penitus prohibebat." [Edit. Hearnii, 1727, p. 72.] As in his version, Holingshed attributes the making as well as singing ditties to Minstrels, it is plain he knew that men of this profession had been accustomed to do both.

(co) The Houshold Book, &c.] See Section V.

"Of the Noumbre of all my Lords Servaunts."

"Item, Mynstralls in Houshold, iij. viz. A Taberett, a Luyte, and a Rebecc." [The rebeck was a kind of fiddle with three strings.]

Sect. XLIV. 3.

"Rewardis to his Lordshipis Servaunts," &c.

"Item, My Lorde usith ande accustomyth to gyf yerly, when his Lordschipp is at home, to his Mynstrallis that be daly in his houshold, as his Tabret, Lute, ande Rebek, upon New-Yeres-day in the mornynge when they doo play at my Lordis chambre doure for his Lordschipe and my Lady, xx. s. Viz. xiij. s. iiij. d. for my Lorde, and vj. s. viij. d. for my Lady, if sche be at my Lords fyndynge, and not at hir owen; and for playing at my Lordis sone and heir chaumbre doure, the Lord Percy, ij. s. And for playinge at the chaumbre doures of my Lords yonger Sonnes, my yonge Maisters, after viii. d. the pece for every of them.-xxiij. s. iiij. d."

Sect. XLIV. 2.

"Rewardis to be yeven to strangers, as Players,,
Mynstralls, or any other," &c.

"Furst, my Lorde usith and accustomyth to gyf to the Kings Jugler; when they custome to come unto hym yerly, vj. s. viij. d.

"Item, my Lord usith and accustomyth to gyf yerely the Kynge or the Queenes Barwarde, if they have one, when they custom to com unto hym yerly,—vj. s. viij. d.

"Item, my Lorde usith and accustomyth to gyfe yerly to every Erlis Mynstrellis, when they custome to come to hym ycrely, iij. s. iiij. d. Ande if they come to my Lord seldome, ones in ij or iij yeres, than vj. s. viij. d.

"Item, my Lorde usith and accustomedeth to gife yerely to an Erls Mynstrall, if he be his speciall lorde, frende, or kynsman, if they come yerely to his Lordschipe.... Ande if they come 'to my lord' seldome, ones in ii or iii yeres ...."

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"Item, my Lorde useth ande accustomyth to gyf yerely a Dookes or Erlis Trumpetts, if they com vj together to his Lordshipp, viz. if they come yerly, vj. s. viij. d. Ande if they come but in ij or iij yeres, than x. s.

"Item, my Lorde useth and accustometh to gife yerly, when his Lordship is at home, to gyf to iij of the Kyngs Shams, when they com to my Lorde yerely, x. s.”

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I cannot conclude this note without observing, that in this enumeration the family Minstrels seem to have been musicians only, and yet both the Earl's Trumpets and the King's Shawms are evidently distinguished from the Earl's Minstrels and the King's Jugler. Now we find Jugglers still coupled with Pipers in Barklay's Egloges, circ. 1514. (Warton, ii. 254.)

(cc 2) The honours and rewards conferred on Minstrels, &c., in the middle ages, were excessive, as will be seen by many instances in these volumes; vid. notes (E), (F), &c. But more particularly with regard to English Minstrels, &c., see T. Warton's Hist. of Eng. Poetry, i. p. 89–92, 116, &c.; ii. 105, 106, 254, &c. Dr. Burney's Hist. of Music, ii. p. 316319, 397-399, 427, 428.

On this head, it may be sufficient to add the following passage from the Fleta, lib. ii. c. 23. "Officium Elemosinarij

est, Equos relictos, Robas, Pecuniam, et alia ad Elemosinam largiter recipere et fideliter distribuere; debet etiam Regem super Elemosinæ largitione crebris summonitionibus stimulare et præcipue diebus Sanctorum, et rogare ne Robas suas quæ magni sunt precij Histrionibus, Blanditoribus, Adulatoribus, Accusatoribus, vel Menestrallis, sed ad Elemosinæ suæ incrementum jubeat largiri." Et in c. 72. "Ministralli, vel Adulatoris."

(DD) A species of men who did not sing, &c.] It appears from the passage of Erasmus here referred to, that there still existed in England of that species of Jongleurs or Minstrels, whom the French called by the peculiar name of Conteours, or reciters in prose: it is in his Ecclesiastes, where he is speaking of such preachers as imitated the tone of beggars or mountebanks:- -"Apud Anglos est simile genus hominum, quales apud Italos sunt Circulatores [Mountebanks] de quibus modo dictum est; qui irrumpunt in convivia Magnatum, aut in Cauponas Vinarias; et argumentum aliquod, quod edidicerunt, recitant; puta mortem omnibus dominari, aut laudem matrimonii. Sed quoniam ea lingua monosyllabis fere constat, quemadmodum Germanica; atque illi [sc. this peculiar species of Reciters] studio vitant cantum, nobis (sc. Erasmus, who did not understand a word of English) latrare videntur verius quam loqui." Opera, tom. v. c. 958. (Jortin, vol. ii. p. 193.) As Erasmus was correcting the vice of preachers, it was more to his point to bring an instance from the moral reciters of prose than from chanters of rhyme; though the latter would probably be more popular, and therefore more


(EE) This character is supposed to have been suggested by descriptions of Minstrels in the romance of Morte Arthur; but none, it seems, have been found which come nearer to it than the following, which I shall produce, not only that the reader may judge of the resemblance, but to show how nearly the idea of the Minstrel character given in this Essay corresponds with that of our old writers.

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