Tucked inside the cover of this sixteenth-century Latin dictionary by Etienne Bellengard has been found an unknown seventeenth-century handwritten poem. Translated from its original Latin into English, it opens thus: ‘As soon as Charles had fled his native shores, every corner was filled with tears’. The Charles referred to is the future King Charles I (then Prince of Wales), whose clandestine visit to Spain to secure a marriage between him and the Infanta Maria Anna (an episode known as the Spanish Match) inspired these verses.
The poem seems to have been the work of a student at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, Forth Winthrop (1609–1630). The fifth line of the poem, ‘Telemacho salvo nunquam visendum Ulysses’, also appears in a letter written by Forth Winthrop to his brother John, in c. 1627–8. Forth Winthrop’s father was John Winthrop (1588–1649) who in 1630 led a large group of immigrants to the New World, becoming the founder of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and later its first governor.
(First of two pages)
Author: Etienne Bellengard
Title: Sententiarum volumen absolutissimum [Complete volume of opinions] (Geneva, 1587)
Shelfmark: I.5.21 (catalogue record)
17th centuryForth WinthropI.5.21John Winthropmanuscriptpoem