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Churchyard, Thomas


Subject Literature » Renaissance Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405194495.2012.x


The name of the Shrewsbury-born soldier and prolific writer Thomas Churchyard (?1523–?1604) is relatively unknown in the twenty-first century. Yet from the satire Davy Dycars dreame (c.1552) to Sorrowfull verses made on [the] death of our most soveraigne lady Queen Elizabeth (1604), his generically diverse range of texts – including a military biography, royal progresses, chorographies, tragedies, translations, epitaphs, and liminary verses – weave their way through Tudor literary culture. Churchyard is invoked in Gabriel Harvey's so-called ‘Letter book’ (1573–80) and Pierces supererogation (1593), and William Webbe's A discourse of English poetrie (1586). Edmund Spenser figures the author as ‘old Palemon’ in Colin Clouts come home againe (1595), while in Palladis tamia (1598) Francis Meres includes Churchyard in his catalogue of writers ‘most passionate among us to bewaile the complexities of love’. The second part of the anonymous university play, The returne from Pernassus (c.1601), features a brief discussion of Churchyard and one of his most renowned works, ‘Shore's wife’. Initially published in the 1563 edition of William Baldwin's A mirrour for magistrates , the tragic verse focusing on Edward IV's mistress was joined in the 1587 edition by Churchyard's complaint of Thomas Wolsey ( Richards 2009 ). As his first appearances in print demonstrate, Churchyard's ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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