Brinkelow, Henry (DNB00)

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BRINKELOW, HENRY (d. 1546), satirist, son of Robert Brinkelow, a farmer of Kintbury, Berkshire, began life as a Franciscan, or Grey Friar, but left the order, married, and became a citizen and mercer of London. He adopted the opinions of the reforming party, and wrote satires on social and religious subjects under the pseudonym of Roderigo Mors. He says that he was banished from England through the influence of the bishops. By his will, dated 1546, the year of his death, and proved by his widow Margery, he left 5l. 'to the godly learned men who labour in the vineyard of the Lord, and fight against Anti-Christ.' This will shows that he was a man of substance. He left a son named John. His works are:

  1. 'The Complaynt of Roderyck Mors, sometyme a gray fryre, unto the parlament house of Ingland his natural cuntry. Mighell boys, Geneve in Savoye' (1545?); another edition, 'M. boys, Geneve' (1550); a third 'Per Franciscum de Turona' (Turin). These are in the library of the British Museum. Another edition with slight variations is in the Guildhall Library, London. The 'Complaynt' has been published by the Early English Text Society under the editorship of Mr. J. Meadows Cowper, 1874. It deals with wrongs done the people by enclosures, with the advance in rents, and with legal oppression; it recommends the confiscation of the property of bishops and deans, of chantries and the like, and, after allowing one-tenth to the crown, points out various social objects to which the remainder should be devoted. The 23rd chapter, headed 'A lamentacyon for that the body and tayle of the pope is not banished with his name,' was reprinted in 1641 as a separate broadside with the title 'The true Coppy of the Complaint of Roderyck Mors . . . unto the Parliament House of England.'
  2. 'The Lamentacion of a Christian against the Citie of London made by Roderigo Mors … Prynted at Jericho in the land of Promes by Thome Trauth' (1542); another edition, 'Nurembergh, 1545; 'another, in the Lambeth Library (no place), 1548; also edited for the Early English Text Society by Mr. J. M. Cowper, along with the 'Complaynt.'

Besides these, Mr. Cowper attributes to Brinkelow:

  1. 'A Supplycacion to our moste Soueraigne Lord Kynge Henry the Eyght,' 1544; and
  2. 'A Supplycation of the Poore Commons; 'large extracts from the 'Supplication of the Commons' are given in Strype's 'Memorials,' vol. i. Both these have been edited by Mr. Cowper for the Early English Text Society (1871) in one volume, with Fish's 'Supplication for the Beggars' edited by Mr. Furnivall. Bale, who attributes the 'Complaynt' and the 'Lamentacion,' but not the two 'Supplications,' to Brinkelow, says that he also wrote an 'Expostulation addressed to the Clergy,' which now appears to be lost. by Mr. Furnivall. Bale, who attributes the 'Complaynt' and the 'Lamentacion,' but not the two 'Supplications,' to Brinkelow, says that he also wrote an 'Expostulation addressed to the Clergy,' which now appears to be lost.

    [All that is known of Brinkelow will be found in J. M. Cowper's edition of the Complaynt of Roderick Mors, Early English Text Soc. No. 22, extra series, to which, and to the same editor's work in the volume entitled A Supplication to the Beggars, No. 13, extra series, this article is largely indebted ; Bale's Script. Brit. Cat. ii. 105; Strype's Ecclesiastical Memorials, I. i. 608.]

    W. H.