Eldred, William (DNB00)

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ELDRED, WILLIAM (fl. 1646), master gunner of Dover Castle, born about 1563, signed as a freeholder of Dover the Kentish petition for the reformation of the liturgy in 1641 [Proc. in Kent, Camd. Soc. p. 62), was author of 'The Gunner's Glasse, wherein the diligent Practicioner may see his defects, and may from point to point reform and amend all errors that are commonly incident to unskilful gunners,' sm. 4to, 1646. The book, an interesting account of the great gun exercise as then in vogue, has a quaint portrait labelled 'Ætatis suæ 83' with the verse, —

When Age and Art and Industry beside
Doth all invite, Experience being guide,
Then who will say but surely this may be
A piece of work exact from dotage free.

The dedication to the Earl of Warwick says that he had spent the greatest part of his time in Dover Castle; that he had been a gunner for about sixty years, and that for thirty years and more he had been making notes of matters relating to gunnery, which he has embodied in his little treatise. In the body of the work he mentions incidentally that he had served also as a gunner in the Low Countries and in Germany. It would appear probable that he was a relation of John Eldred and of Thomas Eldred [q. v.], but no identification is possible.

[Eldred's Gunner's Glasse; Cal. S. P. Dom. 1620-4.]

J. K. L.