Glemham, Edward (DNB00)

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GLEMHAM, EDWARD (fl. 1590–1594), voyager, of Benhall in Suffolk, esquire, in 1590 fitted out, as owner and sole adventurer, the ship Edward and Constance, of 240 tons, in which he sailed from Gravesend in August. He proceeded in the first instance to the Azores, where he landed on St. George's Island with a party of eighty-six men; but finding himself unable to hold the island, as he appears to have intended, he concluded a truce with the governor, and withdrew. He then met with six Spanish ships, two of which he succeeded in destroying; afterwards he had a fierce engagement with four galleys bound for Marseilles, which he beat off; and having refitted at Algiers, entered the Mediterranean, where he captured a large vessel laden with sugar and other valuable merchandise, which was afterwards claimed as Venetian property. The case, as tried in the admiralty court, seemed doubtful, and the judgment was that Glemham was to have the goods ‘on a bond in double of their value, to pay their just value within two months after proof has been made, or for so much as is proved to belong to Venetians or others not subjects of the King of Spain’ (Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, 17 May 1592). An account of the early part of the voyage was published anonymously in 1591 [sm. 4to, 8 leaves, black letter; reprinted 1820, 8vo], under the title of ‘The Honorable Actions of that most famous and valiant Englishman, Edward Glemham, esquire, latelie obtained against the Spaniards and the Holy Leauge in foure sundrie fightes. …’ Some commendatory verses at the end of the narration express a wish that he may safely return, ‘freighted with gold and pearl of India’—a wish which seems to have been fulfilled only in respect of the safety. A second voyage, undertaken very shortly after the first, was described by the same writer in a small pamphlet published in 1594 (sm. 4to, pp. 24, black letter; reprinted 1866 in Collier's Illustrations of Old English Literature, vol. i.), under the title of ‘Newes from the Levane Seas. Describing the many perilous events of the most woorthy deserving Gentleman Edward Glenham, Esquire. …’ Glemham's ventures seem to have been unfortunate, if we may judge from the fact that, starting with a good property, ‘feasting his friends and relieving the poor plentifully,’ and having a wife ‘sole heir of a right worshipful knight, famous in his life and of great possessions,’ he sold Benhall away from the family to Edward Duke, who died in 1598 (Page, Supplement to the Suffolk Traveller, p. 169). In the ‘Newes from the Levane Seas,’ the name is frequently spelt Glenham, but this appears to be wrong, as the family was called after Glemham in Suffolk, their ancient seat (Collins, Peerage, edit. 1768, vi. 427).

[Authorities as above.]

J. K. L.