Malim, William (DNB00)

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MALIM, WILLIAM (1533–1594), headmaster successively of Eton and St. Paul's School, is said to have been born at Staplehurst in Kent, but in his Latin verses he more than once calls himself Cantuariensis, from which we may infer that Canterbury was his native place. The date of his birth is given as 1533. There is no reason for supposing (as in Knight, Colet, 2nd edit. p. 320) that a John Malin, a benefactor to St. Peter's, Cornhill, was his father. He was educated at Eton, and went thence to King's College, Cambridge, where he was admitted a scholar, 14 Aug. 1548. Three years afterwards he was made a fellow. He graduated B.A. in 1553, and M.A. in 1556. On 11 Jan. 1555 he was discommuned for a fortnight, but for what offence is not known. It was probably during his tenure of his fellowship that he found time for foreign travel; he himself testifies that he visited Constantinople, Antioch, Jerusalem, and other eastern cities. On 14 Jan. 1559 he was directed by his college to study civil law. But he discontinued the study on his appointment to the head-mastership of Eton in 1561, in succession to William Barker, and resigned his fellowship at King's soon afterwards. While at Eton he drew up a ‘Consuetudinarium,’ or account of the rules and observances of the college, composed, it is probable, with a view to the visit of the royal commissioners in 1561. This is preserved in the library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, but there is a transcript of it in the British Museum by Baker, which Creasy printed in his ‘Eminent Etonians.’ Malim seems to have been a severe head-master. It was in his time that the cases of flogging, followed by the escape of some scholars from Eton, occurred, which suggested to Ascham, in 1563, the composition of his ‘Scholemaster’ (in Professor Mayor's edition of the ‘Scholemaster,’ p. 204, the date 1581 is that of Malim's leaving St. Paul's, not Eton). He is said to have remained ten years at Eton. He was made prebendary of Biggleswade in Lincoln Cathedral, 3 April 1569. At Christmas 1573 he was appointed high-master of St. Paul's. Less than seven years later he petitioned the lord treasurer, Burghley, in mingled prose and verse, to relieve him from the toil of endlessly rolling up the stone of Sisyphus by some preferment which should place a ‘mediocre salinum’ on his table. But Mæcenas appears to have been obdurate, and Malim remained at St. Paul's till 8 Nov. 1581, when a successor was appointed. He is supposed to have died shortly before 15 Aug. 1594.

Malim was possessed of a fluent, though affected, Latin style, and, according to one authority (Strype, Stow, i. 167), ‘writ a fine hand.’ His extant pieces are chiefly commendatory Latin verses or letters prefixed to the works of friends, like the ‘De Republica Anglorum Instauranda’ of Sir Thomas Chaloner, Carr's translation of the ‘Olynthiacs,’ 1571, Edward Grant's ‘Spicilegium,’ 1575, and the ‘Chartæ Geographicæ Zutphaniæ,’ 1586. In the library of St. Paul's School is a copy of Chaloner's ‘De Republica,’ with a manuscript inscription to Barnaby Googe, by Malim (Athenæum, 23 Nov. 1889). Congratulatory verses or orations by Malim appear in: 1. ‘De Adventu … Elizabethæ Reginæ ad Arces Windesorienses,’ &c., when the queen was driven from London to Windsor by the plague in 1563. 2. ‘Oratio Latina Duci Ioanni Casimir,’ 1578. 3. ‘Carmina Scholæ Paulinæ in Regni Elizabethæ initium’ (MS. Reg. 12. a. lxvii, in the British Museum). In the last interesting collection, which he probably edited in 1573, although many of the pieces were written earlier, Malim's own contribution begins on leaf 2. One copy is by a ‘ffranciscus Verus,’ supposed to be Sir Francis Vere. Malim also translated from the Italian a short pamphlet on the siege and capture of Famagosta in Cyprus by the Turks, published in small 4to, by John Daye, London, 1572. The long title begins: ‘The True Report of all the successe of Famagosta, of the antique writers called Tamassus, a citie in Cyprus,’ &c. The dedication to the Earl of Leicester, which occupies seven pages out of a total of forty-eight, is dated ‘from Lambheth, the 23rd of March, An. 1572.’ One of the sets of verses in Whitney's ‘Choice of Emblemes,’ 1586, p. 152, is addressed to Malim.

[Authorities quoted; Cooper's Athenæ Cant. i. 175; Cole's MSS. xiv. f. 73; Calendar of State Papers, 1547–1580, p. 331; Gardiner's Admission Registers of St. Paul's School; Maxwell Lyte's Hist. of Eton College.]

J. H. L.