Misyn, Richard (DNB00)

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MISYN, RICHARD (d. 1462?), Carmelite, and probably bishop of Dromore, translated Hampole's 'De Emendatione Vitæ' and 'Incendium Amoris' into English. Both are found in the MS. Corp. Christi Oxon. ccxxxvi., written on vellum in a clear fifteenth-century hand; but their claim to be in Misyn's autograph and dialect has been abandoned. The 'Emendation' begins on f. 45 and has at the end: 'Thus endys the xii chapetyrs of Richarde Hampole, in to Englys translate be Frere Richard Misyn to informacioun of Cristyn sauls, 1434.' The 'Incendium,' in two books, begins on f. 1 with a preface, 'to ye askynge of thi desyre Systre Margarete;' at the end of book i. is the statement that the translator is Richard Misyn, hermit, and of the Carmelite order, bachelor of sacred theology, 1435. The end of book ii. further adds that he was then prior of the Lincoln house of Carmelites, and wrote and corrected the above (though this cannot be taken literally) on 12 July, the feast of the translation of St. Martin, 1435 (Guild of Corpus Christi, York, Surtees Soc. 1872, pp. 62, 240, 291). Misyn's 'Fire of Love' and 'Mending of Life' are being edited by the Rev. Ralph Hardy for the Early English Text Society.

In MS. Vernon and in Addit. MS. 22283, f. 147 b (later version), is the 'fourme of parfyt living,' by Richard Rolle of Hampole [q. v.], and there is no warrant for ascribing it to Misyn (Warton, ed. Hazlitt, ii. 243; cf. Cat. MSS. Univ. Cambr. Corrigenda, v. 596).

The translator is probably identical with a Richard Mysyn, suffragan and Carmelite, who in 1461 was admitted a member of the Corpus Christi guild of York, and also with the 'Beschope Musin' whose name is engraved on a cup that belonged to that guild. His see was probably Dromore, for Richard Mesin or Mesyn, bishop of Dromore, according to Bale (Carmelite Collections, Harl. MS. 3838, f. 38), died in 1462 and was buried in York monastery. Pits (Illustr. Angl. Script. p. 897), writing of one Richard Mesin as the author of several works, the names of which are not given, observes that he is said to have been buried among the Carmelites of York. Villiers de St.-Etienne (Bibl. Carmel. ii. 683-4) quotes from the consistorial acts of Calixtus III to prove that Richard Messin, Myssin, or Mesin was made bishop of Dromore on the death of Nicholas, 29 July 1457; and he was buried among the Carmelites of York. Stubbs (Registr. Angl. p. 148) gives Richard Mesin as one of the Irish bishops who was suffragan to the diocese of York in 1460.

Another Richard was bishop of Dromore in 1409 (Cal. Rot. Canc. Hibern. i. 190), and he has generally, but without sufficient authority, been called Richard Messing (Reeves, Eccles. Antiq. of Down, p. 308; Ware, Hibernia Sacra, p. 92; Cotton, Fasti Eccles. Hib. iii. 277; Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. No. 27, p. 1). This so–called Richard Messing is said to have made profession of obedience in 1408 to John Colton [q. v.], archbishop of Armagh, but Colton died in 1404.

[H. O. Coxe's Cat. Cod. in Coll. Oxon. vol. ii. Corpus Christi, No. ccxxxvi.; Tanner's Bibl. Brit.; Brady's Episcopal Succession; St.-Etienne's Bibl. Carmel. vol. ii.]

M. B.