Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 01.djvu/412

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André
Andreas
398

and the news came just in time to enable the latter to escape to the British lines. André acknowledged his name and the character of his mission in a letter addressed to Washington on 24 Sept., in which he declared: ‘Against my stipulation, my intention, and without my knowledge beforehand, I was conducted within one of your posts.’ On 29 Sept. he was brought before a military board convoked by Washington, which included Lafayette and other distinguished officers. The board found, as it could not possibly avoid finding, that André had acted in the character of a spy. He was therefore sentenced to execution by hanging. Every possible effort was ineffectually made by the British commander to save him, short of delivering up Arnold, which of course could not be contemplated. Washington has been unreasonably censured for not having granted him a more honourable death. To have done so would have implied a doubt as to the justice of his conviction. André was executed on 2 Oct., meeting his fate with a serenity which extorted the warmest admiration of the American officers, to whom, even during the short period of his captivity, he had greatly endeared himself. A sadder tragedy was never enacted, but it was inevitable, and no reproach rests upon any person concerned except Arnold. Washington and André, indeed, deserve equal honour: André for having accepted a terrible risk for his country and borne the consequences of failure with unshrinking courage; and Washington for having performed his duty to his own country at a great sacrifice of his feelings.

André's countrymen made haste to do him honour. The British army went into mourning for him. A monument was erected to his memory in Westminster Abbey, and in 1821 his remains were transferred to the spot. His early friend Miss Seward published a monody on his fate, not devoid of poetical merit, and containing some valuable biographical particulars in the notes. To the charm of his character and manners there is a unanimous testimony, confirmed by every recorded trait and everything we have from his pen. His military promise must have been great to have justified such rapid promotion. He possessed considerable literary ability: the style of his letters is exceedingly good, and he left a satirical poem, ‘The Cow Chace’ (New York, 1780), in which the marauding exploits of the American general Wayne are ridiculed with much spirit. A pen-and-ink portrait by himself, sketched on the morning originally appointed for his execution, attests both his talent as an artist and his firmness of mind. It is engraved in Sparks's ‘Life of Arnold’ and in ‘Andreana,’ in which collection there are three other portraits. The original of the sketch is at Yale College.

[The fullest authority for André's life is the biography by Winthrop Sargent (Philadelphia, 1862), of which, however, only 75 copies were printed. Mr. Sargent has been somewhat more liberal with his ‘Andreana,’ a collection of documents relating to André's trial, of which he has printed no less than 100 copies. See also Benson's Vindication of the Captors of Major André (1817, and reprinted in 1865); and Joshua H. Smith's Narrative of the Causes which led to the Death of Major André (London, 1808); Miss Seward's Monody, with the notes; the lives of Benedict Arnold by Jared Sparks and Isaac T. Arnold; and the various biographers of Washington and historians of the American war.]

R. G.

ANDREAS, or ANDRÉ, BERNARD (fl. 1500), poet and historian, was a Frenchman by birth, being a native of Toulouse, but came to England together with, or shortly before, Henry VII, whose poet laureate and historiographer he became. Nothing is known of his family, though he is described by a contemporary as of distinguished birth; nor can we even guess the date at which he was born, except vaguely from the fact that in 1521 he describes himself as having attained extreme old age. He was probably introduced to the notice of Henry VII by Fox, afterwards bishop of Winchester, whom he calls his Mæcenas. He received his appointment as poet laureate and a pension from the crown soon after Henry came to the throne. He is repeatedly called ‘the blind poet’ in the accounts of the king's payments, and allusions to this privation occur throughout his writings. Nevertheless, for his ripe scholarship he was appointed tutor to the king's eldest son, Prince Arthur, and probably had no small share in the education of his brother also, the future Henry VIII. He had doubtless taken priest's orders long before, and it seems that he had also been tutor at Oxford. He was, moreover, a friar of the Augustinian order. In 1486 he received a pension of ten marks from the king, and in 1498 the Bishop of Lincoln conferred on him the hospital of St. Leonard, Bedford, which he resigned the following year. In 1500 he was presented by the king to the parish church of Guisnes near Calais; and in 1501 the Abbot of Glastonbury conferred on him the benefice of Higham, which he resigned in 1505 on a pension of 24l. paid to him by his successor.

In the year 1500 he began to write a life of Henry VII, most of which, though very