Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 19.djvu/325
cial position as to assist at the consecration of Bishop Day of Winchester and Bishop Vaughan of Bangor, 25 Jan. 1596; in March he issued orders regulating the exercise of their authority by ecclesiastical officers within his diocese (Collier, Eccl. Hist. ix. 352–6), and in the following May he ventured to ask for the appointment of his brother, Dr. Giles Fletcher the elder [q. v.], as an extraordinary master of requests (Lansd. MSS. lxxxii. 28). But his spirit was broken. On 13 June 1596 he assisted at the consecration of Bilson as bishop of Worcester. He sat in commission on 15 June till 6 P.M., and was smoking a pipe of tobacco (of which he was immoderately fond, and to which Camden, prejudiced against a novel habit, groundlessly attributes his end) when he suddenly exclaimed to his servant, ‘Boy, I die,’ and breathed his last. He was buried in St. Paul's Cathedral without any memorial, leaving eight children, several of whom were still very young. He died insolvent, with large debts due to the queen and others, his whole estate consisting of his house at Chelsea, plate worth 400l., and other property amounting to 500l. A memorial on behalf of his family was at once presented to the queen. It was urged that his debts were caused partly by his rapid promotions, involving heavy payments of first-fruits, partly by ‘allowances or gratifications’ made to members of her court, by her desire, while he had spent the whole revenue of his see on hospitality and other duties incumbent on his office. His death, chiefly due to the queen's anger at his marriage, had atoned for the offence so given. His children had no resources, and their uncle with nine children of his own had barely enough for his family (Green, Calendar of State Papers, Dom. June 1596). What was the result of this appeal to Elizabeth's generosity we are not informed. His widow took for her third husband Sir Stephen Thornhurst, knight, and dying in 1609 was buried in Canterbury Cathedral. Five of his eight children were: Nathanael (b. 1575), Theophilus (b. 1577), Elizabeth (b. 1578), John, the famous dramatist [q. v.], and Maria (b. in London 1592). His will is dated 26 Oct. 1593, and was proved 23 June 1596.
Camden styles Fletcher ‘præsul splendidus.’ Fuller describes him as ‘one of a comely person and goodly presence. … He loved to ride the great horse, and had much skill in managing thereof; condemned for being proud (such was his natural stately gait) by such as knew him not, and commended for humility by those acquainted with him. He lost the queen's favour by reason of his second marriage, and died suddenly more of grief than any other disease’ (Fuller, Church Hist. v. 231).
From the leading part he took in the composition of the ‘Lambeth Articles,’ and his patronage of Robert Abbot [q. v.], afterwards bishop of Salisbury, his theology was evidently Calvinistic. Fletcher published nothing. The manuscripts of the two sermons (see above) preached at Fotheringay and before Elizabeth after Mary's execution are in the library of St. John's College, Cambridge (i. 30), together with (1) a relation of the proceedings against the queen of Scots at Fotheringay on 12, 14, and 20 Oct., (2) a relation of divers matters that passed at Fotheringay on 8 Feb. 1586–7, and of the execution of Mary, and (3) the manner of the solemnity of the funeral of Mary on 1 Aug. Strype has printed his exhortation to Mary upon her execution (Annals, iii. i. 560), and Gunton his prayer at the execution (Hist. of Peterborough, p. 75). His articles of visitation are to be found in Strype (Annals, iv. 350), and some of his letters to Burghley (Strype, Whitgift, ii. 204–57).[Strype's Annals; Cooper's Athenæ Cantabr. ii. 205, 548; Dyce's Beaumont and Fletcher, i. 7, 38; Faulkner's Chelsea, ii. 127, 197; Fuller's Ch. Hist. v. 231; Collier's Ch. Hist. vii. 222, 396, ix. 352; Milman's St. Paul's, p. 301; Camden's Annals, sub an. 1596; Cole MSS. xxvii. 22, xxxi. 305; Masters's Hist. of C.C.C. (ed. Lamb), p. 323.]
FLETCHER, Sir RICHARD (1768–1813), lieutenant-colonel royal engineers, son of the Rev. R. Fletcher, who died at Ipswich 17 May 1813, was born in 1768. He passed through the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, was gazetted a second lieutenant in the royal artillery 9 July 1788, and transferred to the royal engineers on 29 June 1790. In 1791 he was sent to the West Indies, and took part in the capture of Martinique, Guadaloupe, and St. Lucia. At the storming of the Morne Fortuné in the latter island, he was wounded in the head by a musket-ball. He for a time commanded the royal engineers at Dominica, and, returning to England at the end of 1796, was appointed adjutant of the royal military artificers at Portsmouth. On 27 Nov. of this year he married a daughter of Dr. Mudge of Plymouth, and continued to serve at Portsmouth until December 1798, when he was ordered to Constantinople, and appointed a major while employed in Turkey. On his way out he was shipwrecked off the Elbe, and had to cross two miles of ice to reach the shore. He reached Constantinople in March 1799, and in June of that year accompanied the grand vizier in his march to Syria. On his return from this expedition he was employed