Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 41.djvu/260
his intercession Prynne was remanded without further censure. Noye, however, was not to be baulked (cf. Winthrop Papers in Massachusetts Hist. Coll. 4th ser. vi. 414–19). At the beginning of the long vacation, when most of the Star-chamber lords were out of town, he contrived to get an order drawn up for Prynne's close confinement, and having thus secured his prey went down to Tunbridge Wells to drink the waters. The waters failed to afford the relief he sought, and, tortured by the stone and weakened by frequent hæmorrhage, he soon retired to his house at New Brentford, where he died on Saturday, 9 Aug. 1634. He was buried on the following Monday in the chancel of the parish church.
Noye was mourned by Laud as ‘a dear friend’ and stout champion of the church. By the unscrupulous manner in which he had prostituted his vast learning and ingenuity to the service of tyranny—the revival of the forest laws, the infamous soap monopoly, the writ of ship money, were his work—he had incurred much popular odium, and he was hardly cold in his grave when he was dissected in effigy on the London stage in a farce entitled ‘A Projector lately Dead,’ a ‘hundred proclamations being found in his head, a bundle of moth-eaten records in his mouth, and a barrel of soap in his belly’ (ib. p. 418).
Though no orator, Noye was a lucid and effective speaker. As a lawyer he had in his day no superior. Prynne calls him ‘that great Gamaliel of the law,’ and among his pupils were Sir Orlando Bridgman, Sir John Maynard, and Sir Matthew Hale. Notwithstanding his early connection with the popular party it is probable that he took from the first a somewhat high view of the royal prerogative, and entertained a cordial antipathy to the puritans. In 1626 he gave a noble stained-glass window to Lincoln's Inn Chapel. He appears to have been a good scholar, and though, by the testimony of his contemporaries, ‘passing humorous,’ or, as we should say, whimsical, and of a somewhat rough and cynical demeanour, was nevertheless a man of solid and sterling parts. ‘His apprehension,’ says Wood, ‘was quick and clear, his judgment methodical and solid, his memory strong, his curiosity deep and searching, his temper patient and cautious.’ Clarendon imputes to him an inordinate vanity, and some colour is given to the charge by his epitaph, written by himself at the close of his statute book:—
‘Hic jaceo judex Astrææ fidus alumnus,
Quam, simul ac terris fugit, ad astra sequar.
Non ego me—defunctus enim mihi vivo superstes,
Sed mecum doleo jura Britanna mori.’
On the other hand he left express injunctions that he should be buried without funeral pomp.
Noye was painted by Cornelius Janssen and William Faithorne the elder [q. v.] A copy of the picture by Janssen, presented by Davies Gilbert [q. v.], the historian of Cornwall, hangs in the hall of Exeter College, Oxford. There is an excellent engraving from the original in Charles Sandoe Gilbert's ‘Historical Survey of Cornwall,’ vol. i. facing p. 132 (cf. Clarendon, Rebellion, ed. 1721, vol. i. facing p. 73). An engraving of the picture by Faithorne forms the frontispiece to Noye's ‘Compleat Lawyer,’ ed. 1674. Unless extremely flattered by both painters, Noye was a man of handsome and distinguished appearance, to whom the epithet ‘amorphous’ applied to him by Carlyle (Cromwell, Introduction, chap. iv. ad fin.) is singularly inappropriate.
Noye married, 26 Nov. 1606, Sara, daughter of Humphrey Yorke of Phillack, near Redruth, Cornwall, by whom he had issue two sons and a daughter. By his will, printed in ‘European Magazine,’ 1784, pp. 335–6, he devised the bulk of his property, including an estate at Carnanton, Mawgan-in-Pyder, Cornwall, to his eldest son Edward, whom, with grim humour, he enjoined to waste it, adding, ‘nec melius speravi.’ An estate at Warbstow in the same county went to his second son, Humphrey. The spendthrift heir was killed by a Captain Byron in a duel in France within two years of his father's death, and left no issue. Humphrey Noye (1614–1679), B.A. of Exeter College, Oxford, fought for the king during the civil war, was in the commission of the peace for Cornwall, and died in 1679, being buried at Mawgan-in-Pyder, and leaving by his wife Hester, daughter of Henry Sandys, and sister of Edwyn, last baron Sandys of The Vine, two sons, both of whom died without issue, and three daughters, of whom the second, Catherine, was the ancestress of Davies Gilbert. Bridgeman, the third daughter, married, in 1685, John Willyams of Roseworthy, and brought with her the Carnanton estates, which have remained in the hands of their posterity.From Noye's papers were published after his death the following: 1. ‘A Treatise of the Principall Grounds and Maximes of the Lawes of this Kingdome. Very useful and commodious for all Studients and such others as desire the Knowledge and Understanding of the Lawes’ (originally written in law French),