Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 58.djvu/70

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tence of which had been discovered by Professor Skeat in 1893. A trustworthy edition of the book is contained in Professor Skeat's volume of ‘Chaucerian and other Pieces,’ published in 1897.

Until 1844 ‘The Testament of Love’ was universally regarded not only as a genuine work of Chaucer, but as an authority of the highest value for the biography of the poet. In that year Sir Harris Nicolas proved that the supposed autobiographical statements were irreconcilable with the known facts of Chaucer's life; but he did not question the traditional view of the authorship, which was disproved by Wilhelm Hertzberg in 1866. The evidence of the acrostic, combined with that of the autobiographical allusions, leaves no possibility of doubt that Usk was the real author.

[John of Malvern in Higden's Polychronicon (Rolls ser.), ix. 45, 46, 134, 150, 169; English continuation of Higden (Rolls ser.), vol. viii.; Chronicon Angliæ (Rolls ser.), p. 360; Walsingham's Historia Anglicana; Knighton's Chronicle; Rolls of Parliament, vol. iii.; Skeat's Chaucerian and other Pieces, Introduction, pp. xviii–xxxi; The Testament of Love (ib.), pp. 1–145.]

H. B.


USSHER, AMBROSE (1582?–1629), scholar, born in Dublin about 1582, was third but second surviving son of Arland Ussher and his wife Margaret. James Ussher [q. v.], archbishop of Armagh, was his elder brother. Probably he was, like his brother, educated at the school in Schoolhouse Lane, Dublin; subsequently he is said to have been for a time at Cambridge. He, however, soon returned to Dublin, where he graduated M.A. and was elected fellow of the recently established university in 1601. He devoted his life to unremitting study, and, in addition to more ordinary acquirements of scholarship, he became learned in Hebrew and Arabic. Among his correspondents was Henry Briggs [q. v.] the mathematician (Rawlinson MS. C. 849, f. 5). Before the completion of the authorised version of the Bible, Ussher prepared a translation from the original Hebrew, which he dedicated to James I. It remains in manuscript in three volumes in the library of Trinity College, Dublin; a long extract from the ‘Epistle Dedicatorie’ and Ussher's translation of Genesis, chap. i., are printed in the historical manuscripts commission's fourth report (App. pp. 598–9; cf. Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. ix. 102). Ussher died at Dublin, unmarried, and was buried on 4 March 1628–9. The only work he published was a ‘Brief Catechism very well serving for the Instruction of Youth,’ printed at Dublin without date. He left, however, thirty-four works in manuscript, now preserved in Trinity College, Dublin. They include several volumes of sermons, commentaries on various portions of scripture, and notes on classical authors. Besides the translation of the Bible above mentioned, the more important are: 1. ‘Disputationes contra Bellarminum,’ 4 vols. 2. ‘An Arabian Dictionary and Grammar.’ 3. ‘Laus Astronomiæ.’ 4. ‘De Usu Sphæræ cum numero Constellationum.’ 5. ‘Summaria Religionis Christianæ Methodus.’ 6. ‘Of the Kingdom of Great Britain, or a Discourse on the Question of Scotland's Union with England.’ 7. ‘The Principles of Religion explained in English, Greek, Latin, and Hebrew.’ 8. ‘Confutatio Errorum Ecclesiæ Romanæ.’ 9. ‘Prolegomena Arabica.’ 10. ‘Collectanea Arabica et Hebraica.’

[Hist. MSS. Comm. 4th Rep. App. pp. 588, 589, 591, 592–3, 598–9; Rawlinson MS. C. 849, ff. 5, 262; Ussher's Letters, ed. Parr, 1696; Elrington's Life and Works of Ussher, i. 95–7; Wright's Ussher Memoirs, 1889; Ware's Irish Writers, ed. Harris; Taylor's Univ. of Dublin, pp. 269, 366.]

A. F. P.


USSHER, HENRY (1550?–1613), archbishop of Armagh, second of five sons of Thomas Ussher by Margaret (d. January 1597), daughter of Henry Geydon, alderman of Dublin, was born in Dublin about 1550. Ambrose Ussher [q. v.] and James Ussher [q. v.], sons of his brother Arland, were his nephews. The family name is said to have been Neville, the first to settle in Ireland coming over as 'usher' to Prince John; but there is no evidence for this tradition. The first of the name known to history is John le Ussher, appointed constable of Dublin Castle in 1302. Henry Ussher entered at Magdalene College, Cambridge, matriculating on 2 May 1567, and graduating B. A. in the first quarter of 1570. His studies were continued at Paris and at Oxford, where he entered at University College, was incorporated B.A. 1 July 1572, and graduated M.A. 11 July 1572. His first preferment was the treasurership of Christ Church, Dublin (1573); on 12 March 1580 he was made archdeacon of Dublin by Adam Loftus [q. v.], with whom he was connected by marriage.

Ussher owes his place in history to the share which fell to him in the foundation of Dublin University. A 'university of Dublin' had been founded at St. Patrick's on 10 Feb. 1320 by Alexander Bicknor or Bykenore [q. v.] under a bull of Clement V (11 July 1311), confirmed by John XXII; but evidence of its regular maintenance is wanting after 1358, though provision was