Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 58.djvu/9

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DICTIONARY

OF

NATIONAL BIOGRAPHY



Ubaldini
Ubaldini
1

UBALDINI, PETRUCCIO (1524?–1600?), illuminator and scholar, born in Tuscany about 1524, was of the ancient Florentine family Degli Ubaldini which gave a cardinal to the Ghibellines (cf. Dante, Inferno, x. 120), and an adherent, Fra Roberto Ubaldini da Gagliana, to Savonarola (Giorn. Stor. degli Arch. Tosc. ii. 211). A thorough examination of the Laurentian manuscripts made for the purpose of this article by the chief librarian of the Mediceo-Laurentian Library has failed to remove the obscurity which rests on Ubaldini's parentage, nor is anything to be gathered from Giovambatista Ubaldini's ‘Istoria della Casa degli Ubaldini,’ Florence, 1588, 4to. He came to England in 1545, entered the service of the crown, and was employed on the continent in some capacity which carried him back to his native land. He returned to England in the reign of Edward VI, and saw service in the Scottish war under Sir James Crofts, governor of Haddington (1549). The results of his experience of English manners, customs, and institutions he recorded in 1551, probably for the behoof of the Venetian Signory, in a ‘Relatione delle cose del Regno d'Inghilterra,’ now among the Foscarini MSS. (cod. 184, No. 6626c. 336–466) in the Imperial Library at Vienna. Some idea of its contents may be gained from Von Raumer's ‘Briefe aus Paris zur Erläuterung der Geschichte des sechzehnten und siebzehnten Jahrhunderts’ (Leipzig, 1831, ii. 66 et seq. Von Raumer drew his materials from a transcript of the ‘Relatione’ preserved among the St. Germain des Prés MSS. vol. 740, in the Bibliothèque Royale Nationale. Other transcripts are Bodl. MS. 880, and Addit. MS. 10169, ff. 1–125).

In the Mediceo-Laurentian Library is preserved (Plut. lxxvi. cod. lxxviii.) an annotated Italian version of the Pinax of Cebes, completed by Ubaldini in September 1552, and dedicated to Cosimo I, grand duke of Tuscany. Ubaldini was then resident at Venice, and it was not until ten years later that he settled in England, where he found a Mæcenas in Henry Fitzalan, twelfth earl of Arundel [q. v.]. Arundel presented him at court, where he speedily obtained other patrons. He taught Italian, transcribed and illuminated manuscripts, rhymed, and wrote or translated into Italian historical and other tracts. He also pretended to some skill in physic (see his letter to Sir William Cecil, dated 22 Nov. 1569, in Lansdowne MS. 11, art. 48, f. 111). His various accomplishments, however, yielded but a scanty subsistence, and on 20 May 1574 he craved Burghley's interest with the queen to procure him ‘a forfeiture of a hundred marks’ to relieve his embarrassment (ib. 18, art. 82, f. 178). In 1578–9, though in receipt of a pension, he was saved from arrest for debt only by the intervention of the privy council, and was compelled to compound with his creditors (Acts of the Privy Council, ed. Dasent, x. 403, xi. 415). In 1586 he was resident in Shoreditch (Lansdowne MS. 143, art. 89, f. 349). On two occasions he appears in the list of those who exchanged new year's gifts with the queen—once in 1578–9, as the donor of an illustrated ‘Life and Metamorphoses of Ovid,’ and the recipient of a pair of gilt-plate spoons, weighing five and a quarter ounces; and again in 1588–9, when ‘a book covered with vellum of Italian’ elicited from Elizabeth five and a half ounces of gilt plate (Nichols, Progr. of Elizabeth, ii. 263, 272, iii. 24, 25). That in 1580 he visited Ireland may perhaps be inferred from