Peeris, William (DNB00)

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PEERIS, WILLIAM (fl. 1520), family chronicler, was a clerk in holy orders and secretary to Henry Algernon Percy, fifth earl of Northumberland [q. v.] He wrote in English verse a ‘Metrical Chronicle’ of the Percys from the Conquest downwards. It commences ‘here beginneth the Prologue of this little treaties followinge wch is ye dis-cent of the Lord Percies made … by me Wm Peeris, clerke and priest, secretary to the Rt noble Earl Harry the Vth Earl of Northumberland.’ According to De Fonblanque, who quotes copiously from it, it is full of inaccuracies; the original manuscript is now among the Royal MSS. in the British Museum Library (18 D ii) (Casley, Cat. p. 283), but a copy is also extant among the Dodsworth MSS. in the Bodleian (Bernard, Cat. Cod. No. 4192), which the Rev. John Besley, vicar of Long Benton, printed at Newcastle in 1845. Ritson also attributes to Peeris some proverbs in verse which adorned the walls of three apartments in Wressell Castle, Yorkshire, and have been printed in the ‘Antiquarian Repertory,’ ed. 1808, iv. 332, &c. A manuscript copy is among the Royal MSS. in the British Museum.

[Tanner's Bibl. Brit.-Hib. p. 587; Ritson's Bibl. Poet. pp. 296–7; De Fonblanque's Annals of the House of Percy, i. 4–6, &c.; printed copy of Peeris's Work in Brit. Mus. Libr. 1845.]

A. F. P.