Vincent, Augustine (DNB00)

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VINCENT, AUGUSTINE (1584?–1626), herald, born presumably at Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, about 1584, was third and youngest son of William Vincent (d. 1618) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of John Mabbott of Walgrave, merchant of the staple. He early obtained some post in the Tower, what post does not seem clear, for Noble can hardly be right in saying that he was clerk to Sir John Borough [q. v.], seeing that Borough was not appointed keeper of the records till 1623. Weever says that Vincent was at one time keeper himself. He certainly had access to the documents preserved in the Tower, and busied himself in making extracts from them. He became known as an antiquary, and on 22 Feb. 1615–6 was appointed by patent Rouge Rose pursuivant extraordinary. The College of Arms was at this time the scene of constant quarrels. Vincent was the friend of Camden, who in 1618 appointed him his deputy to visit Northamptonshire and Rutland, thereby annoying those of the opposite party, some of whom might justly feel that they were passed over in favour of a younger man. The practice of visitation by deputy was in 1619 the subject of a formal complaint on the part of Sir William Segar [q. v.], Garter, and Sir Richard St. George [q. v.], Norroy, to the earl marshal. Camden, however, was able to justify himself. Vincent was constituted Rouge Croix pursuivant by patent of 29 May 1621, and on 5 June 1624 he became Windsor herald. He died on 11 Jan. 1625–6, and was buried at the church of St. Benet, Paul's Wharf.

Vincent's only publication arose from his taking part on the side of Camden in the celebrated quarrel between Camden and Ralph or Raphe Brooke. Brooke's ‘Discoverie,’ his first printed denunciation of Camden, appeared in 1599; the fifth edition of Camden's ‘Britannia,’ containing a reply, in 1600; and Brooke's ‘Catalogue of Kings, Princes,’ continuing the squabble, in 1619 (2nd edition, enlarged, 1622). In reply to Brooke's ‘Catalogue’ Vincent produced his ‘Discoverie of Errours in the first edition of Catalogue of Nobility published by Ralfe Brooke, Yorke Herald … at the end whereof is annexed a Reveiw of a later edition by him Stolne into the World, 1621,’ London, 1622. This volume, like the first (but not the second) edition of Brooke's ‘Catalogue,’ was printed by William Jaggard. On the printer, Jaggard, Brooke had thrown the blame of some of the errors that disfigured the first edition of his ‘Catalogue.’ In his ‘Discoverie’ Vincent gave Jaggard space wherein to reply to Brooke's strictures on his skill as a printer. The friendly relations of Jaggard and Vincent are further attested by the interesting circumstance that when, in 1623, Jaggard completed the printing of the first folio edition of Shakespeare's collected plays, he presented to Vincent one of the earliest copies that came from the press. This copy is still extant in the library of Mr. Coningsby Sibthorp of Sudbrooke Holme, Lincoln. On the leather binding, portions of which survive in the original state, Vincent's arms are stamped, and on the title-page is the contemporary manuscript inscription, of which the genuineness is fully established, ‘Ex dono Willmi Jaggard Typographi, Anno 1623’ (Cornhill Magazine, April 1899).

Vincent also contemplated and made collections for a baronage of England, called the ‘Herωologia Anglica,’ at which his son John afterwards worked; it is now among the Wood manuscripts at the Bodleian Library. Wood speaks of it as ‘a very slight and trite thing’ as compared with the ‘Baronage’ of Dugdale. Burton, the historian of Leicestershire, and Weever, author of the ‘Ancient Funeral Monuments,’ both speak highly of the help afforded them by Augustine Vincent, and, from what Burton says, it seems that Vincent contemplated a history of Northamptonshire.

Vincent married, on 30 June 1614, Elizabeth, third daughter of Vincent Primount of Canterbury, who came originally from Bivill la Baignard in Normandy. She married, before November 1630, Eusebius Catesby of Castor, Northamptonshire, and died on 6 Aug. 1667.

His son, John (1618–1671), who is confused by Wood with John Vincent, elder brother of Nathaniel Vincent [q. v.], was a zealous antiquary. He was Selden's godchild and the friend of Ralph Sheldon [see under Sheldon, Edward], and seems to have given way to drink. He died in Drury Lane in 1671. He inherited his father's collections of manuscripts, pawned some of the volumes ‘for ale,’ but made a bequest of the whole to Sheldon. Sheldon on his death in 1684 left them to the College of Arms. Anthony à Wood catalogued these manuscripts, and, by Sheldon's direction, saw them transferred to the College of Arms. Among the Wood manuscripts at the Bodleian are five manuscripts by Augustine and three by John Vincent; possibly others may have been written by them.

[Wood left notes for a life of Augustine Vincent, which are in the Bodleian Library. The Memoir of Augustine Vincent by Sir Harris Nicolas contains all the essential particulars. See also Wood's Life and Times, ed. A. Clark (Oxf. Hist. Soc.), iii. 102–3; Noble's Hist. of the College of Arms; Hampton's Life, Diary, and Correspondence of Sir William Dugdale; Notes and Queries, 1st ser. vii. 501, 2nd ser. xi. 403; Nichols's Leicestershire, iv. 933–4; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, i. pp. c. iii. 375, 503, Fasti Oxon. ii. 26.]

W. A. J. A.