Whithorne, Peter (DNB00)

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WHITHORNE or WHITEHORNE, PETER (fl. 1543–1563), military writer, is described on the title-pages of his books, first as student and then as ‘fellow’ of Gray's Inn; but his name does not occur in the registers unless he be the P. Whytame who was admitted a student in 1543 (Foster, p. 16). About 1550 he was serving in the armies of the emperor Charles V against the Moors, and was present at the siege and capture by the Spaniards of ‘Calibbia,’ a monastery in Africa. He also speaks of having been in Constantinople. While in Africa he translated into English from the Italian Machiavelli's treatise on the art of war, but it was not published till ten years later, when Whitehorne terms it ‘the first fruites of a poore souldiour's studie.’ It was dedicated to Queen Elizabeth and was entitled ‘The Arte of Warre written first in Italian by Nicholas Machiauell and set forthe in Englishe … with an addicion of other like Marcialle feates and experiments …,’ London, 4to. The title-page is dated ‘Anno MDLX. Mense Julii,’ but the colophon has ‘MDLXII Mense Aprilis.’ Other editions appeared in 1573–4 and 1588, both in quarto. Whitehorne next produced an English translation of Fabio Cotta's Italian version of the Greek ‘Strategicus’ by Onosander, a writer of the first century A.D. It was entitled ‘Onosandro Platonico, of the General Captaine, and of his office … imprinted at London by Willyam Seres. Anno 1563,’ and was dedicated to the earl marshal, Thomas Howard, duke of Norfolk, to whom Whitehorne ‘wysheth longe life and perpetuall felicitie.’

[Works in Brit. Mus. Library; Tanner's Bibl. Brit.-Hib.]

A. F. P.