Blundeville, Thomas (fl.1561) (DNB00)

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BLUNDEVILLE, THOMAS (fl. 1561), writer on horsemanship, &c., was the son of Edward Blundeville, of Newton Flotman, Norfolk. The authors of 'Athenæ Cantabrigienses' suppose that he was educated at Cambridge, though they are 'unable to specify the period or the college or house to which he belonged.' In the preface to Jasper Heywood's translation of Seneca's 'Thyestes,' 1560, there is the following mention of Blundeville : —

And there the gentle Blundeville is
By name and eke by kynde,
Of whom we learn by Plutarches lore
What frute by foes to fynde.

At the death of his father in 1568 he inherited an estate at Newton Flotman, which he seems to have managed prudently. In 1571 he erected in the church of Newton Flotman a monument containing effigies of his great-grandfather, grandfather, and father, with their ages and the dates of their deaths; beneath are inscribed some English verses. Under the same monument he lies buried; and there is an effigy of him kneeling bareheaded, in armour, at a faldstool, on which are placed his helmet and a book. He was twice married. By his first wife he had a son, Andrew, who was killed in the Low Countries; and by his second wife he left two daughters. The list of Blundeville's works is as follows: 1. 'Three Morall Treatises, no less pleasant than necessary for all men to read, whereof the one is called the Learned Prince, the other the Fruites of Foes, the thyrde the Porte of Rest,' 4to, 1561. The first two pieces are in verse, the third in prose; the first is dedicated to the queen. Prefixed to the second piece are three four-line stanzas by Roger Ascham. The 'Fruites of Foes' and the 'Porte of Rest' have separate title-pages, dated 1561. There must have been an earlier edition of the 'Fruites of Foes' (which appears to have been licensed to Richard Tottell in 1558); for the separate title-page has the words 'Newly corrected and cleansed of many faultes escaped in the former printing.' Later editions of the 'Three Morall Treatises' appeared in 1568, 1580, 1609. 2. 'The fower chiefyst offices belonging to Horsemanshippe. That is to saye, the office of the Breeder, of the Rider, of the Keper, and of the Ferrer. In the firste part whereof is declared the order of breding of horses. In the seconde howe to breake them and to make theym horses of seruyce. Conteyning the whole arte of Ridynge lately set forth, and nowe newly corrected and amended of manye faultes escaned in the fyiste printynge, as well toucnyng the bittes as otherwyse. Thirdly, howe to dyet them. . . . Fourthly, to what diseases they be subiecte,' n.d., 4to, black letter. The book is dedicated to Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester; each part has a separate title and signatures. Part iii., 'the Order of Dietynge of Horses,' is dated 1565 on the title-page, and part iv. is dated 1566. 'The general title-page and the title-pages of the first two parts bear no date. Later editions were published in 1580, 1597, 1609. 3. 'A very briefe and profitable Treatise, declaring howe many Counsels and what manner of Counselers a Prince that will gouerne well ought to haue,' London, 1570, 8vo. The treatise was written originally in Spanish by Federigo Furio, translated thence into Italian by Alfonso d'Ulloa, and from Italian into English by Blundeville. There is a dedication, dated from Newton Flotman 1 April 1570, to the Earl of Leicester. 4. 'A ritch Storehouse or Treasure for nobilitye and gentlemen, written in Latin by John Sturmius, and translated by T. B., gent.' London, 1570, 8vo. 5. 'The true order and Methode of wryting and reading Hystories, according to the Precepts of Francisco Patritio and Accontio Tridentino, no less the plainely than briefly set forth in our vulgar speach, to the greate profite and commoditye of all those that delight in Hystories,' London, 1574, 8vo. The book is dedicated to the Earl of Leichester. 6. 'A newe booke, containing the arte of ryding and breakinge Horses, &c.,' n.d., 8vo. This is merely a separate issue of the second tract in the work numbered 2. 7. 'A Briefe Description of universal Mappes and Gardes and of their vse : and also the vse of Ptholemey his Tables,' &c. London, 1589, 4to. There is a dedication to Francis Wyndham, one of the justices of the common pleas, dated 'from my poore Swan's Nest, 17 Decem. 1688.' 8. 'M. Blvndevile his Exercises, containing sixe Treatises, . . . whiche Treatises are verie necessarie to be read and learned of all young gentlemen that haue not bene exercised in suche disciplines, and yet are desirous to haue knowledge as well in Cosmophie, Astronomie and Geographie, as also m the Arte of Nauigation,' &c., London, 1594, 4to. A second edition, 'corrected and augmented by the author,' was published in 1697; the seventh edition appeared in 1636, 9. 'The Art of Logike, Plainely taught in the English tongue, as well according to the doctrine of Aristotle as of all other moderne and best accounted Authors thereof,' &c. London, 1599, 4to, republished in 1617. 10. 'The Theoriques of the planets, together with the making of two instruments for seamen to find out the latitude without seeing sun, moon, or stars, invented by Dr. Gilbert,' London, 1602, 4to.

[Blomofield's Norfolk, v. 64, 68-70; Tanner's Bibl. Brit. 108; Coopers Athenæ Cantab. Hazlitt's Collections and Notes, 1876; Davy's Suffolk Collections. lxxxix. 216; Hazlitt's Collections and Notes, second series; Ames's Typog. Antiq. (Herbert). 693, 694, 697-701. &c.]

A. H. B.