Brinsley, John (fl.1663) (DNB00)

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Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 06
Brinsley, John (fl.1663)

by Thompson Cooper
1904 Errata appended, with the errata stating a change of date for flourishing 1633

BRINSLEY, JOHN (fl. 1663), the elder, puritan divine and educational writer, was educated at Christ's College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1584 and M.A. in 1588. He became a 'minister of the Word,' and had the care of the public school at Ashby-de-la-Zouch in Leicestershire. The famous astrologer, William Lilly, was one of his pupils, as he himself informs us in his curious autobiography. 'Upon Trinity Sunday 1613,' he says, 'my father had me to Ashby-de-la-Zouch to be instructed by one Mr. John Brinsley; one in those times of great abilities for instruction of youth in the Latin and Greek tongues; he was very severe in his life and conversation, and did breed up many scholars for the universities. In religion he was a strict puritan, not conformable wholly to the ceremonies of the church of England' (Hist, of his Life and Times (1774), 5). Again he says: 'In the eighteenth year of my age [i.e. in 1619 or 1620] my master Brinsley was enforced from keeping school, being persecuted by the bishop's officers; he came to London, and then lectured in London, where he afterwards died' (ib. 8). He married a sister of Dr. Joseph Hall, bishop of Norwich. His works are:

  1. 'Ludus Literarius: or, the Grammar Schoole; shewing how to proceede from the first entrance into learning to the highest perfection required in the Grammar Schooles,' London, 1612 and 1627, 4to.
  2. 'The true Watch and Rule of Life,' 7th ed. 2 parts, London, 1615, 8vo, 8th ed. 1619; third part out of Ezekiel ix., London, 1622, 4to; fourth part, 'to the plain-hearted seduced by popery,' London, 1624, 8vo.
  3. 'Pueriles Confabulatiunculæ: or Childrens Dialogues, little conferences, or talkings together, or Dialogues fit for children,' London, 1617.
  4. 'Cato (concerning the precepts of common life) translated grammatically,' London, 1622, 8vo.
  5. 'A Consolation for our Grammar Schooles; or a faithfull incouragement for laying of a sure foundation of all good learninge in our Schooles,' London, 1622, 4to.
  6. 'The Posing of the Parts: or, a most plaine and easie way of examining the accidence and grammar by questions and answers,' London, 1630, 4to; 10th ed. London, 1647, 4to.
  7. 'The first Booke of Tullies Offices, translated grammatically: and also according to the propriety of our English tongue,' London, 1631, 8vo.
  8. 'Stanbrigii Embrion relimatum, seu Vocabularium metricum olim à Johanne Stanbrigio digestum, nunc verò locupletatum, defæcatum, legitimo nec non rotundo plerumque carmine exultans, & in majorem Pueritiæ balbutientis usum undequaque accommodatum,' London, 1647, 4to.
  9. 'Corderius Dialogues, translated grammatically,' London, 1653. In the dedication to William, lord Cavendish, he speaks of his lordship's 'favourable approbation of my School-endeavours, together with your honourable bountie, for the incouraging of me, to the accomplishment of my promise for my Grammaticall translations.'
  10. 'Virgil's Eclogues, with his book of the Ordering of Bees, translated grammatically,' 1663, 4to.

[MS. Addit. 5863 f. 65, 19165 f. 240; Notes and Queries (2nd series), xii. 126, 180 (4th series), iv. 411; Lowndes's Bibl. Manual (Bohn); Brit. Mus. Cat.; Cat, Lib. Impress. Bibl. Bodl. (1843), i. 331.]

T. C.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.37
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

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348 ii 19 Brinsley, John: for 1663 read 1633