Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Dale, Valentine

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DALE, VALENTINE, D.C.L. (d. 1589), civilian and diplomatist, supplicated the university of Oxford in 1541 for the degree of B.A., but does not appear to have been admitted. He was, however, elected a fellow of All Souls' College in 1542 (Boase, Reg. of the Univ. of Oxford, i. 201). In November 1545 he proceeded to the degree of bachelor of the civil law; and in 1550 he wrote from All Souls' College to Sir William Cecil, desiring his interest to procure for him the situation of official of the archdeaconry of York. Subsequently he travelled in France, and at Orleans was created a doctor of civil law. Having more than once supplicated the university of Oxford for that degree, it is supposed that he was incorporated there in November 1552 (Wood, Fasti Oxon. ed. Bliss, i. 136). On 14 Jan. 1553–4 he was admitted a member of the College of Advocates at Doctors' Commons (Coote, English Civilians, p. 38). It is said that he was a member of the House of Commons in the parliament of 21 Oct. 1555, and it has been surmised that he then represented Taunton, as he certainly did in the parliament which met 20 Jan. 1557–8, and probably also in that of 23 Jan. 1588–9. On 9 July 1562 he was incorporated LL.D. in the university of Cambridge (Addit. MS. 5867, f. 18 b).

In 1562–3 he was ambassador in Flanders, receiving his final despatch from the regent on 6 Feb. He was again sent to Flanders, in December 1563, to answer the complaints against England for lack of justice and for depredations. In the parliament of 8 May 1572 he sat for the city of Chichester, being at or about that time one of the masters of requests. On 15 Feb. 1572–3 he was presented to the archdeaconry of Surrey. On 19 March 1572–3 he was appointed resident ambassador in France, where he continued till 1576. In the meanwhile (18 Jan. 1573–4) he became dean of Wells. Between 1576 and 1580 he served on several important royal commissions. To the parliament which assembled on 23 Nov. 1584 he was returned both for the city of Chichester and the borough of Hindon, Wiltshire, and it is probable that he elected to serve for Chichester. On 30 Jan. 1584–5 the queen issued a commission to Dale and Dr. Julius Cæsar to exercise admiralty jurisdiction during the vacancy of the office of lord high admiral (State Papers, Domestic, Eliz. vol. clxxvi. No. 20). On 20 Feb. 1584–5 Dale was in the special commission of oyer and terminer for Middlesex, under which Dr. Parry was arraigned and convicted of high treason. On 22 March following he was presented to the mastership of Sherburn Hospital, co. Durham. His name occurs in the special commission for Middlesex (5 Sept. 1586), under which Anthony Babington [q. v.] and others were indicted for treason. He assisted at the trial of Mary Queen of Scots, at Fotheringhay, in October the same year; and to the parliament which met on the 15th of that month he was again returned for Chichester. He acted as one of the high commissioners for causes ecclesiastical at the deprivation of Cawdrey on 30 May 1587.

In February 1587–8 Dale, Henry, earl of Derby, William, lord Cobham, Sir James Crofts, and John Rogers, LL.D., were sent as ambassadors to the Prince of Parma to treat for a league between England and Spain. The negotiations were broken off on account of the fitting out of the Spanish armada for the invasion of England. To the parliament of 4 Feb. 1588–9 Dale was once more returned for Chichester. He was present as a commissioner at the trial, on 18 April 1580, of Philip Howard, earl of Arundel, for high treason. It has been stated that he went on an embassy to Portugal. He died on 17 Nov. 1589, at his house near St. Paul's, London, and was buried at St. Gregory's in that city. It appears that he also had a residence in Hampshire, and that he was a justice of the peace for that county. His daughter Dorothy was the wife of Sir John North, knight, eldest son of Roger, lord North.

On account of his great professional skill and experience, he was consulted by Sir Christopher Hatton, when lord chancellor, in all cases of importance or difficulty. When he was employed as a diplomatist abroad a question arose as to the language in which the discussions should be conducted, and the Spanish ambassador sarcastically suggested that French would be the most proper because Dale's royal mistress entitled herself queen of France. ‘Nay, then,’ retorted Dale, ‘let us treat in Hebrew, for your master calls himself king of Jerusalem’ (Howell, Letters, ed. 1705, iv. 432, 433).

[Addit. MS. 12504 f. 119; Calendars of State Papers, Dom. (1547–80) pp. 204, 298, 314, 328, 386, 417, 457, 590, 640, 645, 655, 656, (1581–90) pp. 35, 63, 224, 237, 257, 381; Wright's Queen Elizabeth, i. 155, 449–51, 479, 494, 500, 510, 512; Lloyd's State Worthies, pp. 564–7; Cooper's Athenæ Cantab. ii. 62; Lodge's Illustrations (1838), ii. 351; Lists of Members of Parliament (official return), i. 398, 411, 415, 416, 420, 425.]

T. C.