Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Fulwell, Ulpian

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FULWELL, ULPIAN (fl. 1586), poet, ‘a Somersetshire man born, and a gentleman's son,’ says of himself: ‘When I was in the flower of my youth I was well regarded of many men, as well for my prompte wit in scoffing and taunting, as also for the comlynesse of my personage, beinge of very tall stature and active in many thinges, by meanes whereof I became a servitour’ (Ars Adulandi, 8th Dialogue). His first known publication was a moral dramatic piece, written wholly in rhyme, ‘An Enterlude Intituled Like wil to like, quod the Deuel to the Colier, very godly and ful of plesant mirth. … Made by Ulpian Fulwel. Imprinted at London … by John Allde,’ 1568, 4to; another edition, ‘London, printed by Edward Allde,’ 1587, 4to. It has been reprinted in Dodsley's ‘Select Collection of Old English Plays’ (vol. iii. edit. 1874, &c.). In 1570 Fulwell was rector of Naunton, Gloucestershire (Bigland, Gloucestershire, ii. 236), to which he had presumably been presented by Queen Elizabeth. His next work was ‘The Flower of Fame. Containing the bright Renowne & moste fortunate raigne of King Henry the VIII. Wherein is mentioned of matters, by the rest of our Cronographers ouerpassed. Compyled by Ulpian Fulwell. Hereunto is annexed (by the Aucthor) a short treatice of iii noble and vertuous Queenes. And a discourse of the worthie seruice that was done at Haddington in Scotlande, the seconde yere of the raigne of King Edward the Sixt. Imprinted at London by William Hoskins,’ 1575, 4to. This curious and highly interesting medley was written somewhat on the model of the then popular ‘Mirrour for Magistrates,’ partly in verse and partly in prose; the events recorded being chiefly taken from Hall's ‘Chronicles.’ The author was assisted in his labours by ‘Master Edmunde Harman,’ formerly a groom of the privy chamber to Henry VIII, as he acknowledges in the dedication to ‘sir William Cecill, baron of Burghleygh.’ On fol. 39 there commences a sort of appendix containing commemorations in verse, and ‘Epitaphs’ on three of Henry's wives, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, and Katherine Parr. In a ‘Preamble to this parte of the Booke following,’ he states that he will celebrate Henry's other wives if the present book should be well received. It has been included by Thomas Park in his edition of the ‘Harleian Miscellany’ (ix. 337–75). The following year Fulwell published a humorous work which attained considerable popularity, entitled ‘Tee [sic] first part of the eight liberall science; Entituled, Ars adulandi, the art of Flattery, with the confutation thereof, both very pleasant and profitable, deuised and compiled by Vlpian Fulwell … Imprinted at London by William Hoskins,’ 1576, 4to (the only copy known, that in the Capell collection, is fully described by Sinker, Cat. of English Books printed before MDCI. in Trin. Coll. Cambr., pp. 199–200). The copyright was sold by William Hoskins to Henry Bamford, 4 March 1576–7 (Arber, Stationers' Registers, ii. 309), and by him to Richard Jones, 3 March 1577–8 (ib. ii. 325). Jones issued another edition, ‘newly corrected and augmented,’ 4to, London, 1579, and a third without a date, but probably in 1580. Collier is of opinion that a book called ‘Flatteries Displaie,’ licensed to Robert Waldegrave in December 1580, was the same work under a slightly different title. This book, which is inscribed to Lady Burghley, consists of several dialogues, chiefly in prose, with the exception of the sixth—between Diogenes and Ulpian—which is in verse, of the fourteen-syllable metre. In the first dialogue, between the author and the printer, whom he calls ‘my olde fellow and friend, W[illiam] H[oskins],’ Fulwell mentions his own poverty and threadbare garments. Fulwell's attendance at court, as he sadly confesses to ‘Diogenes’ in the sixth dialogue, had brought him no hope of further preferment, though in answer to the latter's query he admits he had found one faithful friend in the world, and in some epigrammatic lines at the end he covertly expresses the name of his friend, Edmund Harman. In the ‘eyghth Dialogue betweene Sir Symon the Parson of Poll Iobbam, and the Authour,’ Fulwell endeavours to place the character of Sir Simon the Parson in the most odious light he can, and satirises the changes effected by the Reformation, though professing hopes that the queen will suppress the disorders. Although the author mentions a second part as intended, it does not appear to have been ever published. Fulwell became a commoner of St. Mary Hall, Oxford, in 1578, but probably did not take a degree. In 1572 he married at Naunton a lady whose baptismal name was Eleanor, and thenceforward for some years his signature occurs frequently in the register of that parish, chiefly in reference to the christening of his various children. In 1585 his name appears in connection with the burial of a son; in the following year Joseph Hanxman became rector of Naunton.

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), i. 540–2; Corser's Collectanea (Chetham Soc.), pt. vi. pp. 382–396; Payne Collier's Bibliographical Account of Early English Literature, i. 296–9; Cat. of the Huth Library, ii. 566; Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. xii. 183–4, 234; Carew Hazlitt's Handbook to the Popular Poetical and Dramatic Literature of Great Britain, p. 215; Carew Hazlitt's Collections and Notes, 1867–76, p. 175; Hartshorne's Book Rarities in Univ. of Cambr. p. 295; information from the rector of Naunton.]

G. G.