Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Scoloker, Anthony

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605173Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 51 — Scoloker, Anthony1897Albert Frederick Pollard

SCOLOKER, ANTHONY (fl. 1548), printer and translator, is believed to have been an exile from England on account of his evangelical views during the later years of Henry VIII's reign. He appears to have lived in Germany, learning the German, Dutch, and French languages. On the accession of Edward VI he returned to England, and established a printing press in ‘Savoy Rents without Temple Bar.’ For some time William Seres [q. v.] was his partner, and together they issued in 1548 Bale's ‘Briefe Chronycle of Sir John Oldecastell.’ Among other books published by Scoloker were editions of Skelton's poems and Piers Plowman's ‘Exhortation;’ his books are rarely dated, but they seem all to have been published in 1547 or 1548. In the latter year he removed to Ipswich, where he lived in St. Nicholas parish, and set up a printing press. No book of his is known to have been published after 1548, and no mention of him is made in the registers of the Stationers' Company.

Scoloker was also a translator; the most interesting of his translations is ‘A goodly Dysputacion betwene a Christen Shomaker and a Popyshe Parson … translated out of ye German [of Hans Sachs] by A. Scoloker,’ 1548, 8vo (Brit. Mus.). The translation is not very accurate, but ‘is racy, and even sparkling with humour’ (Grosart, Introduction to Daiphantus; cf. Herford, Lit. Rel. of England and Germany, pp. 53–4). His other works are: 1. ‘The iust reckenyng, or accompt of the whole number of the yeares from the beginyng of the worlde unto this presente yere of 1547. A certaine and sure declaracion that the worlde is at an ende. Translated out of the Germaine tongue by Anthony Scoloker, 6 July 1547’ (Hazlitt, Coll. iii. 309). 2. ‘A Notable Collection of divers and sōdry places of the Sacred Scriptures which make to the declaracyon of the Lordes Prayer, gathered by P. Viret, and translated out of the Frenche by A. Scoloker,’ London, 1648, 8vo (Brit. Mus.). 3. ‘A Briefe Summe of the whole Bible. A Christian instruction for all persones younge and old, to which is annexed the ordinary for all degrees. Translated out of Doutch into Englysshe by Anthony Scoloker,’ London, 1568, 8vo (Hazlitt, Coll. i. 37). 4. ‘Simplicitie and Knowledge, a Dialogue,’ of which no copy is known to be extant (Herford, p. 64).

Another Anthony Scoloker (fl. 1604), doubtless a relative of the above, was author of ‘Daiphantus, or the Passions of Loue,’ 1604. A copy, believed to be unique, is in the Douce Collection in the Bodleian Library. It was reprinted for the Roxburghe Club in 1818, and again in 1880, with an introduction by Dr. A. B. Grosart. At the end was printed for the first time Ralegh's ‘Passionate Man's Pilgrimage,’ which was probably written in 1603; but the chief interest in the poem consists in its references to Shakespeare. In the epistle to the reader he is referred to as ‘friendly Shakespeare,’ which may imply that Shakespeare and Scoloker were acquainted. There are also various references to Hamlet, which seem to prove that Shakespeare intended Hamlet's madness to be real, and not merely feigned (Grosart, Introduction to Daiphantus).

[Authorities quoted: Works in Brit. Mus. Libr.; Cat. Douce Libr.; Hazlitt's Handbook and Collections, passim; Hunter's MS. Chorus Vatum; Ames's Typogr. Antiq. ed. Herbert, 1791, p. 748, ed. Dibdin, iv. 306–9; Ritson's Bibl. Anglo-Poetica; Tanner's Bibliotheca Brit.-Hibernica; Corser's Collectanea, iii. 202; Acad. 1884, i. 386; Strype's Eccl. Mem. II. i. 226; Shakespeare's Centurie of Prayse (New Shakspere Soc.), p. 64.]

A. F. P.