Fulbeck, William (DNB00)

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

FULBECK, WILLIAM (1560–1603?), legal writer, a younger son of Thomas Fulbeck, sometime mayor of Lincoln, was born in the parish of St. Benedict in that city in 1560. He studied at St. Alban Hall, Christ Church, and Gloucester Hall, Oxford, proceeding B.A. 1581, and M.A. 1584. In the last year he removed to London and entered Gray's Inn. He dates his 'Historicall Collection,' as Bacon did his ' Essays,' 'from my chamber in Graies Inne.' He applied himself with great devotion to legal studies, 'and, as 'tis said, had the degree of doctor of the civil law conferr'd on him elsewhere; but at what place, or by whom, I cannot yet find' (Wood). He seems to have died about the end of Elizabeth's reign.

Fulbeck wrote: 1. 'A Book of Christian Ethicks, or Moral Philosophie,' 1587. 2. 'The Misfortunes of Arthur.' This is a masque written and prepared by eight members of Gray's Inn. Bacon helped to devise the dumb shows; Fulbeck wrote two speeches. It was produced before Queen Elizabeth at Greenwich 8 Feb. 1588. It was reprinted in Dodsley's 'Collection of Old English Plays,' 4th edit. 1874, vol. iv. 3. 'A Direction or Preparation to the Study of the Law.' This is the best known of Fulbeck's works. It was published in 1600, republished 1620; second edition, revised by T. H. Stirling, 1820. 4. 'An Historicall Collection of the Continual Factions, Tumults, and Massacres of the Romans and Italians during the space of one hundred and twentie yeares next before the Peaceable Empire of Augustus Cæsar, . . . beginning where the Historie of T. Livius doth end, and ending where Cornelius Tacitus doth begin,' 1601; republished in 1608, with a new title beginning 'An Abridgement, or rather a Bridge of Roman Histories, to passe the nearest way from Titus Livius to Cornelius Tacitus.' 5. 'A Parallele, or Conference of the Civil Law, the Canon Law, and the Common Law of England, . . . digested in sundry dialogues,' 1601, new edit. 1618. 6. 'The Pandectes of the Law of Nations, contayning severall discourses of the questions ... of law, wherein the nations of the world doe consent and accord,' 1602. Fulbeck is a very curious writer, and often entertaining. His account of witches and the law of witchcraft (the third division of the fourteenth dialogue of the ‘Parallele’), and his reasons why students should study in the morning and not after supper, in the ‘Directions,’ are examples. He enriches his works by quotations from many now forgotten writers. His classical allusions are often happy, and his remarks sound, notwithstanding his euphuistic style.

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), i. 726; Notes and Queries, 29 July 1866, p. 69; Marvin's Legal Bibliography; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

F. W-t.