Hoveden, John (DNB00)

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HOVEDEN, JOHN (d. 1275), mediæval Latin poet, is said to have been born at London. He was a chaplain of Queen Eleanor, mother of Edward I (MS. Cott. Nero C. ix.), and was one of the first prebendaries of the collegiate church of Howden or Hoveden in Yorkshire, founded in 1266. He is described as a man of honourable life, skilful in astrology, and given to hospitality. The same authority states that he commenced to build the choir of Howden Church at his own cost, and was buried in it. After his death he was honoured as a saint, and the nave and choir were completed out of the offerings of the worshippers (Chron. Lanercost, p. 93, Bannatyne Club; cf. Leland, Itinerary, f. 58). Bale fixes his death in 1275; the ‘Lanercost Chronicle’ says about 1272. Bale and Pits call him a doctor of theology, but without any apparent authority. In MS. Sloane 1620 he is called magister Johannes de Houeden, astrologus.’

Hoveden's poems are not without some merit. Balinghem calls them wonderfully pathetic. They are all contained in MS. Cott. Nero C. ix. The chief is ‘Philomela sive meditacio de nativitate, passione, et resurrectione Domini nostri Jesu Christi;’ it contains nearly four thousand lines, and is written, like all his other poems, in rhyming quatrains. The first known edition is that of Peter Cæsar, printed at Ghent in 1516, but Philippus Boskhierus says that he had seen one without date or name of place, which was in his opinion more ancient. Boskhierus accordingly described his own edition as the third, published at Luxemburg in 1603, under the title, ‘Joannis Houdemii Angli … Christiados libri sex.’ Copious extracts are given in the ‘Passus Marianus’ of Antony de Balinghem, published at Douay in 1624. Other manuscripts are Brit. Mus. Harl. 985 (where the author is called N. de Hovedene, and there is an alternative title, ‘de processu Cristi et redempcionis nostre’), Laud. 368, and Lambeth 410. There is a French version in MS. C. C. C. Cambridge 471, ‘Li Rossignol, ou la pensée Johan de Houedene.’ There is also a French version among Lord Ashburnham's MSS., No. 399, ‘Le Tractiet du rossignol oyselet amoreux,’ sec. xv. (Hist. MSS. Comm. 8th Rep. App. p. 88). This poem commences ‘Ave verbum ens in principio;’ another poem of the same title, which begins ‘Philomela prævia temporis amœni,’ has also been attributed to Hoveden, and very commonly, though wrongly, to S. Bonaventure (see 1882 edition of his works, published at Quaracchi, vol. i. Præf. Gen. p. xvi). In MS. Laud. 368 it occurs with an ascription to John Peckham [q. v.] The second poem, which is written in the same metre, is much shorter, and perhaps more graceful. It is printed among S. Bonaventure's works (e.g. ed. Venice, vi. 445), also at Paris in 1503, together with his ‘Centiloquium,’ and at Munich, 1645, with a lyrical paraphrase; it was translated into German verse, and printed, Munich, 1612, as ‘Nachtigall dess Heiligen Bonaventura;’ there is a Spanish version in the works of Ludovicus Granatensis, viii. 438, Madrid, 1788. The manuscripts are numerous, e.g. Cott. Cleop. A. xii., Harley 3766, Royal 8 G. vi. in British Museum, and Digby 28, Laud. 368 and 402, and Rawlinson A. 389 and C. 397 in Bodleian. In MS. Cott. Cal. A. ii. ff. 59–64, there is an English poem, ‘The Nyghtyngale,’ written about 1460, which is an imitation of the latter Philomela. Hoveden's other poems are: 2. ‘Quindecim gaudia virginis’ (MS. Laud. 368). 3. ‘Meditacio vocata cantica quinquaginta.’ 4. ‘Laus de Domino Salvatore, vel meditacio que Cythara vocatur’ (ib.) 5. ‘Quinquaginta salutationes virginis’ (ib.) 6. ‘Laus de beata virgine que Viola vocatur.’ 7. ‘Lira, extollens virginem gloriosam.’ 8. ‘Meditacio de nativitate et passione Christi, vocata Canticum divini amoris.’ Hoveden also wrote: 9. ‘Practica Chilindri,’ a short treatise in prose on the use of the Chilinder. Edited, with a translation by Mr. E. Brock, from MS. Sloane 1620, for the Chaucer Society, in ‘Essays on Chaucer,’ pt. ii. pp. 57–81. 10. ‘Speculum Laicorum,’ or ‘Loci Communes.’ This work, which is commonly ascribed to Hoveden, cannot, at least in its present form, be his, for it contains allusions to events which happened in 1298 and 1307 (MS. Bodl. 474, ff. 39 and 71), and would seem to date from the earlier part of the fourteenth century. It consists of quotations from the scriptures and the fathers, illustrated by moral stories, many of which are taken from Odo of Sherston [q. v.], and was no doubt a commonplace book for the use of preachers; there are many other manuscripts. Tanner adds ‘De beneficiis dei ex Bernardo,’ and gives the first words, without saying where it is to be found. There are in the library at Leipzig a ‘Rosarium Mariæ Joannis Anglici, et ejusdem libri xii. de laudibus Mariæ’ (Report on Fœdera, Appendix A. p. 145, cf. Pits, App. p. 867; and Wood, Athenæ Oxon. ii. 176), which may be some of Hoveden's poems.

[Bale, xl. 79; Pits, p. 356; Leland, Commentarii de Scriptoribus, p. 230; Tanner's Bibl. Brit.-Hib. p. 415; Boskhierus's preface to the Christias (he wrongly calls Hoveden a Franciscan, and gives his date as 1350); Sbaralea, Suppl. Script. Ord. Franc. p. 432; Fabricius, Bibl. Med. Æt. iv. 85, ed. 1754; Leyser's Hist. Poet. Med. Ævi, pp. 1006–8; Oudin, iii. 498–9; Brock's preface to Practica Chilindri; Catalogues of Bodleian MSS.; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

C. L. K.