Jenye, Thomas (DNB00)

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JENYE, THOMAS (fl. 1565–1583), rebel and poet, whose name appears also as Jeny, Jenny, Jenninges, Genys, Genynges, seems to have been a native of York. He was employed in the service of Thomas Randolph, English agent in Scotland, and wrote at Edinburgh in 1565 a poem entitled 'Maister Randolphes Phantasey,' describing Moray's revolt and other events in Scotland during the latter half of that year. The poem caused annoyance to Queen Mary Stuart, who accused Randolph of its authorship, a charge which he strenuously repelled. Soon afterwards Jenye was in the service of Sir Henry Norris, ambassador at the court of France. Writing to Cecil 13 July 1567, Jenye described the attempt be was making at Dieppe to secure the passage to England of the Earl of Moray, who was escaping from France. In 1568 he was probably at Antwerp, where he published a translation of a work by Peter Ronsard on 'The Present Troobles in Fraunce and the Miseries of this Tyme,' which he inscribed to Sir Henry Norris. He was back in England in 1669, and took an active part with the Earls of Northumberland and Westmorland in the northern rebellion in that year. The famous Darlington proclamation was penned by him at the instance of the Earl of Westmorland. For his share in this business Jenye was attainted and fled to the continent. In June 1570 we find him in Brussels corresponding with Maitland of Lethington, Lord Seaton, the Countess of Northumberland, and others favourable to the interests of Mary. He now entered the Spanish secret service in company with many fellow-rebels, and till 1574 was in the receipt of a Spanish pension. He was afterwards in Milan. In 1576 he was in Flanders with the Earl of Westmorland, Egremont Ratcliffe, and others, who had entered the service of Don John of Austria. Ratcliffe was executed at Namur in 1578 for complicity in a conspiracy against the life of Don John, then governor of Flanders. Jenye seems to have led a life of plot and intrigue in the Low Countries till 1583, and to have been concerned in the conspiracy for which Francis Throckmorton suffered in 1584. After this he disappears from the scene. His death cannot be traced.

Both 'Maister Randolphes Phantasey' and Ronsard's 'Discours' are in verse, which is of no literary value. The moralising with which the opening and closing lines of the 'Phantasey' deal is largely and somewhat skilfully constructed out of passages filched from Tottel's 'Miscellany.' The chief part of the'Phantasey' describes Moray's revolt from the point of view of an eye-witness, and is of exceptional interest for the student of Scottish history. It was printed for the first time from the manuscript in the State Paper Office, Scottish series, vol. ii. No. 108, in pt. i. of 'Satirical Poems in the Time of the Reformation,' published by the Scottish Text Society, 1890.

[Sharp's Northern Rebellion, London, 1849; Wright's Queen Elizabeth and her Times, 1838; Strype's Annals; State Papers, Scot. Eliz. vols. xii. and xviii.; Levin's Calendar of State Papers; Green's Calendar of State Papers; Calderwood's History of the Kirk of Scotland (Wodrow Son ed.), vol. iv.; Satirical Poems of the Times of the Reformation, vol. i. (Scottish Text Society), 1891.]

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