Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Lennard, Samson

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LENNARD, SAMSON (d. 1633), genealogist and translator, was son of William Lennard of Chevening and Knole, Kent, by Anne, daughter and heir of John Perkins of Richmond, Surrey. He was cousin of Samson Lennard of Chevening, who married Margaret, baroness Dacre, and of whom honourable mention is made by Camden in his 'Britannia.' His early life was spent in military service. He accompanied Sir Philip Sidney to the Netherlands, and was with him when he received his fatal wound at the battle of Zutphen in 1586. Subsequently he devoted himself to literature, being patronised by some of the principal persons of his time, particularly by Prince Henry and William Herbert, third earl of Pembroke. Entering the College of Arms he was appointed Rouge-rose pursuivant extraordinary, by patent 11 March 1614-15, and created Bluemantle pursuivant 22 March 1615-16. He was buried in the church of St. Benet, Paul's Wharf, on 17 Aug. 1633.

He was the author of:

  1. 'An Exhortatory Instruction to a speedy Resolution of Repentance, and Contempt of the Vanities of this Transitory Life,' London, 1609, 12mo, dedicated to Lady Dacre of the South.

He also translated the following works:

  1. Buoni's 'Problemes of Beautie'[1606].
  2. Charron's treatise 'Of treatise 'Of Wisdome' [1612].
  3. De Mornay's 'Mvsterie of Iniquitie, 1612.
  4. Perrin's 'Luther's Fore-runners, or a Cloud of Witnesses deposing for the Protestant Faith,' 1621, reprinted in 'Papal Usurpation and Tyranny,' pt. ii., 1711, under the title of 'The History of the old Waldenses and Alhigenses.'
  5. The first part of Mazella's 'Parthenopœia, or the History of the Kingdom of Naples,' 1654, edited by James Howell [q. v.]

Manuscript copies of most of the Heraldic visitations in which he was engaged are preserved in the British Museum. The following have been printed by the Harleian Society: 'Visitation of Warwickshire,’ 1619; of Cornwall, 1620; of Dorset, 1623; of Somerset, 1623; and of Wiltshire, taken by him in 1623, in conjunction with Sir Henry St George, printed in 1882. Two volumes of his general and heraldic collections are in the Cottonian MSS. 1178 and 1452.

His portrait, engraved by Robert Vaughan, and representing him in armour, is prefixed to his translation of Charron.

Addit. MS. 5675, f. 37; Granger's Biog. Hist. of England, 5th edi. ii. 151; Granger Letters, p.175; Lansd. MS. 72, art. 58; Willis's Not. Parl. vol. iii. pt. ii. pp. 80, 123, 128, 174; Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. viii. 430; Hasted's Kent, Kent, i. 108, 111; Topographer and Genealogist, iii. 217.]

T. C.