Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/217

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Feilde
Feilde
205

sonations such as Antigone, Iolanthe, and the heroines generally of Bulwer, Browning, Westland Marston, and other modern dramatists is unanimously favourable. Warm admiration for her has been expressed by many of the principal men and women of her epoch. Tributes to her worth and personal charm are abundant. Macready, even though he treated her with characteristic pedagogism and churlishness, found it difficult to resist her, and more than once expresses interest which for him is almost affectionate. In Scotland and Ireland she was as much prized as in England. She was an admirable actress in both comedy and tragedy. In imaginative parts she had a species of poetical inspiration which was in its way unique. In fact, as a representative of wifely devotion, virginal grace, and moral worth it is difficult to know whom to oppose against her.

The best evidence of her powers of interpretation is perhaps conveyed in her own book, ‘On Some of Shakespeare's Female Characters’ (1885, 4to, with three portraits of the authoress, and 1890), a work of penetrative insight, dedicated by permission to Queen Victoria. The studies, in the form of letters, are concerned with Ophelia, Portia, Desdemona, Juliet, Imogen, Rosalind, Beatrice, and Hermione the last two being addressed to Browning and Ruskin. A German translation appeared in 1885.

[The Life of Helena Faucit, Lady Martin, by Sir Theodore Martin, 1900, covers the entire career and almost dispenses with the need for other information. Personal observation has, however, been of service, and numerous lives written during her career or on the occasion of her death have been consulted, as well as the files of periodicals. A few pages, with a portrait, are devoted to Helen Faucit in Our Actresses by Mrs. C. Baron Wilson (1844); and Pascoe's Dramatic List and Clark Russell's Representative Actors, the Dublin University Magazine, Blackwood's Magazine, Helps's Realmah, and many other works have been consulted.]

J. K.


FEILDE or FIELD, JOHN (d. 1588), puritan divine, was educated at Oxford University, but in what college is not known. His name appears in his publications most commonly as Feilde, also as Fielde, and later as Feild and Field; his signature is always Feilde or (when writing Latin) Feildeus. It is not impossible that he was, as Brook thinks, the John Field who was admitted fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford, in 1555, without taking a degree. He refers, however, in his ‘Caveat’ (1581) to John Howlet [q. v.] who was B.A. 1566, M.A. 1569, as having been ‘a scholler in my time,’ twenty-three years before, in 1558, and he may have been the John Fielde, B.A. 16 Dec. 1564, M.A. 20 June 1567, whom Wood inclines to identify with him. Wood describes him as ‘minister of Wandsworth and of St. Giles's, Cripplegate;’ the latter is certainly an error if it means that he held the cure. His ministry at Wandsworth seems a mere inference from his presumed connection with a voluntary association of presbyterian type, begun there, according to Bancroft, on 20 Nov. 1572; he certainly had not, as Heylin says, ‘the cumbencie or cure of souls’ (Aerius Redivivus, 1670, p. 273). John Edwyn was vicar of Wandsworth 1561-85, followed by Jerom Shepherd. Nor was he, as has been suggested, the John Field who became rector of Edgcott, Buckinghamshire, in 1564 and (as the parish register shows) held the living till his death in 1609.

Feilde first appears in 1572, as taking part in a private meeting, which included Anthony Gilby [q. v.], Thomas Sampson [q. v.], Thomas Lever or Leaver [q. v.], and Thomas Wilcox [q. v.] (Bancroft, Svrvay, 1593, p. 54). At this meeting ‘An Admonition to the Parliament’ was drawn up. It was printed (n.d. 1572; four editions in two years) with some other matter, including letters of 1566 by Gualter and Beza, and the ‘admonition,’ with its petition for relief, was presented to parliament by Feilde and Wilcox. For so doing they were committed to Newgate on 7 July 1572. The ‘admonition’ having been answered by Whitgift, who referred to its authors as heretical, Feilde and Wilcox drew up in Newgate (4 Sept.) a confession of faith (briefer than the one printed in A Parte of a Register, p. 528, and addressed to ‘an honourable ladie,’ probably Lady Elizabeth Tyrwhit, formerly governess of Queen Elizabeth; Urwick thinks it was Lady Anne Bacon, Nonconformity in Herts, 1884, p. 86). Archbishop Parker's chaplain, Pearson, had a futile conference with them on 11 Sept. (Brook, ii. 185). On 2 Oct. they were sentenced in the lord mayor's court to a year's imprisonment for breach of the Uniformity Act. If the Wandsworth organisation was actually begun on 20 Nov., Feilde could not have been present; nor does Bancroft imply that he was, or even that he drafted ‘the order of Wandesworth,’ which Bancroft read in ‘a bill endorsed with Master Fields hand’ (Dangerous Positions, 1640, reprint, p. 43, i.e. 67); the date, moreover, may be that of the scheme, not of the first meeting. While in prison, Feilde and Wilcox were constantly visited by the puritan leaders. After vain petitions for better treatment they were discharged some time after 2 Oct. 1573; they had been threatened with