Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Petowe, Henry

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PETOWE, HENRY (fl. 1603), poetaster, was a native of London, and marshal of the Artillery Garden there in 1612 and later years. As ‘Marescallus Petowe’ he signs verses on the London Artillery Garden in Munday's edition of Stowe (1622). A pedestrian versifier himself, he sincerely admired Marlowe's genius, and attempted to continue Marlowe's poem in ‘The Second Part of Hero and Leander, conteyning their further Fortunes, by Henry Petowe. Sat cito, si sit bene. London, printed by Thomas Purfoot for Andrew Harris,’ 1598, 4to. In a dedicatory epistle to Sir Henry Guilford, Petowe says that ‘being inriched by a gentleman, a friend of mine, with the true Italian discourse of these lovers’ further fortunes, I have presumed to finish the historie.’ The address to the reader calls the poem ‘the first fruits of an unripe wit, done at certaine vacant howers.’ It is poor in style and incident, but is preceded by a striking encomium of Marlowe. A copy of the book is in the Bodleian Library. Specimens appear in Dyce's edition of Marlowe, 1858, pp. xlii, 398–401. Next year Petowe published ‘Philocasander and Elanira, the faire Lady of Britaine. Wherein is discovered the miserable passions of Love in exile, his unspeakable Joy receaved againe into favour, with the deserved guerdon of perfit Love and Constancie. Hurtfull to none, but pleasaunt and delightfull for all estates to contemplate. By Henry Petowe. Dulcia non meruit qui non gustavit amara,’ printed by Thomas Purfoot, 1599, 4to, 26 leaves. This is dedicated to ‘his very friend, Maister John Cowper,’ in three six-line stanzas. It is preceded by verses signed N. R. Gent. and Henry Snelling, and by three verses by the author ‘to the quick-sighted Readers.’ The poem plagiarises the works of Surrey, Churchyard, Gascoigne, and others, and indicates that the author was courting a lady named White, perhaps an attendant on Queen Elizabeth (cf. British Bibliographer, i. 214–17). Petowe's ‘Elizabetha quasi vivens. Eliza's Funerall. A fewe Aprill drops showred on the Hearse of dead Eliza. Or the Funerall teares of a true-hearted Subject. By H. P.,’ London, printed by E. Allde for M. Lawe, 1603, 4to, is dedicated to Richard Hildersham. After the metrical ‘Induction’ and the poem comes ‘the order and formall proceeding at the Funerall.’ The poetical part of the volume is reprinted in Sir E. Brydges's ‘Restituta,’ iii. 23–30, and the whole of it in the ‘Harleian Miscellany,’ x. 332–42, and in Nichols's ‘Progresses of Queen Elizabeth,’ 1823, iii. 615. There followed ‘Englands Cæsar. His Majesties most Royall Coronation. Together with the manner of the solemne shewes prepared for the honour of his entry into the Cittie of London. Eliza her Coronation in Heaven. And Londons sorrow for her Visitation. By Henry Petowe,’ London, printed by John Windet for Matthew Law, 1603, 4to. This is dedicated to six young gentlemen whose initials only are given. There are allusions in the poem to the ravages of the plague in London in 1603. The poem is noticed in Sir E. Brydges's ‘Restituta,’ iii. 30–4, and reprinted in the ‘Harleian Miscellany,’ x. 342–50, and in Nichols's ‘Progresses of King James I,’ 1828, i. 235. ‘Londoners, their Entertainment in the Countrie, or a whipping of Runnawayes. Wherein is described London's Miserie, the Countries Crueltie, and Mans Inhumanitie’ (London, 1604, 4to, b. 1., printed by H. L. for C. B.), is a tract relating to the plague of 1603 (Collier, Bridgewater Catalogue, p. 175). Another work on the plague of 1625 is entitled ‘The Countrie Ague, or London her welcome home to her retired Children. Together with a true Relation of the warlike Funerall of Captain Richard Robyns, one of the twentie Captaines of the trayned Bands of the Citie of London, which was performed the 24 day of September last, 1625. … By Henry Petowe, Marshall of the Artillerie Garden, London,’ printed for Robert Allot, 1626, 4to. The tract is dedicated to ‘Colonell Hugh Hamersley and all the Captains of the Artillerie Garden.’ The dedication speaks of another tract by the author, ‘London Sicke at Heart, or a Caveat for Runawayes,’ as published ten weeks previously. Two other books, whose titles only seem to have survived, have been ascribed to Petowe: 1. ‘A Description of the Countie of Surrey, containing a geographicall account of the said Countrey or Shyre, with other things thereunto apertaining. Collected and written by Henry Pattowe,’ 1611 (Corser, Collectanea Anglo-Poetica, ix. 147). 2. ‘An honourable President for Great Men by an Elegiecall Monument to the Memory of that Worthy Gentleman, Mr. John Bancks, Citizen and Mercer of London, aged about 60 yeeres, and dyed the 9th day of September, Anno Dom. 1620. By Mariscal Petowb’ (Hazlitt, Handbook, p. 454). The collection of epigrams by H. P., entitled ‘The Mous-trap,’ 1606, sometimes attributed to Petowe, is by Henry Parrot [q. v.]

[Corser's Collectanea Anglo-Poetica, ix. 143–147; Bibliotheca Anglo-Poetica, p. 255; and authorities cited above; Brit. Mus. Libr. Cat.; Hunter's manuscript Chorus Vatum (in Addit. MS. 24487, f. 100).]

R. B.