Stubbs, Philip (fl.1581-1593) (DNB00)

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STUBBS or STUBBES, PHILIP (fl. 1581–1593), puritan pamphleteer, born probably about 1555 ‘of genteel parents,’ is said by Wood to have been ‘a brother or near kinsman’ of John Stubbes [q. v.], but no mention of him occurs in John Stubbes's will or in that of his father. He ‘was mostly educated in Cambridge, but, having a restless and hot head, left that university, rambled thro' several parts of the nation, and settled for a time in Oxon, particularly, as I conceive, in Gloster Hall’ (Wood, Athenæ, ed. Bliss, i. 645). He did not graduate at either university, and soon resumed his roving habits, his object being, in his own words, ‘to see fashions, to acquainte myselfe with natures, qualities, properties, and conditions of all men, to breake myselfe to the worlde, to learne nurture, good demeanour, and cyuill behaviour; to see the goodly situation of citties, townes, and countryes, with their prospects and commodities; and finally to learne the state of all thinges in general, all which I could neuer haue learned in one place’ (Anatomie of Abuses, ed. Furnivall, p. 22). In 1583 he declared that he had spent ‘seven winters and more trauailing from place to place euen all the land ouer.’ Stubbes's career as an author began before or in 1581, about which year he published in the form of a broadside a ballad entitled ‘A fearefull and terrible example of Gods iuste iudgement executed vpon a lewde Fellow, who vsually accustomed to sweare by Gods Blood. …’ A copy belonged to Payne Collier, who reprinted it in his ‘Broadside Black-letter Ballads,’ 1868. A copy of a second edition, dated 1581, is in Lambeth Library; it is bound up with Stubbes's second work, also a ballad, the two being entitled ‘Two wunderfull and rare examples of the undeferred and present approaching iudgement of the Lord our God …’ London, 1581, 4to. The titles sufficiently indicate the character of the ballads. The second ballad treated of one Joan Bowser of Donington, Leicestershire, who instituted legal proceedings against Stubbes for his reflections on her (Lansdowne MS. 819, ff. 85–95). Of a third work, ‘A View of Vanitie, and Allarum to England or Retrait from Sinne, in English verse by Phil. Stubs, London, by T. Purfoot,’ 1582, 8vo; no copy is known to be extant.

In 1583 was published Stubbes's most important book. It was entitled ‘The Anatomie of Abuses: containing a Discoverie, or Briefe Summarie of such Notable Vices and Imperfections as now raigne in many Countreyes of the World; but (especiallye) in a famous Ilande called Ailgna [i.e. Anglia] … together with … examples of Gods Judgements … made Dialoguewise …’ black letter, R. Jones, London, 1 May 1583, 4to; dedicated to Philip, earl of Arundel. The success of this book evoked a second edition on 16 Aug. in the same year. A third edition ‘newly augmented’ appeared in 1584[–5], and a fourth edition in 1595. It was reprinted in 1836 by W. D. Turnbull, and again in 1870 with an introduction by J. Payne Collier, and edited with elaborate ‘forewords’ and notes for the New Shakspere Society by Dr. F. J. Furnivall, 2 pts. 1877, 1882. In the preface to the first edition Stubbes protests that his object is not to abolish all amusements, but only abuses of them; he admitted that some plays were useful, that dancing in private was allowable, and that gaming was only wrong when ‘inflamed with coveytousness.’ But in all subsequent editions this preface was omitted, and Stubbes's strictures and invectives marked him out as a typical exponent of extreme puritanic views. He was popularly associated with the Martin Mar-Prelate zealots, and was mercilessly abused in ‘An Almond for a Parrat,’ a pamphlet published in 1589 and attributed both to Lyly and to Nashe. In the same year Nashe published an equally vehement attack on Stubbes in his ‘Anatomie of Absurditie,’ while Gabriel Harvey in his ‘Pierce's Supererogation,’ 1593, defended him and classed him with ‘Mulcaster, Norton, Lambert, and the Lord Henry Howarde, whose seuerall writings, the siluer file of the workeman recommendeth to the plausible interteinment of the daintiest censure.’ The book is now valuable from the encyclopædic information it supplies as to manners, customs, and fashions in England towards the end of the sixteenth century.

In the same year (1583) Stubbes published two other works, ‘The Rosarie of Christian Praiers and Meditations …,’ London, by John Charlewood, 18mo, of which no copy is known to be extant, and ‘The Second Part of the Anatomie of Abuses.’ He also contributed verses to the 1583 edition of Foxe's ‘Actes and Monumentes.’ In 1584 he published ‘The Theatre of the Pope's Monarchie, by Phil. Stubbes,’ London, 8vo, of which no copy is known to be extant, and in 1585 ‘The intended Treason of Doctor Parrie and his Complices against the Queenes Most Excellente Maiestie, with a Letter sent from the Pope to the same effect,’ London, 4to [see Parry, William, (d. 1585)]. This was reprinted in the ‘Shakespeare Society's Papers,’ iii. 17–21.

For six years Stubbes's pen remained idle. In the autumn of 1586 he married. In the license, which was dated 6 Sept. 1586, Stubbes was described as ‘gentleman, of St. Mary at Hill, London,’ and his wife as ‘Katherine Emmes, spinster, of the same parish, daughter of William Emmes, late of St. Dunstan in the West, cordwainer, deceased.’ Emmes was also a freeman of the city of London, and bequeathed some property to his children, of whom Katherine was the third child but eldest daughter. She was only fifteen years of age at her marriage, which she survived four years, being buried on 14 Dec. 1590 at Burton-on-Trent, six weeks after the birth of a son named John, who was baptised in the same church on 17 Nov.

Stubbes now resumed literary work, and his first book was a life of his wife, entitled ‘A Christal Glasse for Christian Women, by P. S., Gent.,’ London, 1591, 4to. The book proved even more popular than the ‘Anatomie of Abuses;’ a second edition appeared in 1592, and others in 1600 (?), 1606, 1629, 1633, and 1646. Lowndes mentions an edition of 1647 with portrait by Hollar. In 1592 Stubbes issued ‘A Perfect Pathway to Felicitie, conteining godly Meditations and praiers fit for all times, and necessarie to be practized of all good Christians,’ London, 16mo; another edition, with fifteen new prayers, was issued in 1610, and some of the prayers were printed by Dr. Furnivall with the ‘Anatomie’ in 1877–82. Stubbes's last book was ‘A Motive to Good Works, or rather, to true Christianitie,’ London, 1593, 8vo; reprinted 1883, 4to, from a manuscript copy in the library of Emmanuel College, Cambridge (cf. Collier, Bibliogr. Cat. ii. 400–401). In that year (1593) Stubbes was lodging ‘by Cheapside’ on 8 Nov. Collier maintained that he died of the plague soon afterwards; but it is probable that he was alive in 1610, and that he himself added the fifteen new prayers to the edition of his ‘Perfect Pathway to Felicitie’ published in that year.

[Most of the information available has been collected in Dr. Furnivall's ‘Forewords’ to his edition of the Anatomie of Abuses. See also Stubbes's Works in Brit. Mus. Libr.; Bodleian Cat.; Cat. Huth Libr.; Collier's Bibliogr. Cat.; Hazlitt's Handbook, Collections, and Notes; Arber's Transcript of the Stationers' Registers; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, i. 645; Chester's London Marriage Licences.]

A. F. P.