The Duttons and theyr fellow-players forsakying the Erle of Warwycke

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The Duttons and theyr fellow-players forsakying the Erle of Warwycke theyr mayster, became followers of the Erle of Oxford, and wrot themselves his COMOEDIANS, which certayne Gentlemen altered and made CAMOELIONS. The Duttons, angry with that, compared themselves to any gentlemen; therefore these armes were devysed for them.

The fyeld, a fart durty, a gybbet crosse-corded,
A dauncing Dame Flurty of alle men abhorred;
A lyther lad scampant, a roge in his ragges,
A woodcocke displayed, a calfe and a sheepe,
A bitch that is splayed, a dormouse asleepe;
A vyper in stynche, la part de la drut,
Spell backwarde this Frenche and cracke me that nut.

Parcy per pillery, perced with a rope,
To slythe the more lytherly anoynted with sope;
A coxcombe crospate in token of witte,
Two eares perforate, a nose wythe slytte.
Three nettles resplendent, three owles, three swallowes,
Three mynstrellmen pendent on three payre of gallowes,
Further sufficiently placed in them
A knaves head, for a difference from honest men.

The wreathe is a chayne of chaungeable red,
To shew they ar vayne and fickle of head;
The creste is a lastrylle whose feathers ar blew,
In signe that these fydlers will never be trew;
Whereon is placed the horne of a gote,
Because they ar chast, to this is theyr lotte,
For their bravery, indented and parted,
And for their knavery innebulated.

Mantled lowsy, wythe doubled drynke,
Their ancient house is called the Clynke;
Thys Posy they beare over the whole earthe,
Wylt please you to have a fyt of our mirthe?
But reason it is, and heraultes allowe welle,
That fidlers should beare their armes in a towelle.[1]


  1. Quoted in Chambers, E. K. The Elizabethan Stage (1923) Oxford UP, vol. ii, pp. 98-99, from BL Harley 7392, f. 97, an Elizabethan verse miscellany compiled in the 1580s.

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.