Nicholas Grimald (or Grimoald) (1519-1562) was an English poet.
Grimald was at Cambridge and Oxford, and was chaplain to Bishop Ridley. He contributed to Tottel's Songs and Sonnettes (1557); wrote 2 dramas in Latin, Archi-propheta and Christus Redivivus; and made translations.
Youth and educationEdit
Grimald, born in Huntingdonshire in 1519, was probably the son of Giovanni Baptista Grimaldi, a clerk in the service of Empson and Dudley under Henry VII, and grandson of Giovanni Grimaldi of Genoa, a merchant who was made a denizen of England in 1485. His mother, on whose death he wrote a poem rich in autobiographic detail, was named Annes. He says that he spent his youth at a place called "Brownshold."
He was educated at Christ's College, Cambridge, where he earned a B.A. in 1539-40. But he soon moved to Oxford, where he was elected a probationer-fellow of Merton College in 1541 (Brodrick, Memorials of Merton Coll. p. 259). On 22 March 1541-2 he earned a B.A. at Oxford, and 2 years later an M.A. there (Oxf. Univ. Reg., Oxf. Hist. Soc., i. 203).
In 1547, on the reconstruction of Christ Church, Grimald was 'put in there (writes Wood) as a senior or theologist (accounted then only honorary)," and read public lectures in the refectory. He subsequently became chaplain to Bishop Ridley. On 2 January 1551-2 he was licensed as a preacher at Eccles by Richard Sampson, bishop of Lichfield, and on 18 Nov. 1552 Ridley wrote to Sir John Gates and Sir William Cecil, recommending him for preferment.
In the early part of Mary's reign, Ridley, while in prison, directed Grimald, whom he held in high esteem, to translate Laurentius Valla's "book … against the fable of Constantine's donation, and also Æneas Sylvius's De Gestis Basiliensis Concilii, &c." Ridley moreover sent Grimald copies of all that he wrote in prison. Grimald accordingly fell under the suspicion of Mary's government, and was sent to the Marshalsea in 1555. But he abandoned protestantism after Dr. Weston had conferred with him, and was pardoned. 'I fear me he escaped,' Ridley wrote to Grinclal, "not without some becking and bowing (alas) of his knee unto Baal" (Ridley, Works, Parker Soc., p. 391).
He is doubtfully said to have recanted secretly and to have acted as a spy upon protestant prisoners during the later years of Mary's reign. Foxe reports that a protestant martyr, Laurence Saunders, while at St. Albans, on his way to the stake at Coventry, met Grimald, "a man who had more store of good gifts than of great constancy." Saunders is said to have given Grimald "a lesson meet for his lightness," which he received with "shrugging and shrinking" (Foxe, Actes, vi. 627).
Grimald did not long survive Elizabeth's accession. His friend Barnabe Googe wrote an epitaph or elegy on Grimald before May 1562. This was published in Googe's Eclogs, Epytaphes, and Sonettes, 1563, and is the sole clue to the date of Grimald's death.
Grimald is best remembered by his contributions of English verse to Tottel's Songs and Sonettes, 1557. The 1st edition, issued 5 June 1557, contained 40 poems by him, with his name attached to them. Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, supplied exactly the same number.
In the 2nd edition, issued 31 July 1557, 30 of Grimald's 40 poems were suppressed, and the 10 poems that remain have Grimald's initials only, not his name, appended to them. The cause of this change is difficult to understand. Grimald's verse is inferior to that of Howard and Wyatt, but is equal to most of the verse of "uncertain authors" which is substituted for his own in Tottel's 2nd edition.
"The Death of Zoroas, an Egyptian astronomer, in the first fight that Alexander had with the Persians," which appears in both editions, is an interesting venture in blank verse, and is stated to be from the Latin of Philip Gualtier. 4 copies of English verse by Grimald are prefixed to Turner's 'Preseruatiue or Triall agaynst the Poyson of Pelagius,' 1551, 8vo.
As a Latin dramatist Grimald presents points of interest. He published Christus Redivivus Comœdia Tragica Sacra at Cologne in 1543 (printed by Martin Gymnicus): a copy is in the library at Wolfenbiittel; another is at Berlin; a 3rd belonged to Prof. J.M. Hart of Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. Prof. Hart reprinted his copy in the publications of the Modern Languages Association of America, 1899.
His Archi-propheta, tragœdia iam recens in lucem edita, probably written for academical representation, deals with the story of St. John the Baptist. Composed in 1547, it was printed, with a dedication to Richard Cox, by Martin Gymnicus at Cologne in 1548. A manuscript of it is at the British Museum (Royal MS. 12 A, xlvi.) There is lyric power in the choruses, and a classical flavor throughout.
Grimald's friend Bale probably arranged for the 2 pieces' publication at Cologne. (cf. Goedeke, Grundriss, § 113, No. 30; Herford, Lit. Relations of England and Germany, p. 113). Bale ascribes to Grimald 2 comedies, entifled respectively Fama and Troilus ex Chaucero, but nothing is known of them beyond Bale's notice. Other works on biblical subjects — the birth of Christ, the Protomartyr, and Athanasius — which appear in Bale's memoir may have been dramas.
Of his classical scholarship Grimald has left other valuable proofs. The 1st edition of his translation into English of Cicero's De Officiis, entitled M.T. Ciceroe's Three Bookes of Dueties, dedicated to Thomas Thirleby, bishop of Ely, London, 8vo, seems to have appeared in 1553, and a 2nd edition in 1556 (Ames), but we have been unable to discover copies of either. The editions of 1558, 1574, 1583, and 1596 (?) are in the British Museum.
As late as 1591 was issued a scholarly Latin paraphrase of Virgil's Georgies, under the title Nicolai Grimoaldi viri doctiss. in P V. Maronis quatuor libros Georgicorum in oratione soluta paraphrasis elegantissima Oxonii in æde Christi anno Eduardi sexti secundo confecta, London, G. Bishop and R. Newbery, 1591. Googe refers to Grimald's labours on Virgil in his epitaph on Phayre, and implies that he attempted an English translation.
The only other extant book with certainty attributable to Grimald is Oratio ad Pontifices, Londini in æde Paulina anno Dom. 1553 17 Idus Aprilis habita in Synodo publica per Nicolaum Grimoaldum, London, H. Binneman, 1583 (Bodl. Libr.) Bale attributes to Grimald an anonymous work issued in 1549, entitled Vox Populi; or, The people's complaint, which was, writes Wood, "against rectors, vicars, archdeacons, deans, &c., for living remote from their flocks, and for not performing the duty belonging to their respective offices."
Hunter suggests, on no very obvious grounds, that Grimald may be the anonymous translator of Dr. Lawrence Humfrey's Of Nobles and of Nobility, … late englished with a similar treatise by Philo the Jew (London, by Thomas March, 1563), and the anonymous author of The Institution of a Gentleman, dedicated to Lord Fitz-Walter (London, by T. March, 1555).
Besides the pieces assumed to be dramatic which we have already mentioned, Bale's list of Grimald's unpublished works includes speeches, sermons, religious tracts, letters, and poems. There are verses on Protector Somerset's restoration to power in 1551, and to Bale himself; treatises 'in partitiones Tullii,' 'in Andriam Terentianam,' 'in epistolas Horatii,' and translations from the Greek of Xenophon's 'De Disciplina Cyri,' and 'Hesiodi Ascrea.' Grimald is said to have made emendations for an edition of Matthew of Vendôme's 'Tobias,' and to have contemplated an edition of Joseph of Exeter's Latin poem on the Trojan war.
- Lee, Sidney (1890) "Grimald, Nicholas" in Stephen, Leslie; Lee, Sidney Dictionary of National Biography 23 London: Smith, Elder, pp. 249-250 . Wikisource, Web, Jan. 20, 2018.
- ↑ John William Cousin, "Grimoald, Nicholas," A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature, 1910, 169. Web, Jan. 20, 2018.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Lee, 249.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Lee, 250.
- ↑ "A True Love", Oxford Book of English Verse, 1250-1900 (edited by Arthur Quiller-Couch). Oxford, UK: Clarendon, 1919. Bartleby.com, Web, May 5, 2012.
- Works by Nicholas Grimald at Project Gutenberg
- Works by or about Nicholas Grimald in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Nicholas Grimald in the Encyclopædia Britannica
- Nicholas Grimald at NNDB
- Grimald, Nicholas in the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica
- Nicholas Grimald in the Cambridge History of English and American Literature.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain, the Dictionary of National Biography (edited by Leslie Stephen). London: Smith, Elder, 1885-1900. Original article is at: Grimald, Nichholas