DYER, Sir EDWARD (1543-1607, poet and courtier)
Lot 70
DYER, Sir EDWARD (1543-1607, poet and courtier)
£1,200 - 1,800
US$ 2,000 - 3,000
Lot Details
DYER, Sir EDWARD (1543-1607, poet and courtier)
DOCUMENT SIGNED ('By me Edward Dyer'), an indenture and acquittance by 'S[i]r Edwarde Dyer of Weston in the Countye of Somerset knight' for £10 paid to Edward Stanhope, Doctor of Law and Master of the Queen's High Court, in part payment of £400 due to Stanhope by Dyer and by Thomas Dyer, 'while he lyved of the Cittye of London', son and heir of John Dyer of Roundhill, Somerset, by their recognizance of 6 December 36 Elizabeth, written on paper, 1 page, oblong large octavo, indented at head, signatures of two witnesses, Stanhope's autograph docket on verso, 14 November 1598


  • AUTOGRAPH MATERIAL BY DYER IS RARE. Author of two of the most famous Elizabethan lyrics, 'My Mind to Me a Kingdom is' and 'The Lowest Trees have Tops', Dyer cut a figure of some significance at Elizabeth's Court and became Chancellor of the Order of the Garter. Philip Sidney and he were companions in everything (he was 'Coridens' [Cosn Dier] in Sidney's verse) and with Fulke Greville Dyer was bequeathed Sidney's books. He wrote an elegy lamenting Sidney's death. His other friends included Robert Earl of Essex, Gilbert Talbot Earl of Shrewsbury, Walter Ralegh, Robert Sidney, Robert Cecil, Thomas Sackville Lord Buckhurst, Sir Christopher Hatton, the Countess of Pembroke and John Dee. Dyer was an alchemist himself, and it was largely on the basis of his reports of the success of Edward Kelley, Dee's scryer, that Elizabeth and Burghley were persuaded to take Kelley's claims seriously. Dyer worked with Kelley in his laboratory in Bohemia for about six months in 1590. His contemporaries praised his skill as a poet: '...in a manner oure onlye Inglish poett...' and his 'written devises farr excell most of the sonets, and cantos in print' (Gabriel Harvey); 'Maister Edward Dyar for Elegie moste sweete, solempne and of high conceit' (Puttenham); Nashe stated that Dyer was the first 'that repurified Poetrie from Arts pedantisime, and that instructed it to speake courtly'. His modern biographer, Ralph Sargent, The Life and Lyrics of Sir Edward Dyer, 1968, pp. 11 and 173, concludes that as 'the earliest of the Elizabethan "courtly makers", Dyer brought forth possibly the first fine lyrics of the Renaissance in England...[and] amongst the swelling chorus of all Elizabeth's poets, he strikes a rich, lingering minor chord.'
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