William Patten (historian)
William Patten was an author, scholar and government official during the reigns of King Edward VI
Edward VI of England
Edward VI was the King of England and Ireland from 28 January 1547 until his death. He was crowned on 20 February at the age of nine. The son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, Edward was the third monarch of the Tudor dynasty and England's first monarch who was raised as a Protestant...

 and Queen Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...


Early career

William Patten (b. circa 1510 - d. in or after 1598) was born in London, the son of Richard Patten (d. 1536), clothworker, and Grace, the daughter of John Baskerville. His grandfather, Richard Patten of Boslow, Derbyshire
Derbyshire is a county in the East Midlands of England. A substantial portion of the Peak District National Park lies within Derbyshire. The northern part of Derbyshire overlaps with the Pennines, a famous chain of hills and mountains. The county contains within its boundary of approx...

, was a brother of William Waynflete
William Waynflete
William Waynflete , born William Patten, was Bishop of Winchester from 1447 to 1486, and Lord Chancellor of England from 1456 to 1460. He is best remembered as the founder of Magdalen College and Magdalen College School in Oxford....

 (alias Patten), Bishop of Winchester
Bishop of Winchester
The Bishop of Winchester is the head of the Church of England diocese of Winchester, with his cathedra at Winchester Cathedral in Hampshire.The bishop is one of five Church of England bishops to be among the Lords Spiritual regardless of their length of service. His diocese is one of the oldest and...

. William Patten's mother, Grace, is said to have predeceased her husband. His sister,
Alice (d.1557/8), was the wife of Armagil Waad
Armagil Waad
Armagil Waad was a chief clerk of the Privy Council, servant of government and an English parliamentarian.-Early life:...

, whom Patten referred to as a 'friend' in his Expedition into Scotland (see below). Patten is said to have attended Gonville Hall, Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

, and from 1528 was a minor chaplain and from 1533 a parish clerk of St Mary-at-Hill
St Mary-at-Hill
St. Mary-at-Hill is a Church of England church on Lovat Lane, a cobbled street off Eastcheap in the ward of Billingsgate, London, England. Rebuilt many times, St Mary-at-Hill was originally founded in the 12th Century, where it was first known as "St. Mary de Hull" or " St...

, Billingsgate
Billingsgate is a small ward in the south-east of the City of London, lying on the north bank of the River Thames between London Bridge and Tower Bridge...

, London.

In 1544 Patten was in France in service as a secretary of the Earl of Arundel
Henry FitzAlan, 19th Earl of Arundel
Henry FitzAlan, 19th Earl of Arundel was an English nobleman, who over his long life assumed a prominent place at the court of all the later Tudor sovereigns, probably the only person to do so.-Court career:...

. In 1547 he accompanied Somerset's
Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset
Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, 1st Earl of Hertford, 1st Viscount Beauchamp of Hache, KG, Earl Marshal was Lord Protector of England in the period between the death of Henry VIII in 1547 and his own indictment in 1549....

 army to Scotland in the capacity of a Judge of the Marshalcy by the appointment of the Earl of Warwick
John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland
John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland, KG was an English general, admiral, and politician, who led the government of the young King Edward VI from 1550 until 1553, and unsuccessfully tried to install Lady Jane Grey on the English throne after the King's death...


[I]t pleased my very good Lord, the Earl of Warwick, Lieutenant of the Host (who thereby had power to make Officers), to make me one of the Judges of the Marshalsy [i.e., in connection with the High Marshal of the Army, Lord Grey
William Grey, 13th Baron Grey de Wilton
William Grey, 13th Baron Grey de Wilton KG, was an English baron and military commander serving in France in the 1540s and 1550s, and in the Scottish wars of the 1540s.He was the thirteenth Baron Grey de Wilton....

], as Master William Cecil now Master of the Requests [and afterwards Lord Burghley] was the other. Whereby, we both (not being bound so straightly, in days of travel, to the order of march; nor otherwhile, but when we sat in Court, to any great affairs) had liberty to ride to see the things that were done, and leisure to note occurrences that came. The which thing, as it chanced, we both did: but so far from appointment between us, as neither was witing of the other’s doing till somewhat before our departure homeward. Marry, since my coming home, indeed, his gentleness being such as to communicate his notes to me, I have, I confess, been thereby, both much a certained [confirmed] in many things I doubted, and somewhat remembered [put in mind] of that which else I might hap to have forgotten.

Patten published his account 'Out of the Parsonage of Saint Mary’s Hill, in London, this 28th of January, 1548' under the title The expedicion into Scotla[n]de of the most woorthely fortunate prince Edward, duke of Soomerset. Patten's narrative of the expedition was largely quoted by Holinshed
Raphael Holinshed
Raphael Holinshed was an English chronicler, whose work, commonly known as Holinshed's Chronicles, was one of the major sources used by William Shakespeare for a number of his plays....

 and was followed by Sir John Hayward
John Hayward
Sir John Hayward , English historian, was born at or near Felixstowe, Suffolk, where he was educated, and afterwards proceeded to Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he took the degrees of B.A., M.A. and LL.D....

 in The Life and Raigne of King Edward VI (1630).

In July 1548 Patten was appointed Collector of Customs in London, and in the following year Thomas Penny
Thomas Penny
Thomas Penny was an English physician and early entomologist. His solo works have not survived and he is primarily known through quotations from other sixteenth century biologists. It is believed that he broke with Aristotle on classification of caterpillars. He was also a Puritan and as such kept...

, prebendary
A prebendary is a post connected to an Anglican or Catholic cathedral or collegiate church and is a type of canon. Prebendaries have a role in the administration of the cathedral...

 of St. Paul’s Cathedral, granted Patten a lease of the manor of Stoke Newington
Stoke Newington
Stoke Newington is a district in the London Borough of Hackney. It is north-east of Charing Cross.-Boundaries:In modern terms, Stoke Newington can be roughly defined by the N16 postcode area . Its southern boundary with Dalston is quite ill-defined too...

. On 16 April 1565 the lease was renewed for 99 years, to commence from Michaelmas
Michaelmas, the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel is a day in the Western Christian calendar which occurs on 29 September...

 1576. In 1563 Patten repaired the manor house as well as the Church of St Mary, Stoke Newington, adding a vestry, aisle, private chapel and schoolhouse. Patten was a Justice of the Peace
Justice of the Peace
A justice of the peace is a puisne judicial officer elected or appointed by means of a commission to keep the peace. Depending on the jurisdiction, they might dispense summary justice or merely deal with local administrative applications in common law jurisdictions...

 for Middlesex
Middlesex is one of the historic counties of England and the second smallest by area. The low-lying county contained the wealthy and politically independent City of London on its southern boundary and was dominated by it from a very early time...

, and in 1558 was appointed Receiver-General of revenues in Yorkshire
Yorkshire is a historic county of northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom. Because of its great size in comparison to other English counties, functions have been increasingly undertaken over time by its subdivisions, which have also been subject to periodic reform...


Financial downfall

On 23 June 1562 Patten was appointed for life as a teller of the Exchequer
The Exchequer is a government department of the United Kingdom responsible for the management and collection of taxation and other government revenues. The historical Exchequer developed judicial roles...

. In Michaelmas term 1567/8, however, his fortunes received a devastating setback. The Auditor of the Receipt of the Exchequer discovered that £7928 was missing from Patten's account. Patten was suspended from his office on 13 January 1568. The Barons of the Exchequer later declared his position forfeit, and he was replaced on 13 July. Over the next few years Patten lost all his other public offices, as well as the lease of Stoke Newington, which he assigned to John Dudley in 1571. On 16 November 1572 Patten presented his ‘Supplicatio Patteni' to the Queen, declaring in it that he had had to sell all his lands and belongings to the value of £500 per annum. Patten blamed one of his servants for the sums missing from the Exchequer, and requested an investigation. However there is no evidence that an investigation was ever carried out.

Literary and scholarly pursuits

Deprived of his income and offices, Patten turned to scholarship. In April 1570 he produced a vocabulary and alphabet to accompany an Armenian
Armenian language
The Armenian language is an Indo-European language spoken by the Armenian people. It is the official language of the Republic of Armenia as well as in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The language is also widely spoken by Armenian communities in the Armenian diaspora...

A psalter is a volume containing the Book of Psalms, often with other devotional material bound in as well, such as a liturgical calendar and litany of the Saints. Until the later medieval emergence of the book of hours, psalters were the books most widely owned by wealthy lay persons and were...

 owned by Archbishop Matthew Parker
Matthew Parker
Matthew Parker was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1559 until his death in 1575. He was also an influential theologian and arguably the co-founder of Anglican theological thought....

, the first work in that language in England. His next publication was along similar lines, The calendar of scripture. Whearin the Hebru, Challdian, Arabian, Phenician, Syrian, Persian, Greek and Latin names … in the holly Byble … ar set, and turned into oour English toong (1575). In 1583 Patten produced a metrical
Meter (poetry)
In poetry, metre is the basic rhythmic structure of a verse or lines in verse. Many traditional verse forms prescribe a specific verse metre, or a certain set of metres alternating in a particular order. The study of metres and forms of versification is known as prosody...

 translation of Psalm 72, Deus Judicium, and in 1598 a similar translation of Psalm 21, Domine in Virtute. Both were printed as broadsides
Broadside (printing)
A broadside is a large sheet of paper printed on one side only. Historically, broadsides were posters, announcing events or proclamations, or simply advertisements...

. Patten also eulogized two former patrons, Henry, Earl of Arundel
Henry FitzAlan, 19th Earl of Arundel
Henry FitzAlan, 19th Earl of Arundel was an English nobleman, who over his long life assumed a prominent place at the court of all the later Tudor sovereigns, probably the only person to do so.-Court career:...

, whom he had served in France, in a broadside entitled A Moorning Diti (1580), and Sir William Winter, in In mortem W. Wynter (1589). In another eulogy, Luctus consolatorius: super morte nuper D. Cancellarij Angliae (1591), he described himself as a client of Sir Christopher Hatton. Authorship of the Langham Letter
Langham letter
The Langham letter, published by 1580, is a significant source for the entertainments of the Elizabethan period in England. Dated from Worcester on 20 August 1575, and titled A letter: whearin, part of the entertainment vntoo the Queenz Maiesty, at Killingwoorth Castl, in Warwik Sheer in this...

, a lively description of the Earl of Leicester's
Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester
Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, KG was an English nobleman and the favourite and close friend of Elizabeth I from her first year on the throne until his death...

 entertainment of Queen Elizabeth at Kenilworth Castle
Kenilworth Castle
Kenilworth Castle is located in the town of the same name in Warwickshire, England. Constructed from Norman through to Tudor times, the castle has been described by architectural historian Anthony Emery as "the finest surviving example of a semi-royal palace of the later middle ages, significant...

 in July 1575, has also been attributed to Patten. It is known that Patten contributed verses to the Kenilworth entertainment.

Patten was an early member of the Society of Antiquaries
Proposals for an English Academy
During the early part of the 17th century, and persisting in some form into the early 18th century, there were a number of proposals for an English Academy: some form of learned institution, conceived as having royal backing and a leading role in the intellectual life of the nation...

, for which he wrote Of sterling money. John Stow
John Stow
John Stow was an English historian and antiquarian.-Early life:The son of Thomas Stow, a tallow-chandler, he was born about 1525 in London, in the parish of St Michael, Cornhill. His father's whole rent for his house and garden was only 6s. 6d. a year, and Stow in his youth fetched milk every...

 described him as ‘a learned Gentleman and grave cittizen’, and records that Patten ‘exhibited a Booke to the Mayor and communalitie’ of London protesting against the increase of purprestures (illegal enclosures of land). The translator Thomas Newton
Thomas Newton
Thomas Newton was an English cleric, biblical scholar and author. He served as the Bishop of Bristol from 1761 to 1782....

 praised Patten in verse as a celebrated historian.

Patten's date of death is unknown. The herald and antiquary Francis Thynne
Francis Thynne
Francis Thynne was an officer of arms at the College of Arms in London. Thynne was born in Kent, the son of William Thynne, who was Master of the Household of King Henry VIII. He attended Tonbridge School. Francis Thynne was an antiquary before being admitted to the College of Arms after several...

 mentioned that Patten was ‘now living’ in 1587. His last known work was published in 1598. An engraving of Patten by J. Mills is found in Robinson’s Stoke Newington.

Patten's The Expedition into Scotland is reprinted in Dalyell's
John Graham Dalyell
-Life:The second son of Sir Robert Dalyell, fourth baronet, who died in 1791, by Elizabeth, only daughter of Nicol Graham of Gartmore, Perthshire, was born at Binns, Linlithgowshire, in August 1776. When an infant he fell from a table upon a stone floor and became lame for life. He attended classes...

 Fragments of Scottish History and in Arber’s
Edward Arber
Edward Arber was an English academic and writer.Arber was born in London. From 1854 be 1878 he worked as a clerk in the Admiralty, and began evening classes at King's College London in 1858. From 1878 to 1881 he lectured in English, under Prof. H...

 An English Garner.

Marriages and issue

Patten's first wife, whose identity is unknown, died at Billingsgate in 1549. He subsequently married Anne, the daughter of an heiress of Richard Johnson of Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

, Lincolnshire. In The Calendar of Scripture, he describes himself as ‘unfortunate Patten … the sorrowing father of seven children’. All Patten's children were by his second marriage.

External links

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