Davison, Francis and Walter

(?1575-?1619)
   • Francis, the elder brother, ?1575-1619 Son of William Davison, secretary of state to Queen Elizabeth, who was Elizabeth's scapegoat in the matter of the execution of Mary Queen of Scots. In 1593, Davison was admitted as a member of Gray's Inn Court and in December 1594 was among the contributors to the Gray's Inn Masque, for which he wrote some speeches. In 1595, accompanied by his tutor, Edward Smyth, he started on his travels and by the autumn of 1596 they were in Florence. Some of his publications (with shortened titles): Answer to Mrs. Mary Cornwallis, 1600. A Poetical Rapsody, 1602; 2nd ed., 1608; 3rd. ed., 1611; and 4th ed., 1621. It includes "The Lie," attributed to Sir Walter Raleigh; the song "In Praise of a Beggar's Life," quoted in The Compleat Angler (1653-1655), as well as poems by many notable poets. The Rapsody was edited by Sir Egerton Brydges in 1814 and by Sir Harris Nicolas in 1826. The brothers contributed a large number of poems: eclogues, sonnets, odes, elegies, madrigals and epigrams, translations from Horace, Martial, Petrarch, and Jodelle. Some of Francis's other poems: "Are Women Fair?" "Bought," "Her Commendation," "His Farewell to His Unkind and Unconstant Mistress," "Madrigal," "To Cupid."
   • Walter, the youngest brother, 1581-?1608 Walter was born in London and entered King's College, Cambridge, in 1596, but left without graduating. About 1602 he was a soldier in the Low Countries. It is assumed that he died there. He contributed some poems to A Poetical Rapsody, written, so Francis says, when Walter was eighteen. Two of Walter's poems: "At Her Fair Hands," "To His Lady, Who Had Vowed Virginity."
   Sources: A Poetical Rapsody (http://www.bartleby.com/214/0609.html). Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Home Book of Modern Verse. Burton Egbert Stevenson, ed. Henry Holt, 1953. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000.

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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