Fulke GREVILLE

(1 B. Willoughby of Broke)

Born: 3 Oct 1554, Beauchamps Court, Warwickshire, England

Died: 30 Sep 1628, Warwick Castle, Warwick, Warwickshire, England

Buried: 27 Oct 1628, Choir room, St.Mary's Church, Warwick, Warwickshire, England

Father: Fulke GREVILLE (Sir Sheriff of Warwick)

Mother: Anne NEVILLE


Greville,Fulke.jpg (25720 bytes)


The youngest of the three Fulke Grevilles was thus a member of an influential landowning Warwickshire family with ties to the aristocratic families of Willoughby, Beauchamp, Neville, Ferrers, Grey, Talbot, Devereux, and Dudley. 5th Lord Willoughby de Broke. 1st Baron Brooke of Beauchamps Court 1621 (29th Jan 18 James 1st).

Fulke Greville entered Shrewsbury school on 17 Oct 1564, the very same day as Phillip Sidney, who was to become his close friend, and from Shrewsbury, he went to Jesus College, Cambridge, four years later. After leaving Jesus College, he was offered a post by Sir Henry Sidney, but he gave it up in order to follow Phillip, with whom he came to the court in 1577, and travelled to Heidelberg with him in the same year. Like Sidney, he was rapidly taken into the Queen’s favour, and him, too, the Queen forbade to go far from her presence. The secretaryship to the principality of Wales was given him before the age of thirty.

Lord of the manor at "Alcaster". Very well known Literary Identity in Queen Elizabeth's time. Friend of Charles Lamb (poet), Sir Francis Bacon and Sir Walter Raleigh. Although 10 years younger, William Shakespeare also met and discussed literature with Fulke Greville. Treasurer of the Navy 1598 Gt. for life 22 Dec 1598 (C 66/1499); vac. by 26 Apr 1604 (Gt. to Sir Robert Mansell); Rear Admiral of the Fleet 1599; Knight of the Bath 1623. Chancellor of the Exchequer 1614-1621; JP 1610; Privy Councillor 1614. Greville represented Warwickshire in Parliament for four terms, and had a distinguished career under both Queen Elizabeth I and King James I

Like many of their contemporaries, young courtiers yearning for adventure and eager to prove themselves in battle, Greville and Sidney tried to join Sir Francis Drake in his sail to capture Spanish cities in the West Indies in 1585. The Queen expressly forbade Drake to take them along. In 1586, Elizabeth also refused Greville permission to join the Earl of Leicester in his campaign in the Netherlands. Sidney, however, was allowed to go; a decision all of England learned to regret, when he was killed by a musket shot at the battle of Zutphen in Oct 1586. Greville was devastated by the loss of his childhood friend. He contributed an elegy on the death of Sidney to The Phoenix Nest (1593) and later authored a biography in his memory. Greville finally got a taste of war in 1591, when he served briefly in Normandy under Henry of Navarre.

Fulke Greville was forty-nine years old when the Queen died. To his feeling for her he gives beautiful expression in his digression in the life of Sidney in which he recounts the features of her reign and policy, and this feeling merged into his conception of the place which, to his thinking, she filled admirably, that is to say, into his conception of monarchy. This is why, through the cold, intellectual force of his treatment and reasoning, there shines the living glow of personal passion.

Fulke was granted the "rundown" Warwick castle and also Knowle Park  by royal grant of King James I of England in 1604, Ambrose Dudley had died and Castle had reverted to the Crown). Fulke immediately spent 20,000 pounds "doing castle up". Fulke owned Hackney House from 1609 (it was demolished in 1954-5). Fulke was on inquisition committee that quizzed Guy Fawkes after his attempt to blow up Parliament on 5 Nov 1605. Was Under Treasurer on the committee that investigated the rebuilding of the Banqueting House in Whitehall after the fire, rebuilding took place in 1619-1622, also involved in building approvals of Berwick and Tweed Bridges. 

Fulke Greville was a great patron of letters. Camden was appointed Clarencieux through his influence. He freed John Speed’s “hand from the daily employment of a manual trade.” He endowed a history chair at Cambridge into which he put the renowned Dorislaus of Holland; Samuel Daniel, Henry Lok, John Davies, William D’Avenant were glad to acknowledge their indebtedness to him.

Murdered by his servant Ralph Haywood who thought he hadn't been properly provided for in Fulkes Will. Ralph Haywood after stabbing Greville, the murderer turned the knife on himself. Fulke died 47 days later. Buried in St Mary's church, had a large monumental Grave in Church. He wrote the epitaph which was cut on his tombstone. It amply epitomises his life: 

Fulke Grevil

Servant to Queene Elizabeth

Councellor to King James

and Frend to Sir Phillip Sydney.

Trophaeum Peccati.

He was not married, so estate and Baroncy went to cousin Robert Greville (c1608-c1643). Title of Willoughby de Broke went to his sister, Margaret Verney.

Except for an elegy on Sidney, which appeared in the miscellany The Phoenix Nest (1593), two poems in the first edition of England’s Helicon (1600) and the tragedy of Mustapha (1609), the work of lord Broke remained unpublished during his lifetime. In 1633, five years after his death, appeared a volume containing, as the title-page recounts, Certaine learned and elegant workes written in his Youth and familiar exercise with Sir Phillip Sidney. They include A Treatise of Humane Learning, An Inquisition upon Fame and Honour, A Treatie of Warres, his tragedies Mustapha and Alaham and a set of poems which, according to the fashion of the time, are named sonnets, called Caelica. In 1652, appeared his life of Sir Phillip Sidney, and, in 1670, the Remains of Sir Fulke Greville, Lord Broke, being poems of Monarchy and Religion, never before printed.

For more information see:

http://www.luminarium.org/renlit/fulkebio.htm

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