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Britannia siue Florentissimorum regnorum
ca. 1620-
1650
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29079, page 452

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29079, page 452
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The Huntington Library has graciously contributed the above images from their collections. Visitors may link to or download these images for personal research or non-commercial publication. As a matter of good scholarly practice and for the benefit of future researchers, we ask that researchers using reproductions of our materials give appropriate credit when quoting from or reproducing an item in the Huntington collections. Images should be captioned with information about the original source, and quotations should be footnoted. For more information about The Huntington's reproduction policy and citation guidelines, please visit their webpages.

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Creator: William Camden
Title: Britannia siue Florentissimorum regnorum, Angliae, Scotiae, Hiberniae, et insularum adiacentium ex intima antiquitate chorographica descriptio. Authore Guilielmo Camdeno
Date: Londini : [Printed at Eliot's Court Press] impensis Georg. Bishop. Cum gratia & priuilegio Regiae Maiestatis, 1590
Repository: The Huntington Library, San Marino, CA, USA
Call number and opening: 29079, p. 452 
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Item Creator
William Camden
Item Title
Britannia siue Florentissimorum regnorum, Angliae, Scotiae, Hiberniae, et insularum adiacentium ex intima antiquitate chorographica descriptio. Authore Guilielmo Camdeno
Item Date
Londini : [Printed at Eliot's Court Press] impensis Georg. Bishop. Cum gratia & priuilegio Regiae Maiestatis, 1590
Repository
Huntington Library, San Marino, CA, USA
Call Number
29079 p. 452

29079, page 453

View Image Assets
29079, page 453
Click image to enlarge

Institution Rights and Document Citation

Terms of use
The Huntington Library has graciously contributed the above images from their collections. Visitors may link to or download these images for personal research or non-commercial publication. As a matter of good scholarly practice and for the benefit of future researchers, we ask that researchers using reproductions of our materials give appropriate credit when quoting from or reproducing an item in the Huntington collections. Images should be captioned with information about the original source, and quotations should be footnoted. For more information about The Huntington's reproduction policy and citation guidelines, please visit their webpages.

Copy-specific information
Creator: William Camden
Title: Britannia siue Florentissimorum regnorum, Angliae, Scotiae, Hiberniae, et insularum adiacentium ex intima antiquitate chorographica descriptio. Authore Guilielmo Camdeno
Date: Londini : [Printed at Eliot's Court Press] impensis Georg. Bishop. Cum gratia & priuilegio Regiae Maiestatis, 1590
Repository: The Huntington Library, San Marino, CA, USA
Call number and opening: 29079, p. 452 
View online bibliographic record

Item Creator
William Camden
Item Title
Britannia siue Florentissimorum regnorum, Angliae, Scotiae, Hiberniae, et insularum adiacentium ex intima antiquitate chorographica descriptio. Authore Guilielmo Camdeno
Item Date
1590
Repository
Huntington Library, San Marino, CA, USA
Call Number
29079 p. 453

Institution Rights and Document Citation

Terms of use
The Huntington Library has graciously contributed the above images from their collections. Visitors may link to or download these images for personal research or non-commercial publication. As a matter of good scholarly practice and for the benefit of future researchers, we ask that researchers using reproductions of our materials give appropriate credit when quoting from or reproducing an item in the Huntington collections. Images should be captioned with information about the original source, and quotations should be footnoted. For more information about The Huntington's reproduction policy and citation guidelines, please visit their webpages.

Copy-specific information
Creator: William Camden
Title: Britannia siue Florentissimorum regnorum, Angliae, Scotiae, Hiberniae, et insularum adiacentium ex intima antiquitate chorographica descriptio. Authore Guilielmo Camdeno
Date: Londini : [Printed at Eliot's Court Press] impensis Georg. Bishop. Cum gratia & priuilegio Regiae Maiestatis, 1590
Repository: The Huntington Library, San Marino, CA, USA
Call number and opening: 29079, p. 452 
View online bibliographic record

A copy of the third edition of William Camden’s Britannia (1590) now in the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, carries an inscription in ink on the lower margin of page 452:

et Gulielmo Shakespear Roscio plané nostro

Camden (1551-1623), one of England’s most respected antiquaries, first published Britannia, a topographical and historical survey of Great Britain and Ireland, in 1587. The work was printed in Latin until 1610, when it appeared in English.

The inscription in the copy shown above is in the hand of Richard Hunt, vicar of Bishop’s Itchington, Warwickshire, who signed his name on the title-page. Hunt was vicar of Bishop’s Itchington from 1621 to 1661. The village lay about fourteen miles by road to the east of Stratford-upon- Avon, in the same county.

Rendered into English, the printed text, supplemented with Hunt’s inscription (bolded), may be read thus:

[The] not undistinguished little market town of Stratford … owes all of its fame to two of its native sons, John de Stratford [d. 1348] …, and Hugh Clopton [d. 1497] … and [now] to William Shakespeare, truly our Roscius.

Roscius, Rome’s most famous actor, is mentioned twice by Shakespeare:

Henry VI Part 3, (act 5, scene 6, line 10): What scene of death hath Roscius now to act?

Hamlet (act 2, scene 2, lines 414-5): My Lord, I have news to tell you. When Roscius was an actor in Rome …

Exactly what Richard Hunt had in mind when he wrote his inscription is open to interpretation. In Shakespeare and Hunt’s time, most references to Roscius concern his fame as an actor, suggesting that Hunt was praising Shakespeare’s talents as an actor. However, other contemporary references to Roscius suggest something closer to the more generalized “man of the theater.” Either way, Hunt thought that William Shakespeare’s theatrical success added luster to the town of Stratford-upon-Avon.

This inscription was first reported by Paul H. Altrocchi in 2003. Biographical and bibliographical details were subsequently supplied by Alan H. Nelson.

 

 

Semi-diplomatic transcription

et Gulielmo Shakespear Roscio
planè nostro.

 

Written by Alan H. Nelson

Source

Alan H. Nelson and Paul H. Altrocchi, “William Shakespeare, ‘Our Roscius,’” Shakespeare Quarterly 60 (2009): 460-9.

Last updated February 5, 2018