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Archive for January 30th, 2006|Daily archive page

Famous Men and Women of Suffolk No 9 in a Series

In Uncategorized on January 30, 2006 at 8:12 pm

John Lydgate Born 1370 died 1451

Born at Lidgate, Suffolk He entered the Benedictine abbey at Bury St Edmunds when fifteen years old.Lydgate was a prolific poet, his verses seem to have been much in request by noble lords and having been court poet he wrote a ballad for the coronation of Henry VI. Some of his poems include Falls of Princes,Troy Book, Story of Thebes,The Life of Our Lady and The Dance of Death.

However my reason for mentioning him is that John Lydgate was apparently the first poet to refer to one’s chosen love as one’s ‘Valentyne. King Henry V hired John Lydgate to compose a valentine note to Catherine of Valois.

“Awake, ye lovers, out of your slombringe,
This glade morowe, in al the haste ye may;
Some observaunce dothe unto this day,
Your choyse ayen of herte to renewe,
In confyrmyng for ever to be trewe

From the Flower of Courtesy

Obviously the history of St Valentines day dates back far further than this and is argued as to how far back in history it goes. However it seems Lydgate is claimed to be the first to mention Valentyne in print.

One of his poems Falls of Princes is apparently nine times longer than Hamlet while his book of Troy is a mere 30,000 lines.

Lydgate was a big follower of Chaucer to whom he sent his manuscripts for review

However when all said and done this is the kind of Suffolk poetry I am more familiar with ….

Mary Anne she’s arter me!
Full o’luv she seems to be
My mither says it’s plain tew see
She wants yer for her young man
Feather says ‘If that be trew
John, my boy be thankful dew
There’s one bigger fool in the world than yew
That’s Ma-a-a-rey Anne !

OR Wellbanks