Beggars Bush: A Perambulation through the Disciplines of History, Geography, Archaeology, Literature, Philology, Natural History, Botany, Biography & Beggary

Izaak Walton The Compleat Angler 1655

Another source which would have kept the phrase alive is Izaak Walton’s The Compleat Angler, one of the most popular of all English books, and one with much interest to the countryman. It was first published in 1653, and continuously reprinted into the twentieth century.

In the second edition (1655) a group of beggars who, being unable to resolve an argument amongst themselves, decide to refer the dispute for resolution by “old father Clause, whom Ben Jonson in his Beggars Bush created King of their Corporation”. There is no doubt this is the Fletcher & Massinger Beggars Bush, which Walton has misattributed. It shows, and may have helped sustain, the popularity of the play and of the character Clause. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: April 10th, 2011 | Filed under: Writers, The Play | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Brian Twyne A Student’s Correspondence 1609

“Dr. Kinge deane of Christchurch, turned away one morninge fiue bakers and so many brewers of townesmen belongings to yt colledge, and hath priuiledged others and tuke them in their place, which if euery colledge should doe as I thinke we must, we should quickly bringe them to beggars bush.”


The correspondence between Brian Twyne while the latter was at Corpus Christi, Oxford from 1601 to 1612 and his father, Dr Thomas Twyne, a prosperous physician living in Lewes, Sussex, echoes the dialogue between students and parents through the ages. Much of it concerns Brian Twyne’s lack of funds and advancement, and his father’s unwillingness or inability to assist him. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: March 16th, 2011 | Filed under: Writers | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »