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Francis Sabie - A Dedication to Francis Tresham

Francis Sabie (fl. 1587-1596), was a minor poet and a schoolmaster at Lichfield in 1587. He published three volumes of verse: two in 1595 and one in 1596. His earliest publication, in two parts, was entitled The Fisher-Mans Tale: of the Famous Actes, Life, and Love of Cassander, a Grecian Knight (1595), and Flora's Fortune: the Second Part and Finishing of the ‘Fisher-Mans Tale’ (1595). The work was a paraphrase in blank verse of Pandosto: the Triumph of Time (afterwards renamed Dorastus and Fawnia), a romance by Robert Greene. The first part was dedicated to Henry Mordaunt, and the second to Francis Tresham.

To the Worshipful, his verie good friend, M. Francis Tresham sonne and heire to, to the renowned and vertuous Knight, Sir Thomas Tresham, Francis Sabie wisheth full fruition of mortall and immortall foelicite.

The report and consideration (right worshipful of your exceeding courtesie, the great and immerited friendship which I and my parentes have and do daylie find at the handes of the renowned and vertuous Knight, your Father, doe embolden mee to present unto your Worship this my unpollished Poeme, from which otherwise, the imbecilitie of my skill in this divine arte, and rudenesse of these my lines, doe altogether dehort me. Which if your Worship (serious affairs ended) shall vouchsafe to cast a favourable glaunce upon, and therein shall find any part or parcell pleasing to your vertuous mind, I shall esteeme my travell as much worth, as had it otherwise beene spent, in winning the golden Apples of Hisperia, or in fetching precious Iems from the chrystall lake of the Pearl-flowing Tagus. The historie (I praesume) you shall finde delightful, the matter not offensive to anie, only my skill in penning it is, imbicill; and my presumption in presenting so rude a peece of worke to so wise a Patrone, verie great: which I hope your Worship will the more bear with, and account the rather to bee pardonable, in that the fault proceedeth from a good intention and faultlesse meaning.

Your Worships immoovable votarie


Sabie's exact relationship with Francis Tresham is as yet unknown as is the apparent patronage of his parents at the hands of Sir Thomas Tresham. Was Tresham a minor patron of the arts, a pasttime he had perhaps learnt while under the influence of the Stanley family [The Earls of Derby]?


[1] Dictionary of National Biography, 1895 and 2004 [Online Edition]
[2] Sabie, Francis, "Flora's Fortune - The Second Part and Finishing of The Fisherman's Tale", Richard Jones, London 1595
[3] Stanford, Ann, "Francis Sabie: A Biographical Sketch", Huntingdon Library Quarterly, Volume XXV: No.4, August 1962

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