A web-based edition of early seventeenth-century political poetry from manuscript sources. It brings into the public domain over 350 poems, many of which have never before been published.

H21 Anagram on Frances Howard

Notes. Contemporaries enjoyed anagramming, sometimes claiming to find hidden truths buried in the letters of a person’s name. Most early Stuart anagrams tend towards the humorous or complimentary, but several libellous anagrams survive in miscellanies, commonplace books and news diaries: sometimes prefacing or appended to libellous poems; sometimes standing alone (see Bellany, Politics 106-07). The two extant anagrams inspired by the Overbury affair were collected by Sir Simonds D’Ewes, who thought them “not unworthy to be owned by the rarest wits of this age” (Autobiography 1.87).


Francis Howard: } Car findes a whore.

Source. Folger MS V.a.162, fol. 37v

Other known sources. D’Ewes, Autobiography 1.87; Bodleian Malone MS 19, p. 53; BL Harley MS 646, fol. 26r