Quite a number of references have now been found to this character, who seems
to have lived quite a varied life.
Simon's known history can be summarised:
1570 Born, probably at Middle Rasen,
1586 June. Matriculated as pensioner from Christ's College,
Cambridge.c.1589-90 Became Bachelor of Arts.
1593 Became Master of Arts.
1594 Nov 28. Appointed rector of Hemingby, near Horncastle, Lincs.
1595 With John Sturtevannt gave recognizance to Tristram for the house of
Edwarde Oates at Croade Street, London.
1597 Published Anglo-latinus nomenclatur graecorum primitiurum.
1597 Sep 28. Replaced as rector of Hemingby.
1602 Published "The etymologist of Aesops Fables".
1602 Published a Hebrew Dictionary.
1602/3 Involved in Chancery Proceedings as a witness for a Francis
Sturtivannte. He was then a clerk [cleric] living at Bristol.
1604 Granted licence to teach Latin and/or grammar at Martock, near
1605 Replaced by Thomas Bainrafe.
1605 Mar 13. Appointed rector of Compton Martin, near Wells, Somerset.
1608 King James I's authority (patent?) for an invention to make earthenware
1611 Manufacturing earthenware at Islington, involved in court case.1611
Employed on waterworks at Hatfield House, near St.Albans, Herts.
c.1611-2 Dismissed from Hatfield House.
1612 A clerk/gentleman of Islingtn, lately of Hallowell, Middlesex.
1612 Published a Treatise of New Metallic Inventions.
1613 Deprived of his living at Compton Martin, probably for neglect of his
[He was one of only four clergymen deprived of their living in the diocese of
Bath and Wells during the 17th century]
1614 Published a second edition of Anglolatinus or The Latin Nomenclator.
1615? Patents granted by King James I for pressware waterpipes, and for
1616 Joint Special Licence (with Abraham Williams) "to use the mystery of
fortage and lineage for 31 years" [whatever that
"Alumni Cantabrigienses", by J. & J.A.Venn published at Cambridge, lists
people who have studied at Cambridge. Part 1 covers the period to 1751, and
Volume 4 deals with names in the S to Z range:
'STURTEVANT, SIMON. Matric pens. from Christ's, June 1586; B.A. (? 1589-90);
M.A. 1593. R.of Hemingby, Lincs, 1594-7. Probably R.of Compton Martin, Somerset,
1605-13, deprived. Author, Hebrew Dictionarie, 1602. Treatise of New Metallic
Inventions, 1612. (N. and Q., 6th S., I.213)'
[Matric = Matriculation. R = Rector. Pens. = Pensioner, second of three ranks
in which students matriculated.]
N & Q above refers to Notes & Queries, a nineteenth century periodic
publication concerned with antiquaries and other topics. This particular
reference, published on 9 May 1863, reads:
'SIMON STURTEVANT, of Chr., Cambridge, M.A., 1593 (B.A. not recorded), seems
to have been a teacher of varied acquirements. Watt gives his Hebrew Dictionarie
(Lond, 1602, 8vo) and Treatise of Metallic Inventions (Lond., 1612, 4to), and
the Historical Society of Science (one of Mr.Halliwell's creations), promised as
No.14 of its publications an account of his mechanical instrument "The Merva"
with other papers relating to him. I have -
"The etymologist of Aesops fables, containing the construing of his Latine
fables into English: also The etymologist of Phaedrus fables, containing the
construing of Phaedrus (a new found yet ancient Author) into English, verbatim.
Compiled by Simon Stvrtevant. [Emblem, a hand pointing upward to a star, with
motto, "Devs imperat astris"]. London, Printed by Richard Field for Robert
Dexter, dwelling at the Signe of the brazen Serpent in Paules Church-yard.
Very small 8vo. pp. 8 (unpaged) and 162. There is an interesting address "To
the industrious and discreet Schoolemaister", running title "To the reader",
which might well be reprinted in some library of schoolmasters' - JOHN
[A microfilm copy of this book is held in America - National
Union Catalog reference NS 1031048 MiU]
"A History of Somerset" in the series of county histories commenced in the
late nineteenth century, has the following entry at Vol.4, p.108:
'Martock Hundred - Education.
It is possible that Stephen Nurse (d.1571), formerly a chantry priest at the
manor house chapel, may have been responsible for starting a free school in the
parish (footnote 35). John Atkins, formerly of Taunton, was licensed to teach
Latin and English in Martock in 1583, and subsequent licences to teach Latin or
grammar were granted in 1592 to John Priddell, in 1604 to Simon Sturtevant, in
1605 to Thomas "Bainrafe", in 1609 to John Gardner, and in 1633 to Thomas
Farnham (footnote 36). "Bainrafe" can be interpreted as Thomas Farnaby
Footnote 35 - Nurse lived in the parish until his death. SRO - D/P/mart
Footnote 36 - SRO - D/D/o1 8, 12, 18; D/D/Vc 58,68
[These are document references in the Somerset Record Office at Taunton, some
being in Latin and in some cases rather worn and frayed. We were allowed to
photocopy the relevant page of the actual book in which he was sworn in as a
A search of records in both the Somerset Record Office and the Somerset Local
History Library at Taunton has produced a number of other references:
Probate and Administrations 1564-1611. Wells Episcopal Book 20L.
Probate 1609/10-1611. Page 52, item 1086. 24 Oct 1611. Ambrose Miller,
Compton Martyn, a/s Simon Sturtyvant clerk, rector ib. Tithes.
[Presumably Simon proved the probate of one Ambrose Miller, and the church
was given a tithe (= one-tenth) from the estate]
Laud's Laboratory - The Diocese of Bath and Wells in the early 17th Century -
Margaret Stieg. Published in the USA and by Associated University Presses
p.65. [The Clergy: A Prosopographical Study] No account of the writings of
the Somerset clergy, however partial, should ignore their non- theological
writings. These non-theological writings are even more miscellaneous and less
categorizable than the theological ones. The important fact is that they exist,
testimony to the fact that the Church was supporting scholarship. Casaubon wrote
on languages, Francis Godwin (Kingston Seymour, 1613-16) prepared a list of
bishops of England. Thomas James (Subdean, 1621-29) prepared a bibliography of
biblical criticism, and Simon Sturtevant (Compton Martin 1605-14) a Hebrew
dictionary and a treatise on metals. Richard Eburn (Henstridge, 1608-?) was more
practical; he wrote on current economic and social problems)
Even this brief discussion of some of the principal characteristics of their
writings should make clear that the Somerset clergy did not make any distinctive
or original intellectual contributions. They were derivative thinkers, dependent
upon others for systematization, who participated in the national culture but
who cannot really be claimed to have advanced it. Their most effective
contributions were made when they limited their goals; discussing those things
with which they were most familiar, and treated practical problems that had
arisen from events within their own experience.
p.262 et seq. [Effectiveness of Ecclesiastical Courts] The most extreme
penalty that applied to the clergy alone was deprivation, a punishment rarely
used. Only four ministers before 1643 can be designated definitely as having
been deprived or ejected: William Buckland (East Coker, 1609-18), Meredith Mady
(Blagdon, 1607-17), Philip Martin (Keynsham, 1595-1607) and Simon Sturtevant
(Compton Martin 1605-14). In contrast to excommunication, deprivation was so
rare that each case must be individually considered. In no case can the
unfortunate minister's offense be finally determined, although Buckland and Mady
seem to have been exceptionally difficult personalities.
[The book then devotes several pages to this topic, giving detailed
information on Buckland, Mady and Martin, but unfortunately none on Simon
p.271. . . . . lay rectors were usually gentlemen . . . .
*****************************An index card in the Somerset
Record Office relating to glebe terriers [i.e. church-owned houses and
32. Compton Martin.
1606. The parsonage house conteyninge a parlor a hawle and a kitchen with
five chambers a buttrie a milkhouse and a cheesepresse house. A stable and barne
a stalle - two lofts over them. A pigeon house over the chauncell.
The Calendar of State Papers series of books contain several references to
Simon: Domestic 1603-1610 (published 1857).
p.411 James I. Vol XXXI 1608 March 3 St James's
''66. Sir Thos. Chaloner to the Same. In favour of an invention by Mr
Sturtevant for making water pipes of earthenware, of which he can cast 8,000
yards per day, and which are more safe and strong than those of lead.'
Domestic 1611-1618 (published 1858).
p.340 James I. Vol LXXIV 1615?
'43. Petition of Simon Sturtevant to the King, for a patent of his inventions
of "Pressware and Wood Pleits", for conveyance of water by pipes, and for
jointing and folding wood.'
Domestic. Vol LXXXVI. Jan-Apr 1616
'21. Special licence to Simon Sturtevant and Abraham Williams to use the
mystery of fortage and lineage for thirty one years.'
(See undated 1615. No.4. Ibid p.166)
Simon's first book was evidently:
Anglo-latinvs nomenclator graecorum primitiuorum. Londoni, Ex officina
Valentini Sems, 1597] 8p.l., 120p. 14cm.
Based on Scapula's Lexicon graeco-latinum novum.
[National Union Catalogue ref NS 1031045]
He later wrote a second edition:
Anglolatinve Or The Latine Nomenclature containing simple Primitiue and
meere-latine-words, expressed with their proper and peculiar significations in
English. Which being the first and chiefest part of Grammar, are to be learned
by lessons iontly together, as vvell as the other precepts of Etymologie and
Syntaxia. See, Fvrther Directions in the next pages, and in the preface to the
Schoolemaster. The second Edition corrected and augmented. By Simon Stvrtevant.
London, Printed by Edw.Griffin and sold by Tho.Salisbury. 1614.
(NUC ref NS
Simon also wrote a book on metallurgy:
"Metallica. Or, The treatise of Metallica. Briefly comprehending the doctrine
of diuerse new metallicall inuentions, but especially, how to neale, melt, and
worke all kinde of mettle-oares, irons and steeles . . . Also a transcript of
His Majesties letters pattents of priuiledge, granted vnto Simon Sturteuant for
the said metallicall businesses . . .
London, Imprinted by G.Eld, 1612. "
[Copies of this book are held in the British Library (Refs 726.i.28 and
B.394/1) and the Bodleian Library. A microfilm copy is listed in the National
Union Catalog (Ref NS1031049). It was reprinted in 1854 (NUC film ref NS
1031050, 1855 at Wolverhampton (NUC film ref NS1031051 and 1858 (British Library
ref B.S.29/2). A sale catalogue dated 1979 offered a copy for L600, and said
this was one of only four copies recorded]
His work in this respect is also dealt with in a supplement to the series of
letters patent and specifications recorded in the Great Seal Patent Office, and
granted between 1617 and 1852, published by the Patent Office in 1858.
[British Library ref B.S.29/2 and NUC ref NS 1031053]
Two of Simon's books, "The Etymologist of Aesop's Fables" and "Metallica",
have fairly recently been reprinted in Holland by Amsterdam Theatrum Orbis
Terrarum in the series 'The English experience, its record in early printed
books published in facsimile'. Copies of both are held by the Scottish National
Library, the former being No.697 in this series, published in 1974 (reference
***************************** Simon's name also appears in a
paragraph on p.65 of "A History of British Gardening" (Miles Hadfield, published
by John Murray 1960):
'Hatfield House [in Hertfordshire] . . . . was begun in 1607 . . . .The
waterworks were begun in 1611, designed by [Thomas] Chaundler. A hydraulic
engineer, Simon Sturtevant (probably Dutch), was engaged to carry them out.
Before long, however, a Frenchman, Saloman de Caux, engineer to Prince Henry,
was called in. De Caux proposed that the work already done should be abandoned,
and a new design submitted. To this Cecil [Earl of Salisbury] agreed. Chaundler
and Sturtevant were dismissed and Jenings [the earl's gardener] undertook the
completion of the water-works to a new plan prepared by de Caux and Robert
An entry on p.186/7 of Christ's College Biographical Register, Vol I
1448-1665 (Cambridge University Press 1910) reads:
'Sturtevant, Simon, mat pen 1586 June; B.A.(probably 1589/90); M.A. 1593;
Perhaps rector of Compton Martin, Somerset 13 March 1604/5, patron George Speke,
miles. He was deprived by the end of 1613 (Ref - Weaver, Somerset Incumbents,
Presentation Deeds in the Lincolnshire Archives Office
Appointed Hemingby 28.11.1594 (Simon Sturdevant), predecessor Christopher
Barkworth, patrons Thomas Aldworth and Elizabeth his wife.
Replaced 28.9.1597 by William Herne, patron William Whettal.
Nothing definite has yet come to light as to Simon's parentage or death, but
he was evidently related to a Francys Sturtivant in 1602/3, as can be seen from
the following court case.
Chancery case C.24 Box 300 Item 46 12 February 1602/3 [= 1
Sturtivant versus Flower.
Witnesses (1) Thomas Denny and (2) Symon Sturtevant.
Interrogatories to be issued to the witnesses to be advised in
the parte and behalfe of Francys Sturtivannte Complainant against Lancellot
1. Imprimis whether doe you know the said parties present and
defendant year or no,
2. Item whether doe you know or have heard orreably reported of
others that the said Francys Sturtivant about the month of February which was in
the 39th year of her Majesty's Reign did lend unto the said Lancellot Flower the
sum of twenty poundes of lawful englishe money. And for what tyme to ye
remembrance did the said Francys lend the sume and about what tyme was the same
twenty poundes to be repayde by the said Flower unto the said Francys. And
whether did the said Flower then enter with Obligacon of Thirty poundes with
Condicon for the sure payment of the saide some of £20 at the tyme so betwixt
them agreed upon. And whether did you sea the saide twenty poundes delivered by
the said Francys Sturtivannte unto the said Lancelott Flower year or no. Declare
you full knowledge herein and how you know the same to be so.
Answer to Interrogatories by Symon Sturtevant:
Simon Sturtivant of the City of Bristol clark of the age of 33
yeres or thereabouts. Sworne give Interogatories. That he knoweth the parties to
this suite both plaintiff and defendant.
2. That this deponent was present when the plaintiff Francis
Sturtivant and the defendant Lancelot Flower about the month of February in the
39th yere of her said Majestie's Reigne and dyd then sea the said Complainant
lend and delyver unto the said Lancelot Flower the sume of £20 to be repaid by
the Defendant unto the said Complainant at thend of one yere or somewhat more
then next following And the deponent further saith that he dyd here the said
Lanncelot Flower seake and delyver at his dede and obligacon of £30 to the use
of the said Complainant which condicon for the sure payment of the said sume of
£20 at a daye in the Condicon of the said obligacon menconed. And this Deponent
further saith that parte of the said sume of £20 so lent unto the Defendant by
the Plaintiff was then presently paid for the redemption of the Defendante owte
of the gatehouse at Westin where was then imprisoned by vertue of a writ of
execuson as this Deponent taketh it And more ger(?)
Signed by Simon Sturtevant.
Star Chamber case STAC.8/258/9 (19 May 8 James I = 1611)
Sturtevant v Leigh, Fowler, Wright & sister, Middx no date.
To the Kings most excellent Majestie
In all humbleness complaininge showeth unto your most excellent
Majestie your humble and loyall subject Symon Sturtevant of Islington in your
highness County of Middlesex Clarke That whereas your said subject was and yett
is lawfully possessed for divers yeares yett continuing of and in one feild or
close in Islington aforesaid comonly called Castlehill feild conteyning by
estimation two acers in and uppon which close or feild your said subject to his
great chardge erected built and sett upp divers workhouses edifices and
buildings and made and prepared divers engines presses and mouldes for the
working, casting, forming, and making of divers presswares of claye and other
Invencons commodious and profittable for your Majesties loyal subject divised
continued and perfected by the Industrey of you said subject
And whereas Your Majestie for the better incouragement of your
said subject hath voutsafed to grannt unto your said subject by your highness
letters pattents under the great seale of England a sole power and authoritye to
make the sayd wares of all sorts invented by your sayd subject himself for
divers yeares yett to come and by the sayd letters patente it doth and maye at
And whereas your said subject being thus possessed and
interessed in the premisses before the second daye of this present month of may
in the eight yeare of this your highnes reigne of this your Realme of England
had to his great chardge reteyned and sett on worke about sixteene severalle
servants workmen and laborers to worke in and about the sayd workhouses and
works in the Castlehill field in Islington aforesayd and your said subjects
servants workmen and laborers in and uppon the said second daye of Maye were
peaceably and quietly working and labouring in and about your said subjects, and
those whose estate your said subject hath in the sayd close or field were in
quiet and peaceable possession thereof by the space of three yeares before the
said second daye of Maye.
Nowe so it may please your most exellent majestie That uppon
the sayd second daye of Maye now last past on Richard Wright of Stratford
Langthorne in the County of Essex gent Robert Wright his brother Nicholas Osier
and divers others whose names your sayd subject doth not yet knowe (but as they
shall be discovered your said subject humbly prayeth that they may be likewise
inserted into this bill) not respecting your Majesties lawes provided against
Riotts Routs unlawfull assemblies and forecible entreyes being armed with swords
daggers nd large pikes stafes and bills and other weapons as well offensive and
defensive in an hostile and warlike manner did riotouslye wantonlye and
unlawfullye the said second daye of Maye now last past assemble themselves
together at Islington aforesaid and being so assembled and armed did then and
there violentlye riotouslye and unlawfully and with force entre in and upon the
sayd close or field called Castlehill feild and in and upon the sayd workhouses
and buildings there in your subjects quiet possession as aforesaid and the sayd
Richard Wright then and there with a great lever or piece of wood did beat open
the doors of the said houses and so entred into the same workhouses and all the
rest of the sayd riotous persone then and there followed the said Richard Wright
into the sayd houses and the said Robert Wright after the sayd violent comming
into the said houses did drawe his sword and use great speeches to provoke
quarrels and uproare and to the great terror and astonishment of your subjects
sayd workmen servants and labourers then and there in peaceable & quiet
manner working & being.
And to the amazement of your majesties good and loveing
subjects, and the evill example of other evill disposed persons & further so
it is mae it please your most exellent majestie that the aid Richard Wright not
being herewith contented haveing himselfe done the wronge and injurie until your
sayd subject as aforsayd & himselfe & his said confederates & the
said other persons haveing committed the Riots Routs forceble entreys &
misdemeanours aforsayd, yett not withstanding the better to colour his former
misdemeanours he the said Richard Wright uppon the fourth daye of thsi present
month of Maye made complaint unto Sir Robert Leigh & Sir Thomas Fowler
Knights two of your majesties Justices of the peace in your highnes said county
of Middx that one John Fauntland(?) & other malefactors & disturbers of
your majesties peace had forcible & with strong hand entered into the sayd
house & yard & had expulsed the sayd Richard Wright out of the same
& held the same with force whereas the said Richard Wright did then well
known that he himselfe had no interest at all therein but a pretence of right
only under colour of favour & friendshipp in trust only to the use &
benefitt of your sayd subject & that the sayd John Lannt & other the
supposed malefactors were the servants workmen & labourers of your subject
wholly applying & intending the worke & affairs of your sayd subject in
peaceable manner there, uppon which complaint the sayd Sir Robert Leigh &
Sir Thomas Fowler did the sayd fourth day of Maye repaire into the sayd house
& yard to view the force being then & there accompanied with the sayd
Richard Wright, Robert Wright & Martyn Wright brothers of the said Richard
Wright & with other servants of the sayd Richard Wright at which time of
there comming theather the sayd John Lannt & other the servants of your sayd
subjects were in peaceable & quiet manner at there work & business
there, and did little mistrust any such matter but the said John Lannt osping(?)
the sayd Wright then & thinking that they had been come again to make a
forcible entry into the sayd house yard & close as before they & the
sayd other persons had done upon th second daye of the sayd monthe of maye as
aforesaid the sayd John Lannt with a longe staff in his hands denied them
entrance whereupon they broke open the outward gate of the close or field
leading into the sayd workhouses with a great Bekle(?) ir Moll & with there
swords drawne entered into the sayd yard or close but as soone as the sayd John
Lannt had understanding that the sayd Sir Robert Leigh & Sir Thomas Fowler
were Justices of your majesties peace & that they came according to the lawe
to veiwe the force the sayd John Lannt did voluntarily & willingly lay down
hs staffe & submitted himselfe & noe man else ever offered to resist,
notwithstanding the sayd Sir Thomas Fowler knight contrary to your majesties
peace did then & there with great violence unto one William Narket one other
of your said subjects then & there beinge such a blowe or boxe on the eare
with his fiste that he felled the says Narket unto th ground and being downe
uppon the ground did spurne(?) & luke(?) him two or three tymes & tore
his hand from his necke in very violent manner (the sayd John Lannt & the
sayd Narket not resisting him the said Sir Thomas Fowler nor his authoritye
eather in work d or deed) & the sayd Sir Robert Leigh & Sir Thomas
Fowler did also by virtue of there authoritye the sayd fourth day of Maye at
Islington aforesaid by warrant under thee hands commit the said John Lannt to
your Majesties gaile at Newgate in the said County of Middx there to remain
until he made his fine & ransome unto your Majestie in which gaile the sayd
John Lannt yett lieth whereas if any force were used in the keeping of the sayd
possession as in truth there was not yet the Justices of the peace had no excuse
so to meddle or carrye themselves against your subject & his sayd servants
your sayd subjects haveing benn in possession of the premises & those whose
estate he had by the space of three yeares before that tyme.
In tender consideracon whereof forasuch as the Riotts Routs
unlawfull assemblies forcible entreys & misdemeanours aforesaid were all
committed & done in breach & contempt of your majesties lawes to the
terror of your majesties good and loveing subjects to the evill example of
others & to the great damage & wronge of your pore subject in
disturbance of his workmen & affaires & discouragement of his servants
& one & all committed perpetrated & done since your Majesties most
gracious & last generall pardon Maye it please your most excellent Majestie
to grannt unto your sayd subject your Majesties gracious writte of subpoena to
be directed unto the said Sir Robert Leigh knight & Sir Thomas Fowler knight
Richard Wright Robert Wright Martyn Wright Nicholas Siser
[An endorsement is difficult to read, but appears to be an
order for appearance in Star Chamber]