MacLean, Gerald, editor. The Return of the King : An Anthology of English Poems Commemorating the Restoration of Charles II / edited by Gerald MacLean
Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library

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Giles Fleming
from Stemma Sacrum

   Titlepage: STEMMA SACRUM, / The / Royal Progeny / Delineated, and with some / Notes explained, Shewing His / SACRED MAJESTIES / Royal and Lawful Descent to / His Crown and Kingdoms, from all / the Kings that ever reigned in this / NATION. / [rule] / By Giles Fleming, Rector of Wadding-/ worth, in the Diocess and County of / LINCOLN. / [rule] / Blessed art thou O Land, when thy King is the Son of / the Nobles, Eccles. 10. 7. / And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Ju-/ dah, shall yet again take root downward, and / bear fruit upward, 2 Kings 19. 30. / [rule] / London, Printed for Robert Gibbs, at the golden / Ball in Chancery-lane. 1660. / [whole is boxed] 1

   Reissued in 1664 as His Majesty's Pedigree. This is not so much a reprint, as the original work with a cancel titlpage -- "Printed for Tho. Rooks at the Lamb and Inkbottle at the East end of S. Pauls near S. Austins gate, 1664" and a final leaf listing works printed by Rooks. Gibbs's colophon has been erased from the genealogical table.

   The Folger copy is signed "Katherine Willughby her booke 1661 sent her by her deare Sister, S. W." and, on the titlepage, is signed by "Doro Winstanley." An engraved portrait of Charles II precedes the titlepage in the WF copy; not found in MR

    Anticipation of the king involved checking out his dynastic credentials once more and, in doing so, insist upon the principle of royal inheritance. This is the task that Giles Fleming took upon himself in producing a pocket-book sized genealogy of the returning king.

    Giles Fleming is identified as "Rector of Waddingworth, in the Diocess and County of Lincoln" on the titlepage. From Lincoln Cathedral Library, Dr. Nicholas Bennett reports: "Waddingworth is a small parish, six miles west-north-west of honrcastle in Lincolnshire. The Village is still in existence, although the church of St Margaret has sadly been made redundant. Giles Fleming was presented to the rectory of Waddingworth by King Charles I on 28 August 1629 and was instituted to the living on 4 September. 2 According to Venn, Alumni Cantabrigenses, he was educated at St. John's College, Cambridge (BA 1622-3) and ordained deacon and priest by the Bishop of Peterborough in 1626. He held the living of Waddingworth until his death early in 1665; he was buried in Beverly Minster on 23 January 1664/5. I have found no record to suggest that he was ejected from his living dring the Commonwealth period." 3

    Author of the sermon Magnificence exemplified: and, the repair of Saint Pauls exhorted unto, preached at St Paul's on 31 August 1634 (STC 11052); copy at Lincoln Cathedral.

    Fleming dedicated Stemma Sacrum to George, Lord Viscount Castleton; recently chosen to represent Lincoln in Parliament, according to the dedicatory epistle. After the dedication, the book contains a fold-out genealogical table [present in copies CH, WF, O=Ash; the 1664 copy at O; missing from MR, O=E.109], establishing Charles as dynastic heir to the throne of Britain "from all the Kings that have ever reigned in this Island, whereby the people may perceive how properly, rightly, legally, and intirely he is their own, whom they now thus joyfully receive" (sigs. [A3v]-A4). It is preceded by the following verses.

    After the table, there follows a 48 page [sigs. B-D[8v], pp. 1-48] prose text on the wonders of Charles's return, interlarded with classical anecdotes and a discussion of the various kinds of people who make up the inhabitants of Britain: the "Aborigines," or Britons; the "Indigenae" or "Inhabitants," the Saxons; the "Inquilini," or Intruders, the Danes; the "Victores" or Conquerors, such as the Normans; "Convenae," or Associates, the Scots; "Advenae," or strangers, the Dutch. Each group is shown to have inter-married leading to the ascendancy of the Stuarts, thereby proving Charles the rightful leader. It ends with a series of Latin monograms suited to the monarchs since William. Racial discourse of this kind was not unfamiliar to readers of the Restoration period.

    The verses are given in reverse italics.

[1] MR copy used here for titlepage.

[2] [Lincoln Diocesan Records, PD 1629/38; Bishop's Certificates calendared in C. W. Foster, `Admissions to benefices', Associated Architectural Societies Reports and Papers 30 (1910), 384]

[3] Letter, dated 24 october 1995.

COme hither if you want a guide,
To shew you whom ye should obey;
Look on this Stem, and see descry'd,
To whom of right belongs the sway.
5: If from your Fathers ye possess
That Land you rightly call your own,
By the same Law ye must confess
That unto Charles belongs the Throne;
And if a thousand years make good
10: A title to the English Crown,
Longer then so his Race hath stood;
Then how can subjects put him down?
Who art thou that within this Land,
Dost challenge either birth or place?
15: Look here, and thou shalt understand
Who 'tis that dignifies thy Race.
Art thou a Norman Noble Peer,
And from them drawst thy high descent?
Plantagenet, I present thee here
20: Thy Lineages chief Ornament.
Stout Saxon, with thy crooked Sword
If that thou say, Shew me my King;
Take it upon a Scholars word,
King Edgars Heir to thee I bring.
25: If thou say'st, Bold and Bonny, Scot,
I ne're had King, but was mine own:
A Steward's here thy happy lot,
The lawful Heir of Calidon.
Rich ancient, Yeoman born in Kent,
30: If that thou cry'st A Dane for me,
Canutus blood I here present,
The Heir to Denmarks Majesty.
Old Brittane who in Lyrick verse,
Sangst of so many Kings of Yore,
35: Tuders Blood-Royal I reherse,
Of whom thy Bards sang long before.