5th. November Monday
Sir John Radcliffe, of Ordsal, was slain at the Isle of Rhe 5th November. He was then 46 years of age. Some verses addressed to him by Ben Jonson refer to the fatalities that had overtaken his family:—
How like a column,
Radcliffe, left alone
For the great mark of virtue, those being gone
who did, alike with thee, thy house upbear,
Stand’st thou, to show the times what you all were.
Two bravely in the battle fell, and dy’d
Upbraiding rebel arms and barbarous pride;
And two that would have fallen, as great so they,
The Belgic fever ravished away.
Thou, that art all their valour, all their spirit,
And thine own goodness to increase thy merit—
Than those I do not know a whiter soul,
Nor could I, had I seen all Nature’s roll—
Thou yet remain’st unhurt, in peace and war,
Though not unprov’d; which shows thy fortunes are
Willing to expiate the fault in thee,
Wherewith, against thy blood, they offenders be.
It is said that Radcllffe had quarrelled with his wife and ,when fatally wounded wrote a letter to her, which the Duke of Buckingham kept from her. She was Alice, daughter of Sir John Byron, of Newstead. (Earwaker’s Local Gleanings. No. 302.)(7)
Samuel Bispham, “Doctor in Phisicke,” resident in Salford, but apparently had another house at Great Lever when, in 1631, he attended Bishop Bridgman, who had sickened during the plague time at Wigan. Bispham was a graduate of Leyden and of Oxford. From Salford he went to London, and in 1643 went on an embassy to France, Genoa, Florence, and Venice, in which he boasts that he spent £7,000 and lost £10,000. In 1660 he was a petitioner as “the only surviving physician of the late King.” His son Thomas, also a doctor of medicine, was the author of Inter Australe, a Latin poem, printed at Oxford in 1658. The entries relating to the Bispham family in the Manchester registers range from 1576 to 1634. (Palatine Note-book, vol. iii., pp. 8, 73.)(7)