Francis, an English author, born at Stewards, Essex, in 1592, died Sept. 8, 1644. He was educated at Christ's college, Cambridge, studied law at Lincoln's Inn, was cupbearer for a while to the queen of Bohemia, and in 1621 went to Dublin, where he became secretary to Bishop Usher. Returning to England after several years' absence, he was appointed chro-nologer to the city of London, and devoted himself to literary labors until the rupture between the king and parliament, when his attachment to the royal cause plunged him into difficulties from which he never recovered. His best known writings are his "Divine Emblems" (1635) and "Enchiridion" (1641). The former, imitated from the Pia Desideria of the Jesuit Herman Hugo, consists of symbolical pictures with short moral lessons in verse; the latter is a collection of brief essays and aphorisms, in vigorous and occasionally eloquent language. Among his poetical works are: "Feast for Worms, or the History of Jonah " (1620); "Quintessence of Meditation" (1620); "Ar-galus and Parthenia" (1621); "History of Queen Esther;" an "Alphabet of Elegies" (1632), in memory of his friend Archdeacon Aylmer; "Hieroglyphics" (1638); "The Shepherd's Oracles" (1644); and "The Virgin Widow" (1649), a comedy. "The School of the Heart," attributed to him, is a translation of a Latin poem by Van Haeften of Antwerp, published anonymously in London in 1635. In most of these works he evinces strength of thought and considerable wit, but frequently becomes absurd and' grotesque.
His "Enchiridion" has been republished in Smith's " Library of Old Authors;" the "School of the Heart" and "Hieroglyphics" were reprinted in London in 1858, and the "Emblems" in 1859 and 1868.
John, son of the preceding, born in Essex in 1624, died of the plague in London in 1665. He was educated at Oxford, where he assisted in defending the town against the parliamentarians, was afterward a captain of the royal forces, and retired to London after the king's final overthrow. He wrote "Regale Lectum Miseriae, or a Kingly Bed of Misery" (1648); "Fons Lachrymarum, or a Fountain of Tears" (1648); a continuation of the "History of Argalus and Parthenia" (1659); "Divine Meditations" (1665); and other works in verse and prose.