Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Joshua Eckhardt

Second Advisor

Dr. Catherine Ingrassia

Third Advisor

Dr. Matteo Pangallo

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Kevin Farley


This project studies the contemporary manuscript transmission of three poems written on the 1609 death of Lady Bridget Markham. Lady Markham was the cousin of the influential courtier and patron Lucy, Countess of Bedford and her death prompted an outpouring of verses that were collected in manuscript verse miscellanies during the period. John Donne was in the process of establishing a patronage relationship with Lady Bedford at the time and wrote a respectful elegy on her cousin’s death. Francis Beaumont also wrote, for the same occasion, what has been called the most “repellent” work of the English Renaissance. That same year, Lady Bedford wrote an elegy on the death of another kinswoman, Cecilia Bulstrode, which several scribes redirected to Lady Markham. This project attends to the diverse ways contemporary verse collectors encountered, altered, and situated these poems, mediating the legacy of Markham’s death and Bedford’s patronage. The method for this project adapts elements of single-author critical editing to study the verses as a group. By organizing textual study around Lady Bedford and the death of Lady Markham, it reorients research away from the individual author towards the patron and her circle.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission


Available for download on Saturday, March 20, 2219