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SIR HENRY Wotton (whose life I now intend to write) was born in the year of our Redemption, 1568, in Bocton-Hall (commonly called Bocton, or Bougton-Place, or Palace) in the parish of Bocton Malherbe, in the fruitful county of Kent; Bocton-Hall being an ancient and goodly structure, beautifying and being beautified by the parish-church of Bocton Malherbe adjoining unto it, and both seated within a fair park of the Wottons, on the brow of such a hill as gives the advantage of a large prospect, and of equal pleasure to all beholders.
But this house and church are not remarkable for any thing so much as for that the memorable family of the Wottons have so long inhabited the one, and now lie buried in the other, as appears
by their many monuments in that church; the
Sir Edward Wotton, of Bocton Malherbe, knight (son and heir of the said Sir Robert), was born in the year of Christ, 1489, in the reign of king Henry the Seventh. He was made Treasurer of Calais, and of the Privy Council, to king Henry the Eighth, who offered him to be Lord Chancellor of England. “But,” saith Hollinshed, in his Chronicle, “out of a virtuous modesty he refused it.” Thomas Wotton, of Bocton Malherbe, Esquire, son and heir of the said Sir Edward, and the father of our Sir Henry that occasions this relation, was born in the year of Christ, 1521. He was a gentleman excellently educated, and studious in all the liberal arts; in the knowledge whereof he attained unto a great perfection; who, though he had (besides those abilities, a very noble and plentiful estate, and the ancient interest of his predecessors) many invitations from queen Elizabeth to change his country recreations and retirement for a court, offering him a knighthood (she was then with him at his Bocton-hall), and that to be but as an earnest of some more honorable and more profitable employment under her; yet he humbly refused both, being a man of great modesty, of a most plain and single heart, of an ancient freedom and integrity of mind: a commendation which Sir Henry Wotton took occasion often to remember with great gladness, and