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Brief Lives: William Cecil 1st Baron Burghley 1520-1598
Brief Lives: William Cecil 1st Baron Burghley 1520-1598. Cecil, lord Burleigh: Memorandum, the true name is Sitsilt, and is an ancient Monmouthshire family, but now come to be about the size c of yeomanry. In the church at Monmouth, I remember in a south windowe an ancient scutcheon of the family, the same that this family beares. 'Tis strange that they should be so vaine to leave off an old British name for a Romancy one, which beteere Mr Verstegan did putt into their heads, telling his lordship, in his booke, that they were derived from the ancient Roman Cecilii. The first lord Burley (who was Secretary of Estate) was at first but (a) country-schoole-master, and (I thinke Dr. Thomas Fuller sayes, vide Holy State) borne in Wales. I remember (when I was a schooleboy at Blandford) Mr. Basket, a reverend divine, who was wont to beg us play-dayes, would alwayes be uncovered, and sayd that 'twas the lord Burleigh's custome for (said he) here is my Lord Chanceller, my Lord Treasurer, my Lord Chief Justice, &c., predestinated'. 'He made Cicero's Epistles his glasse, his rule, his oracle, and ordinarie pocket-booke ' (Dr. J. Web in preface of his translation of Cicero's Familiar Epistles.