Article

Henry Scogan

Andrew Galloway

in Medieval Studies

ISBN: 9780195396584
Published online April 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195396584-0034
Henry Scogan

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)
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Henry Scogan (b. c. 1361–d. 1407) emerged into view accurately only with Kittredge 1892 (cited under Biography), as a very minor poet lucky enough to know and be sent a witty poem by Chaucer (the short “Lenvoy a Scogan”), and as a substantial landowner and member of the courtly world. Scogan apparently wrote his own, later 189-line “Moral Balade” (c. 1406) for the four sons of Henry IV, the only work now attributed to him. It is notable for its enshrinement of the ideal of a wise, deceased Geoffrey Chaucer, and for presenting directly an example of Chaucer’s “vertuous sentence”: Chaucer’s complete poem “Gentillesse” is quoted entirely within Scogan’s poem, as support for one of the themes that Scogan wishes to expand on. Scogan was in service to Richard II, and was presumably the princes’ tutor because the tone of the “Moral Balade” is openly didactic. Scogan’s connections to Chaucer are otherwise untraced, apart from a debt to a merchant who had also loaned money to Chaucer as well as many other figures in Chaucer’s circle and beyond (Rickert 1926, p. 118; see Biography).

Article.  2584 words. 

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500) ; Literary Studies (Early and Medieval) ; Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy ; Byzantine and Medieval Art (500 CE to 1400) ; Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Archaeology

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