A new steward of the college was appointed: Humphrey Davenport, who afterwards became Chief Baron of the Exchequer, and as such delivered judgment upon ship money in Hampden's case. Very few allusions to domestic and family matters occur inthe diary for these Manchester years, but in November, 1597, an accident is recorded to Arthur, who was at home for a time. He was amusing himself by fencing with Edward Arnold, one of Dee's men and his usual messenger to London, when the foyne or thrust of the rapier of his opponent damaged his left eye. The lad was now about seventeen, probably already entered at Christ Church, Oxford.

Correspondence with friends in London, as Dr. Julio, a well-known physician of the time, and Dr. Caesar (afterwards Sir Julius Caesar and Master of the Rolls), both of Italian origin, sometimes relieved the Warden's tedious and tiresome disputes with the Fellows, the tenants and the tithe owners of the college.

To Caesar, as Master of the Requests, Dee wrote on October 2, 1596, on behalf of William Nicholson, about an action he had brought against two persons for enclosing moor and mine land at Reddish. Some idea of the lawless proceedings of the time may be gathered from Dee's description of the injuries the plaintiff had received in having his barns pulled down and his corn and hay, "to the quantitie of a great number of loads, cast out of doors, which some of my family beheld." Dee adds pointedly: "I shall be forced ere it be long to fly to your direction and help in causes Judiciall"; and ends by a reference to Caesar's recent marriage, six months earlier, to a Manchester lady (Alice, daughterof Christopher Green): "God bless you and your new Joye."

Oliver Carter was more troublesome than ever, and lawsuits were instituted by the Warden both against him and George Birch, another of the Fellows. On Sunday, September 25, Dee writes: "Mr. Oliver Carter, his impudent and evident disobedience in the church." There was evidently a scene, though not, as Mr. Halliwell has it, caused by Carter's "dissoluteness in the church." There was no house for the Warden, but the fines of the Fellows for absence were by the last charter to be devoted to its provision. If they did not pay, Dee had to meet the rent himself. At the beginning of 1598 there were four lawsuits on the Warden's hands, but he records that he "stayed" them all, for one cause or another, one until Sir John Byron returned. In Januaru the college gate and a large piece of the wall fell down at midnight, so there were repairs to be made. He had a letter from John Pontoys, the friend who had sent him twenty-one loads of Dantzic rye, very useful for consumption. Another welcome contribution for domestic use arrived at this time, viz., "two lings and two haberdines from Mr. Harry Savill, from Lichefield." Haberdines are dried and salted cod. He records an eclipse of the sun on February 25, with the comment that although it was a cloudy day there was great darkness about half-past nine.

In March, the entries in the diary end abruptly, and are not resumed again till June, 1600, a period of more than two years, of which there appears no record. The time was apparently spent in London or at Mortlake; the purpose of the journey was no doubt to represent to the Privy Council or other authorities the terribly involved state of affairs in Manchester, where the college had become almost "no college."

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