Anthony Roll - Author and Artist

Author and Artist

Anthony Anthony has been identified as the compiler of the information and the artist behind the illustrations through his signature, which has been compared with holograph letters among the State Papers. Anthony's father was William Anthony (died 1535) a Fleming from Middelburg in Zeeland who migrated to England in 1503. William was a supplier of beer to the army, and Anthony followed in his father's footsteps. He went into beer exporting no later than 1530 and became a supplier of beer to the navy. In 1533 Anthony was appointed gunner at the Tower of London, a position he retained nominally until his death. He rose to the rank of overseer of the Ordnance Office, the government body responsible for supplying the armed forces with artillery, and it was in this position that he compiled his Roll. In 1549 he was promoted to master surveyor of the ordnance in the Tower, Calais, Boulogne, and elsewhere for life. He continued the work of supplying arms to English forces, and was active in the last month of his life supplying guns for an expedition against Le Havre.

In 1939 Dutch historian Nicholas Beets proposed that the Flemish artist and cartographer Cornelis Antoniszoon (or Antonisz., c. 1507–1553) could have been Anthony Anthony's brother. Although Beets' suggestion of kinship was conjectural and without any direct evidence, it was picked up by Geoffrey Callender in the Mariner's Mirror in 1963 and has been relayed by several other authors. The will of William Anthony did not mention any other sons and Anthonisz. is believed to have been the son of Antonis Egbertson, the daughter of Jacob Corneliszoon van Oostzanen. That Cornelis and Anthony were related is, in the words of Ann Payne, "not, presumably, impossible, but there is little evidence that they were connected at all".

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