Above in the skies shall Gemini rise



Notes. John Chamberlain, our only source for this verse, included a transcription in his 8 February 1617 newsletter to Sir Dudley Carleton. Having noted Buckingham’s recent appointment as a Privy Councillor, and the talk that, “His brother Christofer is come to be of the bed-chamber”, Chamberlain commented that, “I cannot but commend that Lords goode disposition in dooing goode to his kindred and frends: though some riming companions do not forbeare to taxe him for it, as one by way of a prognostication sayes” (2.52).

Above in the skies shall Gemini1 rise,

And Twins the court shall pester,

George2 shall call up his brother Jacke3

And Jacke his brother Kester.4


Source. Chamberlain 2.52

1   Gemini: the constellation of the twins, Castor and Pollux.

2   George: George Villiers, Earl of Buckingham, royal favourite.

3   Jacke: John Villiers, Buckingham’s older brother, later elevated as Viscount Purbeck, was appointed a Groom of the Bedchamber and Master of the Robes to Prince Charles in 1616.

4   Kester: presumably an abbreviated version of Christopher Villiers’s name. Christopher—often referred to as Kit—Villiers was Buckingham’s younger brother, and was later created Earl of Anglesey. His appointment to a Bedchamber office, reported in Chamberlain’s letter, was perhaps the occasion for the libel.

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