Although written English gained ground rapidly in the fifteenth century, any writing which commented on the spoken language did not appear until the sixteenth century, when one type of regional speech began to be said to have prestige. It was London and the speech of the monarch's court which was held up as the dialect to be imitated.' lohn Hart noted in 1570 that it is 'in the Court and London ... where the general flower of all English country speaches are chosen and read ... for that unto these two places, do dayly resort from all towns and countries, of the best of all professions'.3 Around the same time George Puttenharn (1589) gives advice about language to poets recommending:

the usual speech of the Court, and that of London and the shires lying about London within 60 miles and not much above ... Northem men, whether they be noblemen or gentlemen, or of their best clerks, [use an English] which is not so courtly or so current as our Southem English is."