Published: 04/03/2023 By Allan Fuller
This is one theory. Thomas Fuller, (no relation-as far as I know!) in Worthies of England, included a story where the Queen told her treasurer, William Cecil, to pay Edmond Spenser one hundred pounds for his poetry. The treasurer, however, objected that the sum was too much. She said, "Then give him what is reason". Without receiving his payment in due time, Spenser gave the Queen this 4 line stanza on one of her progresses:
I was promis'd on a time,
To have a reason for my rhyme:
From that time unto this season,
I receiv'd nor rhyme nor reason.
She immediately ordered the treasurer to pay Spenser the original £100.