Famous 16th Century British Poets

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 1 

John Donne
6
Birthdate: January 22, 1572
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: March 31, 1631
English metaphysical poet John Donne is best known for his touch of sensuality and spirituality in his poems. One of his best-known poems is The Canonization. He had also worked on Latin translations, elegies, sermons, and epigrams. He was known for his reckless lifestyle, that affected his financial status. 

 2 
Thomas Wyatt
(Poet & Politician)

Thomas Wyatt
4
Birthdate: 1503 AD
Birthplace: Allington, England
Died: October 11, 1542

Apart from being a lyric poet who is credited with having written the first English sonnets, Thomas Wyatt was also a seasoned politician and an ambassador who was patronized by Thomas Cromwell. He was also said to have had an affair with Anne Boleyn and was later arrested for it.

 3 

William Shakespeare
40
Birthdate: April 26, 1564
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Stratford-upon-Avon, England
Died: April 23, 1616

English playwright, poet, and actor William Shakespeare is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language. He is also often called England's national poet. Many of his works have been translated into other languages and his plays continue to be produced till day. Popular during his lifetime, he acquired an iconic status after his death.

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 4 

Philip Sidney
9
Birthdate: November 30, 1554
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Penshurst, Kent, England Kent, England
Died: October 17, 1586
Legendary Elizabethan poet Philip Sidney is best remembered for his works such as Arcadia and the sonnet sequence Astrophel and Stella. Born into an aristocratic family, he became an MP from Shrewsbury at the tender age of 18. He died in a military combat against Spain at age 31.

 5 
Ben Jonson
(Dramatist, Poet & Actor)

Ben Jonson
5
Birthdate: June 11, 1572
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Westminster, London, England
Died: August 6, 1637

 6 
Christopher Marlowe
(Playwright, Poet)

Christopher Marlowe
5
Birthdate: February 26, 1564
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Canterbury, Kent, England
Died: May 30, 1593

English playwright, poet, and translator, Christopher Marlowe, was one of the major literary figures of the Elizabethan era. It is believed that he greatly influenced his contemporary William Shakespeare. He led a troubled life and died young under mysterious circumstances. Despite his early death, he is regarded as one of the foremost dramatists of the 16th century London.  

 7 

Edmund Spenser
5
Birthdate: 1552 AD
Birthplace: London, England
Died: January 13, 1599
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 8 
George Herbert
(Poet recognized as one of the foremost British devotional lyricists)

George Herbert
4
Birthdate: April 3, 1593
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Montgomery, Wales
Died: March 1, 1633

George Herbert was an orator, poet, and priest of the Church of England. Although he is regarded as one of the most important British devotional lyricists, Herbert's poetry is often associated with the works of popular metaphysical poets. He was also a collector of proverbs and his collection was published in 1640.

 9 
Thomas Nashe
(Playwright)

Thomas Nashe
4
Birthdate: April 3, 1593, 1567
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lowestoft, United Kingdom
Died: 1601 AD

 10 

Anne Askew
6
Birthdate: 1521 AD
Birthplace: Stallingborough
Died: July 26, 1546

 11 

Emilia Lanier
6
Birthdate: 1521 AD, 1569
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bishopsgate, London, England
Died: March 31, 1645

Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey
6
Birthdate: 1517 AD
Birthplace: Hunsdon, England
Died: January 19, 1547

 13 
John Lyly
(Writer)

John Lyly
3
Birthdate: 1553 AD
Birthplace: Kent, England
Died: October 31, 1606

 14 
Thomas Middleton
(Playwright, Poet, Writer)

Thomas Middleton
3
Birthdate: April 18, 1580
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London
Died: July 4, 1627

 15 
Mary Sidney
(Countess)

Mary Sidney
3
Birthdate: October 27, 1561
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tickenhill Palace, Bewdley, Worcs, England
Died: September 25, 1621

 16 
Michael Drayton
(First to Write Odes in English in the Manner of Horace)

Michael Drayton
3
Birthdate: 1563 AD
Birthplace: Hartshill, England
Died: December 23, 1631

 17 

John Skelton
3
Birthdate: 1463 AD
Birthplace: England
Died: June 21, 1529

 18 
Thomas Campion
(Famous for Writing Over a Hundred Lute Songs, Masques for Dancing)

Thomas Campion
3
Birthdate: February 12, 1567
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: March 1, 1620

Fulke Greville, 1st Baron Brooke
3
Birthdate: October 3, 1554
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Beauchamp Court, England
Died: September 30, 1628

 20 

Robert Southwell
3
Birthdate: 1561 AD
Birthplace: Norfolk, England
Died: February 21, 1595

 21 
John Heywood
(Writer)

John Heywood
3
Birthdate: 1497 AD
Birthplace: London, England
Died: 1580 AD

 22 

George Peele
4
Birthdate: July 25, 1556
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: November 9, 1596

 23 

Thomas Overbury
3
Birthdate: June 18, 1581
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Compton Scorpion, Warwickshire, England
Died: September 14, 1613

Sir Thomas Overbury, English poet and essayist, is probably best known for his 1614 poem Wife, which describes the virtues one should demand of the woman he is going to marry. Interpreted as an indirect attack on Lady Essex, a divorcee whom his mentor, Viscount Rochester, was to marry, it led to his imprisonment and ultimate murder by slow poisoning.

 24 

John Leland
3
Birthdate: September 13, 1503
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: April 18, 1552

Thomas Sackville, 1st Earl of Dorset
3
Birthdate: 1536 AD
Birthplace: Withyham, England
Died: April 19, 1608

 26 

Samuel Daniel
3
Birthdate: 1562 AD
Birthplace: Taunton, England
Died: October 14, 1619

 27 
Thomas Lodge
(Writer)

Thomas Lodge
3
Birthdate: 1558 AD
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom
Died: August 31, 1625

 28 
Henry Wotton
(Author)

Henry Wotton
3
Birthdate: March 30, 1568
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: England
Died: December 1, 1639

Apart from being a diplomat, Henry Wotton was also a poet and a patron of the arts. The Oxford alumnus is best remembered for his poems such as You meaner beauties of the night, which were dedicated to Elizabeth of Bohemia, the daughter of King James I.

 29 

John Marston
2
Birthdate: October 7, 1576
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Coventry,England
Died: June 25, 1634

 30 

Gervase Markham
2
Birthdate: 1568 AD
Birthplace: Nottinghamshire, England
Died: February 3, 1637

Robert Sidney, 1st Earl of Leicester
2
Birthdate: November 19, 1563
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kent, England
Died: July 13, 1626

 32 
George Gascoigne
(English poet)

George Gascoigne
2
Birthdate: 1535 AD
Birthplace: Cardington, England
Died: October 7, 1577

Edward Herbert, 1st Baron Herbert
2
Birthdate: March 3, 1582
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Eyton-on-Severn, England
Died: August 5, 1648

English philosopher Edward Herbert, 1st Baron Herbert is regarded as the father of English Deism. Best remembered for his iconic work De Veritate, he had also penned a revealing autobiography. A talented lute player, too, he had also composed several musical pieces. He had also been a soldier and a diplomat.

 34 

Arthur Brooke
2
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: England
Died: March 19, 1563

 35 
John Davies
(English poet and writing master)

John Davies
2
Birthdate: April 16, 1569
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Wiltshire, United Kingdom
Died: December 8, 1626

 36 

Francis Quarles
2
Birthdate: May 8, 1592
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Romford, United Kingdom
Died: September 8, 1644

 37 
Thomas Tusser
(Author, Writer)

Thomas Tusser
2
Birthdate: 1524 AD
Birthplace: England, United Kingdom
Died: May 3, 1580

 38 
George Sandys
(Traveler)

George Sandys
2
Birthdate: March 2, 1578
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: near York, England
Died: March 1, 1644

 39 

George Wither
2
Birthdate: June 11, 1588
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hampshire, England
Died: May 2, 1667

 40 
Anthony Munday
(Playwright)

Anthony Munday
2
Birthdate: 1560 AD
Birthplace: London, England
Died: August 10, 1633

 41 
William Cornysh
(Composer)

William Cornysh
2
Birthdate: 1465 AD
Birthplace: Greenwich, England
Died: September 30, 1523

 42 

Phineas Fletcher
1
Birthdate: April 8, 1582
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cranbrook, England
Died: December 13, 1650

 43 
Edward Dyer
(Courtier)

Edward Dyer
1
Birthdate: April 8, 1582, 1543
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Glastonbury, Somerset, England
Died: April 30, 1607

 44 
Thomas Deloney
(Novelist)

Thomas Deloney
1
Birthdate: 1543 AD
Birthplace: Norwich, England
Died: March 31, 1600

 45 

Francis Meres
2
Birthdate: November 30, 1565
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kirton, England
Died: January 29, 1647

 46 

Richard Brathwait
1
Birthdate: 1588 AD
Birthplace: Kendal, England
Died: May 4, 1673

 47 

Stephen Hawes
1
Birthdate: 1474 AD
Birthplace: Suffolk, England
Died: 1523 AD

 48 

Thomas May
1
Birthdate: 1595 AD
Birthplace: Mayfield and Five Ashes, England
Died: November 13, 1650

Giles Fletcher, the Elder
1
Birthdate: 1548 AD
Birthplace: Cranbrook, England
Died: 1611 AD

 50 

William Alabaster
1
Birthdate: February 27, 1567
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hadleigh, England
Died: April 28, 1640