Famous 16th Century British Poets

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 1 
John Donne
(17th Century English Poet Who is Considered the Preeminent Representative of the Metaphysical Poets)
John Donne
7
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
(Politician and Poet Known for Introducing the 'Sonnet' to English Literature)
Thomas Wyatt
4
Birthdate: 1503 AD
Birthplace: Allington Castle, Kent, 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
(English Playwright & Poet Who is Regarded as the Greatest Writer in the English Language)
William Shakespeare
45
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
(Poet of the Elizabethan Era Known for a Pastoral Romance Entitled 'The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia')
Philip Sidney
11
Birthdate: November 30, 1554
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Penshurst, 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 
Edmund Spenser
5
Birthdate: 1552 AD
Birthplace: London, England
Died: January 13, 1599
 7 
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.

 8 
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.  

 9 
Anne Askew
7
Birthdate: 1521 AD
Birthplace: Stallingborough
Died: July 26, 1546
 10 
Emilia Lanier
6
Birthdate: 1569
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bishopsgate, London, England
Died: March 31, 1645
 11 
Thomas Nashe
(Playwright)
Thomas Nashe
4
Birthdate: 1567
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lowestoft, United Kingdom
Died: 1601 AD
Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey
6
Birthdate: 1517 AD
Birthplace: Hunsdon, England
Died: January 19, 1547
 13 
Thomas Middleton
(Playwright, Poet, Writer)
Thomas Middleton
3
Birthdate: April 18, 1580
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London
Died: July 4, 1627
 14 
John Lyly
(Writer)
John Lyly
3
Birthdate: 1553 AD
Birthplace: Kent, England
Died: October 31, 1606
 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 
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
 18 
John Skelton
4
Birthdate: 1463 AD
Birthplace: England
Died: June 21, 1529
 19 
Robert Southwell
3
Birthdate: 1561 AD
Birthplace: Norfolk, England
Died: February 21, 1595
Fulke Greville, 1st Baron Brooke
3
Birthdate: October 3, 1554
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Beauchamp Court, England
Died: September 30, 1628
 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 
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
 25 
Samuel Daniel
3
Birthdate: 1562 AD
Birthplace: Taunton, England
Died: October 14, 1619
 26 
Thomas Lodge
(Writer)
Thomas Lodge
3
Birthdate: 1558 AD
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom
Died: August 31, 1625
 27 
Henry Wotton
(British Author, Diplomat and Politician Who Sat in the House of Commons in 1614 and 1625)
Henry Wotton
3
Birthdate: March 30, 1568
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: England
Died: November 30, 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.

 28 
John Marston
2
Birthdate: October 7, 1576
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Coventry,England
Died: June 25, 1634
 29 
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
 31 
George Gascoigne
(English poet)
George Gascoigne
2
Birthdate: 1535 AD
Birthplace: Cardington, England
Died: October 7, 1577
 32 
Arthur Brooke
2
Birthplace: England
Died: March 19, 1563
 33 
Francis Quarles
2
Birthdate: May 8, 1592
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Romford, United Kingdom
Died: September 8, 1644
 34 
Thomas Tusser
(Author, Writer)
Thomas Tusser
2
Birthdate: 1524 AD
Birthplace: England, United Kingdom
Died: May 3, 1580
 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 
George Sandys
(Traveler)
George Sandys
2
Birthdate: March 2, 1578
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: near York, England
Died: March 1, 1644
 37 
George Wither
2
Birthdate: June 11, 1588
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hampshire, England
Died: May 2, 1667
 38 
Anthony Munday
(Playwright)
Anthony Munday
2
Birthdate: 1560 AD
Birthplace: London, England
Died: August 10, 1633
 39 
William Cornysh
(Composer)
William Cornysh
2
Birthdate: 1465 AD
Birthplace: Greenwich, England
Died: September 30, 1523
 40 
Phineas Fletcher
1
Birthdate: April 8, 1582
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cranbrook, England
Died: December 13, 1650
 41 
Edward Dyer
(Courtier)
Edward Dyer
1
Birthdate: 1543
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Glastonbury, Somerset, England
Died: April 30, 1607
 42 
Alexander Barclay
(British Poet and Clergyman of the Church of England)
Alexander Barclay
1
Birthdate: 1476 AD
Birthplace: Scotland
Died: June 10, 1552

Alexander Barclay was a poet remembered for his adaptation of Sebastian Brant's German satire, Das Narrenschiff. The adaptation, which was first printed in 1509, was titled The Shyp of Folys of the Worlde. In addition to being a poet, Barclay was also a clergyman of the Church of England; he went on to become a Benedictine monk in the 1510s. 

 43 
Francis Meres
2
Birthdate: November 30, 1565
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kirton, England
Died: January 29, 1647
 44 
Thomas Deloney
(Novelist)
Thomas Deloney
1
Birthdate: 1543 AD
Birthplace: Norwich, England
Died: March 31, 1600
 45 
Robert Herrick
1
Birthdate: August 24, 1591
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cheapside, City of London, England
Died: September 30, 1674

Best remembered for penning the lines "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may," poet Robert Herrick wrote everything from elegies to love songs and religious verse, and was inspired by English folklore. He was a true Cavalier poet, who wrote verses in support of King Charles I.

 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
 49 
Robert Crowley
1
Birthdate: 1517 AD
Birthplace: Gloucestershire, England
Died: June 18, 1588

Robert Crowley was a 16th-century poet, polemicist, and Protestant clergyman. He was one of the Marian exiles at Frankfurt. He worked as a tutor after completing his education and later became a member of the Stationers' Company. He was involved in the preparation and publication of several books. He was ordained a deacon in 1551. 

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