Famous 17th Century British Poets

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 1 

John Milton
7
Birthdate: December 9, 1608
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cheapside, London, England
Died: November 8, 1674

John Milton was an English poet whose epic poem Paradise Lost is widely regarded as one of the greatest works of literature. Milton's other celebrated work Areopagitica is counted among history's most impassioned and influential defenses of freedom of the press and freedom of speech. John Milton’s works have influenced other prominent writers, such as Thomas Hardy and George Eliot.

 2 

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. 

 3 

Andrew Marvell
5
Birthdate: March 31, 1621
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Winestead, England
Died: August 16, 1678
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 4 

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.

 5 
Jonathan Swift
(Satirist & Author of 'Gulliver's Travels',' A Tale of a Tub' and 'A Modest Proposal')

Jonathan Swift
5
Birthdate: November 30, 1667
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: October 19, 1745

Eighteenth-century essayist, poet, and pamphleteer Jonathan Swift is remembered for his iconic works such as A Tale of a Tub, A Modest Proposal, and Gulliver's Travels. One of the world’s greatest satirists, he gave rise to the deadpan Swiftian style. He had also been the Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral.

 6 

John Dryden
6
Birthdate: August 9, 1631
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Aldwincle, Northamptonshire, England
Died: May 12, 1700

 7 
Aphra Behn
(Playwright)

Aphra Behn
6
Birthdate: July 10, 1640
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Canterbury, England
Died: April 16, 1689
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 8 
Thomas Nashe
(Playwright)

Thomas Nashe
4
Birthdate: July 10, 1640, 1567
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lowestoft, United Kingdom
Died: 1601 AD

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
6
Birthdate: May 15, 1689
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: August 21, 1762

 10 

Anne Bradstreet
6
Birthdate: March 20, 1612
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Northampton, England
Died: September 16, 1672

 11 
Joseph Addison
(Essayist & Poet)

Joseph Addison
6
Birthdate: May 1, 1672
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Milston, United Kingdom
Died: June 17, 1719
Best known for his articles in the iconic 18th-century periodicals The Tatler and The Spectator, English essayist Joseph Addison had a lifelong collaboration with Richard Steele. Educated at Oxford, he excelled in Latin and classics. A prominent Whig, he mostly wrote on the social and cultural trends of his time.

 12 
Isaac Watts
(Theologian)

Isaac Watts
5
Birthdate: July 17, 1674
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Southampton, Kingdom of England
Died: November 25, 1748

 13 
John Gay
(Dramatist & Poet)

John Gay
5
Birthdate: June 30, 1685
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Barnstaple
Died: December 4, 1732

 14 

Emilia Lanier
6
Birthdate: June 30, 1685, 1569
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bishopsgate, London, England
Died: March 31, 1645

 15 

Samuel Butler
4
Birthdate: February 14, 1613
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Strensham, England
Died: September 25, 1680

 16 
William Congreve
(Playwright, Poet, Writer, Translator)

William Congreve
4
Birthdate: January 24, 1670
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Leeds
Died: January 19, 1729

George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham
3
Birthdate: January 30, 1628
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: April 16, 1687

John Sheffield, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Normanby
3
Birthdate: September 8, 1647
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: February 24, 1721

 19 
John Lyly
(Writer)

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

 20 
Mary Sidney
(Countess)

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

 21 
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

 22 
Mary Astell
(Writer, Philosopher, Feminist)

Mary Astell
4
Birthdate: November 12, 1666
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Newcastle upon Tyne
Died: May 11, 1731

 23 
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

 24 

Richard Lovelace
3
Birthdate: December 9, 1617
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Woolwich, London, England
Died: 1657 AD

 25 

Edward Taylor
3
Birthdate: 1642 AD
Birthplace: Coventry, England
Died: June 29, 1729

Edward Taylor was a colonial American poet, physician, and pastor. His poetry, which has been characterized as Metaphysical, remained unpublished for 200 years. However, after its publication, Taylor's work has established him as one of the greatest writers of his generation. Edward Taylor’s works have been compared to the works of Baroque poets like Francisco de Quevedo and Giambattista Marino.

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

 27 

Thomas Traherne
3
Birthdate: October 10, 1636
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hereford, England
Died: September 27, 1674

 28 

Edward Young
3
Birthdate: July 3, 1683
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Upham
Died: April 5, 1765

 29 
Eliza Haywood
(British author)

Eliza Haywood
3
Birthdate: 1693 AD
Birthplace: England
Died: February 25, 1756

 30 

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.

Charles Montagu, 1st earl of Halifax
3
Birthdate: April 16, 1661
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kingdom of England
Died: May 19, 1715

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

 33 
William Davenant
(Playwright)

William Davenant
3
Birthdate: March 3, 1606
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Oxford, England
Died: April 7, 1668

 34 

Thomas Shadwell
3
Birthdate: 1642 AD
Birthplace: Norfolk, England
Died: November 19, 1692

 35 

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

 36 
John Suckling
(Poet and dramatist)

John Suckling
3
Birthdate: February 10, 1609
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Whitton, England
Died: April 30, 1641

 37 
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.

 38 

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

 39 

Thomas Carew
2
Birthdate: 1595 AD
Birthplace: West Wickham, England
Died: March 22, 1640

 40 

Sir George Etherege
2
Birthdate: 1636 AD
Birthplace: Maidenhead, England
Died: 1691 AD

 41 

Katherine Philips
2
Birthdate: January 1, 1632
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England
Died: June 22, 1664

 42 

Nicholas Rowe
2
Birthdate: June 20, 1674
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Little Barford, England
Died: December 6, 1718

 43 

Richard Crashaw
3
Birthdate: 1612 AD
Birthplace: London, England
Died: August 21, 1649

 44 

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

 46 

Charles Cotton
2
Birthdate: April 28, 1630
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Alstonefield, England
Died: February 16, 1687

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.

 48 

Michael Wigglesworth
2
Birthdate: October 18, 1631
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Yorkshire, England
Died: June 10, 1705

 49 
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

 50 

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