Famous 17th Century British Writers

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 1 
John Locke
(English Philosopher and Physician, Popularly Known as the ‘Father of Liberalism’)
John Locke
11
Birthdate: August 29, 1632
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wrington, Somerset, England
Died: October 28, 1704
John Locke, also known as The Father of Liberalism, was a prominent Enlightenment Age philosopher. A qualified physician, Locke postulated the theory of mind, empiricism, and the idea of tabula rasa. His ideas influenced the social contract theory, the works of Kant and Rousseau, and the U.S. Declaration of Independence.
 2 
Thomas Hobbes
(English Philosopher and One of the Founders of Modern Political Philosophy)
Thomas Hobbes
10
Birthdate: April 5, 1588
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Westport, Wiltshire, England
Died: December 4, 1679

Thomas Hobbes was an English philosopher. Widely regarded as the co-founder of modern political philosophy, Hobbes is best known for his influential book Leviathan. Apart from political philosophy, Thomas Hobbes also contributed immensely to various other fields, such as ethics, theology, geometry, history, and jurisprudence.

 3 
Walter Raleigh
(English Statesman, Soldier, Writer, Explorer and One of the Most Notable Figures of the Elizabethan Era)
Walter Raleigh
7
Birthdate: 1552 AD
Birthplace: Hayes Barton,United Kingdom, United Kingdom
Died: October 29, 1618
English explorer Walter Raleigh is best remembered for his involvement in the Siege of Smerwick and for colonizing North America. He made smoking tobacco popular in England. His accounts of his first voyage to South America led to the legend of El Dorado. He was executed to please the Spanish.
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 4 
John Milton
(English Poet and Intellectual Known for His Epic Poem ‘Paradise Lost’)
John Milton
9
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.

 5 
Jonathan Swift
(Satirist & Author of 'Gulliver's Travels',' A Tale of a Tub' and 'A Modest Proposal')
Jonathan Swift
6
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 Donne
(17th Century English Poet Who is Considered the Preeminent Representative of the Metaphysical Poets)
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. 
 7 
Daniel Defoe
(Author of Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders)
Daniel Defoe
4
Birthdate: 1660 AD
Birthplace: London, England
Died: April 24, 1731
Daniel Defoe was an English trader, pamphleteer, and spy, who is best remembered for his 1719 novel Robinson Crusoe. He also helped in popularizing the novel format of writing in Britain. He was a forerunner of business journalism, too, and also traded in hosiery, woollen goods, and wine.
 8 
Samuel Pepys
(Member of Parliament)
Samuel Pepys
6
Birthdate: February 23, 1633
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London, England
Died: May 26, 1703
 9 
William Shakespeare
(English Playwright & Poet Who is Regarded as the Greatest Writer in the English Language)
William Shakespeare
104
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.

 10 
Aphra Behn
(Playwright)
Aphra Behn
6
Birthdate: July 10, 1640
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Canterbury, England
Died: April 16, 1689
 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 
William Penn
(Writer)
William Penn
6
Birthdate: October 14, 1644
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England
Died: July 30, 1718

William Penn was a writer and one of the earliest members of the Quakers. He is credited with founding the Province of Pennsylvania. He also oversaw the planning and development of the city of Philadelphia. Penn has several universities and schools named in his honor, including the William Penn University in Iowa. 

 13 
Andrew Marvell
7
Birthdate: March 31, 1621
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Winestead, England
Died: August 16, 1678
 14 
Thomas Browne
(English Polymath and Author Best Known for His Books 'Religio Medici' and 'Urne-Burial')
Thomas Browne
4
Birthdate: October 19, 1605
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England
Died: October 19, 1682

Thomas Browne was an English author and polymath who wrote several books on varied fields, such as religion, medicine, science, and the esoteric. Browne incorporated different styles of writing depending upon the genre he was working on. Over the years, his writing has influenced several other writers like Herman Melville. Browne's works have been admired by personalities like William Osler.

 15 
John Dryden
7
Birthdate: August 9, 1631
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Aldwincle, Northamptonshire, England
Died: May 12, 1700
 16 
Roger Williams
(Theologian)
Roger Williams
4
Birthdate: December 12, 1603
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: 1683 AD

Roger Williams was a 17th-century Puritan minister and theologian. He founded Providence Plantations, which later became the US state of Rhode Island. He advocated for fair dealings with Native Americans and believed in religious freedom. He disapproved of perpetual chattel slavery. After being expelled by the Puritan leaders, he founded the First Baptist Church in America. 

 17 
John Bunyan
(English Writer and Puritan Preacher Best Known as the Author of the Christian Allegory ‘The Pilgrim's Progress’)
John Bunyan
4
Birthdate: November 1, 1628
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Elstow, Bedfordshire, England
Died: August 31, 1688

John Bunyan, the noted author of The Pilgrim’s Progress, was known for his belief in Puritanism. The son of a brazier, he initially quit school to join his father’s trade. He was later inspired by chapbooks, to write his iconic works and has also become a preacher.

 18 
Lady Margaret Lucas Cavendish
(philosopher, scientist, poet, science fiction writer)
Lady Margaret Lucas Cavendish
3
Birthdate: 1623 AD
Birthplace: Colchester, England
Died: December 15, 1673

Lady Margaret Lucas Cavendish was an English poet, philosopher, playwright, fiction writer, and scientist. Margaret, who had the audacity to publish her works without using a pen name at a time when female writers remained anonymous, was ahead of her time. Not surprisingly, she was considered eccentric and earned the nickname Mad Madge. Her works gained popularity in the 1980s.

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
7
Birthdate: May 15, 1689
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: August 21, 1762
 20 
Anne Bradstreet
5
Birthdate: March 20, 1612
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Northampton, England
Died: September 16, 1672
 21 
Isaac Watts
(Theologian)
Isaac Watts
3
Birthdate: July 17, 1674
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Southampton, Kingdom of England
Died: November 25, 1748
 22 
John Gay
(Dramatist & Poet)
John Gay
3
Birthdate: June 30, 1685
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Barnstaple
Died: December 4, 1732
 23 
Samuel Richardson
(Writer, Novelist)
Samuel Richardson
4
Birthdate: August 19, 1689
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Mackworth
Died: July 4, 1761
 24 
John Harington
(English author)
John Harington
3
Birthdate: August 4, 1561
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kelston, United Kingdom
Died: November 20, 1612

Though a witty author, John Harington is better remembered as the inventor of the flush toilet. He was banished from the royal court for the cockiness of his language in his written works. He also earned a knighthood and later came to be known as Queen Elizabeth’s “saucy godson.”

 25 
Emilia Lanier
5
Birthdate: 1569
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bishopsgate, London, England
Died: March 31, 1645
 26 
George Fox
(Author)
George Fox
2
Birthdate: 1624
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Fenny Drayton, Leicestershire, England
Died: January 13, 1691

Born to a weaver, George Fox had little formal education and left home at 18, in pursuit of some religious experience. The English missionary later founded the Society of Friends, or Quakers, which is a Protestant branch. He was married to Margaret Fell, known widely as "the mother of Quakerism."

 27 
Thomas Nashe
(Playwright)
Thomas Nashe
5
Birthdate: 1567
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lowestoft, United Kingdom
Died: 1601 AD
 28 
Samuel Butler
3
Birthdate: February 14, 1613
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Strensham, England
Died: September 25, 1680
 29 
William Congreve
(Playwright, Poet, Writer, Translator)
William Congreve
3
Birthdate: January 24, 1670
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Leeds
Died: January 19, 1729
 30 
Izaak Walton
(British Writer Best Known as the Author of 'The Compleat Angler')
Izaak Walton
4
Birthdate: August 9, 1593
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Stafford, England
Died: December 15, 1683

One of the greatest biographers of the 17th century, Izaak Walton was also a lover of fishing and had penned one of the most detailed treatises on fishing, The Compleat Angler. His notable works also include his biographies on John Donne and Henry Wotton. He was also a staunch Royalist.

John Sheffield, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Normanby
3
Birthdate: September 8, 1647
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: February 24, 1721
 32 
Richard Hakluyt
(British Writer Known for Promoting the English Colonisation of North America Through His Works)
Richard Hakluyt
3
Birthdate: 1553 AD
Birthplace: London, England
Died: November 23, 1616

English geographer Richard Hakluyt is remembered for his marked political influence and his continuous support of the British colonization of North America. A priest, he was associated with the Westminster Abbey. He also penned reports such as Discourse of Western Planting, which was appreciated by Queen Elizabeth I.

 33 
Robert Burton
(Scholar)
Robert Burton
1
Birthdate: February 8, 1577
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Leicestershire,
Died: January 25, 1640
 34 
Richard Baxter
(British Puritan Church Leader, Poet, Hymnodist, Theologian, and Controversialist)
Richard Baxter
3
Birthdate: November 12, 1615
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Rowton, Shropshire, England
Died: December 8, 1691

Richard Baxter was an English poet, theologian, hymnodist, controversialist, and Puritan church leader. He was one of the most influential and important leaders of the Nonconformists. Today, he is commemorated in the Church of England with a feast day on 14 June.

 35 
John Lyly
(Writer)
John Lyly
3
Birthdate: 1553 AD
Birthplace: Kent, England
Died: October 31, 1606
 36 
John Fletcher
(Playwright)
John Fletcher
3
Birthdate: 1579
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Rye, Sussex, England
Died: July 31, 1625
George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham
3
Birthdate: January 30, 1628
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: April 16, 1687
 38 
Mary Sidney
(Countess)
Mary Sidney
3
Birthdate: October 27, 1561
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tickenhill Palace, Bewdley, Worcs, England
Died: September 25, 1621
 39 
Edward Winslow
3
Birthdate: October 18, 1595
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Droitwich Spa, England
Died: May 8, 1655
 40 
Edmond Hoyle
(Writer)
Edmond Hoyle
2
Birthdate: 1672 AD
Birthplace: London, England
Died: August 29, 1769
 41 
John Evelyn
(Writer)
John Evelyn
3
Birthdate: October 31, 1620
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Surrey, England
Died: February 27, 1706
 42 
Algernon Sidney
(Diplomat, Politician, Writer)
Algernon Sidney
2
Birthdate: January 15, 1623
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Baynard's Castle, London
Died: December 7, 1683
 43 
John Aubrey
(Antiquary)
John Aubrey
2
Birthdate: March 12, 1626
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kington St Michael, Wiltshire, England
Died: June 7, 1697
 44 
Sir Robert Filmer
(Political scientist)
Sir Robert Filmer
2
Birthdate: 1588 AD
Birthplace: Kent
Died: May 26, 1653
 45 
Michael Drayton
(First to Write Odes in English in the Manner of Horace)
Michael Drayton
2
Birthdate: 1563 AD
Birthplace: Hartshill, England
Died: December 23, 1631
 46 
Thomas Campion
(Famous for Writing Over a Hundred Lute Songs, Masques for Dancing)
Thomas Campion
2
Birthdate: February 12, 1567
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: March 1, 1620
 47 
Mary Astell
(Writer, Philosopher, Feminist)
Mary Astell
3
Birthdate: November 12, 1666
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Newcastle upon Tyne
Died: May 11, 1731
 48 
Abraham Cowley
2
Birthdate: 1618 AD
Birthplace: London, England
Died: July 28, 1667
 49 
Richard Lovelace
2
Birthdate: December 9, 1617
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Woolwich, London, England
Died: 1657 AD
 50 
Jeremy Taylor
2
Birthdate: August 15, 1613
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cambridge, United Kingdom
Died: August 13, 1667