Famous 17th Century British Writers

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 John Locke

John Locke.
4
Famous As: Father of Classical Liberalism
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

Thomas Hobbes.
6
Famous As: Philosopher
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.

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 3 John Milton

John Milton.
6
Famous As: Poet, Polemicist, and Civil Servant for the Commonwealth of England.
Birthdate: December 9, 1608
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cheapside, City of London, United Kingdom
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.

 4 Daniel Defoe

Daniel Defoe.
4
Famous As: Novelist, Journalist & Merchant
Birthdate: September 13, 1660
Sun Sign: Virgo
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.

 5 Alexander Pope

Alexander Pope.
4
Birthdate: May 21, 1688
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London
Died: May 30, 1744

Alexander Pope was a satirist and poet whose works produced during the Augustan period made him one of the greatest artistic exponents of that period. Widely regarded as one of the most important English poets of the 18th century, Alexander Pope is best remembered for writing discursive poetry and heroic couplets.

 6 Samuel Pepys

Samuel Pepys.
5
Famous As: Member of Parliament
Birthdate: February 23, 1633
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London, England
Died: May 26, 1703

 7 Andrew Marvell

Andrew Marvell.
3
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: March 31, 1621
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Winestead, England
Died: August 16, 1678
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 8 Aphra Behn

Aphra Behn.
6
Famous As: Playwright
Birthdate: July 10, 1640
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Canterbury, England
Died: April 16, 1689

 9 Joseph Addison

Joseph Addison.
5
Famous As: Essayist & Poet
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.

 10 John Dryden

John Dryden.
7
Famous As: poet
Birthdate: August 9, 1631
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Northamptonshire, England
Died: May 12, 1700

 11 Thomas Browne

Thomas Browne
4
Famous As: Author
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.

 12 John Bunyan

John Bunyan.
4
Famous As: Writer, Preacher
Birthdate: November 28, 1628
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
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.

 13 Lady Margaret Lucas Cavendish

Lady Margaret Lucas Cavendish
3
Famous As: philosopher, scientist, poet, science fiction writer
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.

 14 Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
5
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: May 15, 1689
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: August 21, 1762

 15 Thomas Nashe

Thomas Nashe
5
Famous As: Playwright
Birthdate: October 31, 1567
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lowestoft, United Kingdom
Died: 1601 AD

 16 Anne Bradstreet

Anne Bradstreet.
5
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: March 20, 1612
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Northampton
Died: September 16, 1672

 17 Isaac Watts

Isaac Watts
3
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: July 17, 1674
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Southampton, Kingdom of England
Died: November 25, 1748

 18 William Congreve

William Congreve
3
Famous As: Playwright, Poet, Writer, Translator
Birthdate: January 24, 1670
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Leeds
Died: January 19, 1729

 19 John Gay

John Gay.
3
Famous As: Dramatist & Poet
Birthdate: June 30, 1685
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Barnstaple
Died: December 4, 1732

 20 Samuel Richardson

Samuel Richardson
3
Famous As: Writer, Novelist
Birthdate: August 19, 1689
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Mackworth
Died: July 4, 1761

 21 Emilia Lanier

Emilia Lanier.
5
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: December 31, 1569
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bishopsgate, London, England
Died: March 31, 1645

 22 Samuel Butler

Samuel Butler
2
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: February 14, 1613
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Strensham, England
Died: September 25, 1680

 23 John Harington

John Harington
3
Famous As: English author
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.”

 24 Izaak Walton

Izaak Walton
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Famous As: Writer
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.

 25 Edward Winslow

Edward Winslow
3
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: October 18, 1595
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Droitwich Spa, England
Died: May 8, 1655

 26 Richard Hakluyt

Richard Hakluyt
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: 1553 AD
Birthplace: London, England
Died: November 23, 1616

 27 John Evelyn

John Evelyn
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: October 31, 1620
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Surrey, England
Died: February 27, 1706

 28 John Sheffield, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Normanby

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

 29 John Lyly

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

 30 John Vanbrugh

John Vanbrugh
3
Famous As: Architect
Birthdate: January 24, 1664
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: March 26, 1726

 31 Robert Burton

Robert Burton
1
Famous As: Scholar
Birthdate: February 8, 1577
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Leicestershire,
Died: January 25, 1640

 32 Richard Baxter

Richard Baxter
3
Famous As: Poet
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.

 33 Mary Sidney

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

 34 Edmond Hoyle

Edmond Hoyle
2
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: 1672 AD
Birthplace: London, England
Died: August 29, 1769

 35 John Aubrey

John Aubrey
2
Famous As: Antiquary
Birthdate: March 12, 1626
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kington St Michael, Wiltshire, England
Died: June 7, 1697

 36 George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham

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

 37 Sir Robert Filmer

Sir Robert Filmer
2
Famous As: Political scientist
Birthdate: 1588 AD
Birthplace: Kent
Died: May 26, 1653

 38 Algernon Sidney

Algernon Sidney
2
Famous As: Diplomat, Politician, Writer
Birthdate: January 15, 1623
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Baynard's Castle, London
Died: December 7, 1683

 39 Richard Lovelace

Richard Lovelace
2
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: December 9, 1617
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Woolwich, London, England
Died: 1657 AD

 40 Mary Astell

Mary Astell
3
Famous As: Writer, Philosopher, Feminist
Birthdate: November 12, 1666
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Newcastle upon Tyne
Died: May 11, 1731

 41 Edward Taylor

Edward Taylor
2
Famous As: Poet
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.

 42 Abraham Cowley

Abraham Cowley.
2
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: 1618 AD
Birthplace: London, England
Died: July 28, 1667

 43 Jeremy Taylor

Jeremy Taylor
2
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: August 15, 1613
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cambridge, United Kingdom
Died: August 13, 1667

 44 Fulke Greville, 1st Baron Brooke

Fulke Greville, 1st Baron Brooke
2
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: October 3, 1554
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Beauchamp Court, England
Died: September 30, 1628

 45 Thomas Traherne

Thomas Traherne
2
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: October 10, 1636
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hereford, England
Died: September 27, 1674

 46 Edward Young

Edward Young.
2
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: July 3, 1683
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Upham
Died: April 5, 1765

 47 William Wycherley

William Wycherley
2
Famous As: Playwright
Birthdate: April 8, 1641
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Shrewsbury, England
Died: January 1, 1716

 48 James Harrington

James Harrington
2
Famous As: British philosopher
Birthdate: January 3, 1611
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Upton, England
Died: September 11, 1677

 49 John Gerard

John Gerard
2
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: 1545 AD
Birthplace: Nantwich, Cheshire, England
Died: January 31, 1612

 50 Eliza Haywood

Eliza Haywood
2
Famous As: British author
Birthdate: 1693 AD
Birthplace: England
Died: February 25, 1756