1680 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

George Wither

John Aubrey, in Brief Lives, 1669-1696; ed. Clark (1898) 2:306-07.



Mr. George Withers (vide A. Wood's Antiqu. Oxon.) was borne at Bentworth near Alton, in Hantshire, on the eleventh of June, 1588.

He married Elizabeth, eldest daughter of H. Emerson, of South Lambeth, in com. Surrey, esqre. whose ancestors lye entombed in the choir of St. Saviour's, Southwark, neer the monument of bishop Andrewes, with a statue of white marble. She was a great witt, and would write in verse too.

He was of < Magdalen College > in Oxford. He would make verses as fast as he could write them. And though he was an easie rymer, and no good poet, he was a good vates. He had a strange sagacity and foresight into mundane affaires.

He was an early observator of "Quicquid agunt homines"; his witt was satyricall. I thinke the first thing he wrote was "Abuses whipt and stript," for which he was committed prisoner to ... (I beleeve Newgate). I believe 'twas tempore Jacobi regis. He was a captain in the parliament army, and the Parliament gave him for his service Mr. Jo. Denham's estate at Egham in Surrey. The motto of his colours was "Pro Rege, Lege, et Grege."

After the restauration of his majestie he was imprisoned in the Tower about three quarters of a yeare. He dyed on the 2d of May, 1667, and lieth interred within the east dore of the Savoy church, where he dyed. He was pupill to bishop [John] Warner of Rochester.

George Wythers, poet: — vide memorandum 1673 + mu de. G. W.