1690 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Philip Massinger

Anthony Wood, Athenae Oxonienses (1690-91; 1721) 1:629-30.



PHILIP MASSINGER, son of Philip Massinger a Servant belonging to the Pembrochian Family, made his first entry on the stage of this vain World within the City of Salisbury, was entred a Commoner in St. Alban's hall, in the seventeenth year of his age 1601, where, tho' encouraged in his studies by the Earl of Pembroke, yet he applied his mind more to Poetry and Romances for about four years or more, than to Logic and Philosophy, which he ought to have done, and for that end was patronized. Afterwards leaving the University without the honour of a degree, he retired to the great City to improve his fancy and studies by Conversation. At length being sufficiently fam'd for several specimens of wit, wrote divers Comedies and Tragedies for the English Stage, (besides other things) much applauded and cried up in their time, when acted and published. Their names are these [list omitted]. As for our Author Ph. Masinger, he made his last exit very suddenly, in his House on the Bank-side in Southwark, near to the then Play-House, for he went to bed well and was dead before morning. Whereupon his Body, being accompanied by Comedians, was buried about the middle of that Ch. Yard belonging to S. Saviours Church there, commonly called the Bull-head Ch. Yard, that is, in that which joyns to the Bull-head Tavern (for there are in all four yards belonging to that Church) on the 18 day of March in sixteen hundred thirty and nine. Sir Aston Cockain Baronet in his Choice Poems of several sorts, &c. Lond. 1658. oct. hath in page 186, an Epitaph on Mr. Joh. Fletcher and Mr. Philip Massinger, who, as he saith, lye buried both in one grave in St. Mary Overies Church (alias S. Saviours) in Southwark. See more in Sir John Beaumont under the year 1628, where you'll find more of those two Persons. One Walt. Messenger or Massinger was a student in S. Alb. hall in the beginning of Queen Elizabeth's reign, whom I take to be Uncle of Philip the Poet.