1690 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Habington

Anthony Wood, Athenae Oxonienses (1690-91; 1721) 2:110.



WILLIAM HABINGTON, born at Hendlip, on the fourth (some say the fifth) day of November 1605, educated in S. Omers and Paris; in the first of which he was earnestly invited to take upon him the habit of the Jesuits, but by excuses got free and left them. After his return from Paris, being then at Man's Estate, he was instructed at home in matters of History by his Father, and became an accomplish'd Gentleman. He hath written and published (1) Poems, Lond. 1635, in oct. sec. Edit. under the Title of Castara. They are divided into three parts, under a different Title suitable to their Subject. The first, which was written when he was a Suiter to his Wife, (the humane Goddess that inspir'd him, viz. Lucia Daughter of Will. Lord Powis) is usher'd in, by a Character writ in Prose, of a Mistress. The second, are Copies writ to her after Marriage, by the Character of a Wife: after which is a Character of a Friend, before several Funeral Elegies. The third parts consists of Divine Poems, some of which are Paraphrases on several Texts out of Job and the Book of Psalms; before which is the Portraict of a holy Man. (2) Queen of Aragon, Trag. Com. which Play he communicating to Philip Earl of Pembroke L. Chamberlain of the Household to K. Charles I. he caused it to be acted at Court, and afterwards to be publish'd against the Author's Will. (3) Observations upon History. Lond. 1641. oct. (4) History of Edward the fourth King of England. Lond. 1640. in a thin fol. written and published at the desire of K. Charles I. being then by many esteemed to have a stile sufficiently florid, and better becoming a poetical, than historical, Subject. This Person Will. Habington, who did run with the times, and was not unknown to Oliver the Usurper, died on the 30th of November 1654, and was buried in the Vault before-mentioned by the bodies of his Father and Grand-father. The MSS which he (and his Father) left behind, are in the hands of his son Thomas, and might be made useful for the public, if in others.