1764 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Phineas Fletcher

David Erskine Baker, in Companion to the Play-House (1764) 2: Sig. N2v.



This learned Writer was, according to Winstanley, Son to Giles Fletcher, Esq; Doctor of Civil Law and Ambassador from Queen Elizabeth to Theodoric Juanowick, Duke of Muscovy. — He had two Brothers, viz. George and Giles Fletcher, who each of them wrote a Poem in a religious Strain, entitled Christ's Victory. — Our Author was a Fellow of King's College, Cambridge, and exceeded both his Brothers in poetic Fame, which he acquired principally by a Poem, called the Purple Island, which however is now quite forgotten.

Winstanley has attributed to him one dramatic Piece, entitled SICELIDES. Piscatory Drama. But as within a very few Pages he has ascribed a Piece of the very same Title, (with no other Difference than the calling it a Pastoral) to Robert Chamberlaine, and as the other Writers mention no more than one dramatic Work of that Title, and that without any Author's Name, it would be difficult to know where to fix it, were it not for one Circumstance, which I think determines it to have been Mr. Fletcher's, and that is, it's being declared in the Title Page to have been acted in King's College, Cambridge, the very Spot where this Author was educated, whereas Mr. Chamberlaine was bred at Exeter College, Oxford.

By the Date of its Publication, which is in 1631, the Author must have flourished in the Reign of Charles I. and been Cotemporary with Mr. Chamberlaine.