1769 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Drummond

James Granger, in Biographical History of England (1769; 1824) 3:142.



William Drummond was a man of a fine natural genius, which he assiduously improved with all the advantages of arts, languages, and travel. He was universally esteemed one of the best poets of his age, and stands in the first rank of modern historians. He, for his excellence in telling a story, and interesting his reader in what he relates, is thought to be comparable to Livy. His poems consist chiefly of love-verses, epigrams, and epitaphs: his history is of five kings of Scotland of the name of James. Ben Jonson went, on purpose to visit him, to Hawthornden, where he spent several months, which he esteemed the happiest part of his life. In Drummond's works, the best edition of which was printed at Edinburgh, in 1711, fol. are some very curious particulars that passed betwixt him and Jonson. The news of the beheading of Charles I. so shocked him, that it quickly hastened his death. Ob. 1649.