The friend of good old Izaak Walton, Cotton (1630-1687) was a cheerful, witty, and accomplished man, but improvident in worldly matters. His father, Sir George, left him the encumbered estate of Ashbourne, in Derbyshire, near the river Dove. Cotton was thenceforth always in money difficulties, and died insolvent. To get money, he translated several works from the French and Italian, and among them Montaigne's Essays. He made a discreditable travesty of Virgil, remarkable only for its obscenity. But some of his verses show a genuine vein.