The Age of Milton: An Encyclopedia of Major 17th-Century British and American Authors

By Alan Hager | Go to book overview

John Suckling
(1608/1609-1642)

THOMAS HOWARD CROFTS III


BIOGRAPHY

John Suckling was born at Whitton, Middlesex, in the parish of Twickenham and baptized on February 10, 1608/1609. His grandfather Robert Suckling (d. 1589) was mayor and parliamentary representative of Norwich. Robert's children, by Elizabeth née Barwick, were Edmond (the poet's uncle), the Dean of Norwich, and John, the poet's father, who entered Gray's Inn in 1590 and thereafter held the offices of MP (Member of Parliament), secretary to the Lord Treasurer (then Sir Robert Cecil), and receiver of fines on alienation. Knighted by James I on January 22, 1615/1616, the poet's father continued to accumulate posts (and lands), eventually rising to Secretary of State. With his wife Martha (née Cranfield) he had five children, John, Martha, Anne, Mary and Elizabeth.

The poet entered Trinity College, Cambridge, on July 3, 1623. Accounts as to his academic proficiency differ, though apparently he had a fine ear for music and languages. Finally, he did not take a degree. He was admitted to Gray's Inn on February 23, 1626/1627, and his father's death in March of that year left Suckling in command of a considerable estate. Having a large fortune and possessing good looks and a lively spirit, Suckling was an admired presence at court from the age of eighteen. He was knighted by Charles on September 19, 1630. In the summer of 1631 he was involved in a military effort backing Gustavus II Adolphus of Sweden in the latter's Bavarian campaign (in which Gustavus himself was killed on the battlefield). On his return to London in 1632, Suckling is said to have entered into drinking and gambling with prodigal enthusiasm, and, with other poets, he frequented the Bear Tavern.

Sir John's courtship of the daughter of Sir Henry Willoughby—which proceeded with Charles I's approval—was brought to a painful end when that lady prevailed on a rival suitor, who was also an accomplished duelist, to obtain Suckling's signature on a document renouncing his claim to her hand. On the poet's refusal to sign, the other suitor, Sir John Digby, cudgeled him severely. Some connect this defeat with

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The Age of Milton: An Encyclopedia of Major 17th-Century British and American Authors
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xiii
  • Timeline of Major 17th-Century British and American Authors xvii
  • (1672-1719) 1
  • (1555-1626) 6
  • (1666-1731) 10
  • (1626-1697) 14
  • (1561-1626) 19
  • Bibliography 23
  • (1640?-1689) 25
  • (1649-1708) 29
  • (1627-1691) 32
  • Bibliography 38
  • (1612-1672) 39
  • Bibliography 41
  • (1605-1682) 42
  • Bibliography 47
  • (1628-1688) 48
  • (1577-1640) 53
  • (1612/1613-1680) 57
  • Bibliography 60
  • (1567-1620) 61
  • Bibliography 64
  • (C. 1595-1639) 65
  • (C. 1585-1639) 68
  • (1623-1673) 71
  • Bibliography 73
  • (1559?-1634) 74
  • (1656-1710) 78
  • Bibliography 80
  • (1613-1658) 81
  • (1653-1713) 85
  • (1618-1667) 89
  • Bibliography 92
  • (C. 1613-1649) 93
  • Bibliography 96
  • (1599-1658) 98
  • (1606-1668) 103
  • (1658-1734) 109
  • Bibliography 111
  • (1572-1631) 112
  • (1563-1631) 118
  • Bibliography 121
  • (1631-1700) 122
  • (1608-1666) 128
  • (1661-1720) 133
  • Bibliography 136
  • (1582-1650) 137
  • (1586-1639?) 139
  • (1563-1639 and 1593-1652/1653) 144
  • Bibliography 146
  • (1554-1628) 147
  • Bibliography 157
  • (1578-1657) 158
  • (1593-1633) 162
  • (1591-1674) 167
  • (1588-1679) 172
  • (1572/1573-1637) 181
  • (1660-1685) 187
  • (1666-1727) 191
  • (C. 1634-1693) 194
  • (1569?-1645) 198
  • (1615-1657) 202
  • Bibliography 205
  • (1632-1704) 206
  • (1618-1657) 216
  • Bibliography 218
  • (1672?-1724) 219
  • Bibliography 222
  • (1621-1678) 223
  • Bibliography 226
  • (1583-1640) 228
  • Bibliography 231
  • (1580-1627) 232
  • (1608-1674) 237
  • (1652-1685) 244
  • (1633-1703) 248
  • (1632-1694) 253
  • Bibliography 258
  • (1659-1695) 260
  • Bibliography 265
  • (1686-1758) 267
  • (1606-1669) 270
  • Bibliography 273
  • (1647-1680) 274
  • (C. 1637-1711) 280
  • (1577-1640) 283
  • (C. 1642-1692) 287
  • (1671-1713) 292
  • (1564-1616) 296
  • (1632-1677) 312
  • (1608/1609-1642) 316
  • (1652-1715) 320
  • Bibliography 323
  • (1578-1653) 324
  • (1575?-1626) 328
  • (1636?-1674) 332
  • (1599-1641) 336
  • Bibliography 339
  • (1621?-1695) 340
  • (1599-1660) 344
  • (1632-1675) 348
  • (1606-1687) 352
  • Bibliography 354
  • (1579?-1633?) 355
  • (1568-1635) 360
  • (1641-1715) 365
  • List of Authors by Birth Year 373
  • Selected General Bibliography 377
  • Index 379
  • About the Editor and Contributors 389
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