John Heywood (hā´wŏŏd), 1497?–1580?, English dramatist. He was employed at the courts of Henry VIII and Mary I as a singer, musician, and playwright. At the accession of Elizabeth I in 1564 Heywood, who was a Roman Catholic, fled to Belgium, where he stayed for the rest of his life. Important in the development of English comedy, Heywood was the most famous writer of the interlude, a short comic dialogue. Chief among his interludes are The Play of the Weather (1533) and The Four P's (c.1543). His other works include epigrams, proverbs, and ballads.
See his works (ed. by B. A. Milligan, 1956).