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Robert Southwell

(1561 - 1595 / England)

Robert Southwell
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Robert Southwell was born at Horsham St. Faith's, Norfolk, England, in 1561; hanged at Tyburn, 21 February, 1595. His grandfather, Sir Richard Southwell, had been a wealthy man and a prominent courtier in the reign of Henry VIII. His grandfather had been a prominent man in Henry VIII's court and the family remained among the elite of the land. He was so beautiful as a young boy that a gypsy stole him. He was soon recovered by his family and became a short, handsome man, with gray eyes and red hair.

It was Richard Southwell who in 1547 had brought the poet Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, to the block, and Surrey had vainly begged to be allowed to "fight him in his shirt". Curiously ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''Within his crib is surest ward,
    This little babe will be thy guard,
    If thou wilt foil thy foes with joy,
    Then flit not from this heavenly boy.''
    Robert Southwell (1561?-1595), British poet. New Heaven, New War (l. 45-48). . . Norton Anthology of Poetry, The. Alexander W. Allison and others,...
  • ''This stable is a Prince's court.
    This crib His chair of state;
    The beasts are parcel of His pomp,
    The wooden dish His plate.''
    Robert Southwell (1561?-1595), British poet. New Prince, New Pomp (l. 17-20). . . Oxford Book of Sixteenth Century Verse, The. E. K. Chambers, com...
  • ''Behold, a silly, tender babe
    In freezing winter night,
    In homely manger trembling lies:
    Alas, a piteous sight.''
    Robert Southwell (1561?-1595), British poet. New Prince, New Pomp (l. 1-4). . . Oxford Book of Sixteenth Century Verse, The. E. K. Chambers, comp....
  • ''Do homage to thy King,
    And highly praise His humble pomp
    Which He from Heaven doth bring.''
    Robert Southwell (1561?-1595), British poet. New Prince, New Pomp (l. 26-28). . . Oxford Book of Sixteenth Century Verse, The. E. K. Chambers, com...
  • \'Alas!' quoth he, \'but newly born in fiery heats I fry,
    Yet none approach to warm their hearts or feel my fire but I.
    My faultless breast the furnace is, the fuel wounding thorns; Robert Southwell (1561?-1595), British poet. The Burning Babe (l. 7-12). . . Norton Anthology of Poetry, The. Alexander W. Allison and others, eds...
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