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(1637 - 1688 / England)

Biography of Thomas Flatman

Thomas Flatman poet

English poet and miniature painter. There were several editions of his Poems and Songs (1674). One of his self-portraits is in the Victoria and Albert Museum. A portrait of Charles II is in the Wallace Collection, London. His miniatures are noted for their vitality

English miniature painter and poet. He was the son of a clerk in Chancery and entered the Inner Temple in 1658; he was called to the Bar in 1662. Among his earliest verses are lines prefixed to Sir William Sanderson’s Graphice (1658), a work containing a description of the art of miniature painting, based on Edward Norgate’s writings.

Flatman divided his career between writing poetry (in which his earnest religious temperament is revealed) and painting portraits in miniature. A versatile man, he was made a Fellow of the newly founded Royal Society in 1668. A number of his friends were leading clergymen, and many of his sitters were drawn from the Church and other intellectual circles.

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The Batchelors Song

Like a Dog with a bottle, fast ti'd to his tail,
Like Vermin in a trap, or a Thief in a Jail,
Or like a Tory in a Bog,
Or an Ape with a Clog:
Such is the man, who when he might go free,
Does his liberty loose,
For a Matrimony noose,
And sels himself into Captivity;
The Dog he do's howl, when his bottle do's jog,

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