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William Strode

(1602 - 1644 / England)

Biography of William Strode

Born in 1602, the only son of Philip Strode, who belonged to an old Devonshire family, he was born at Plympton, Devonshire. From an early age he showed studious tendencies and was sent to Westminster School and Oxford. While at the University he began to manifest his poetic talents,and generally distinguished himself, being elected in 1629 Public Orator. He took orders and, on Richard Corbet (q.v.) becoming Bishop of Oxford, became his chaplain. Later he was Rector of E. Bredenham, Norfolk, and of Badley, Northants, and Canon of Christ Church.

On the outbreak of the Civil War he attached himself warmly to the cause of the King. He was a High Churchman, and had a reputation as "a witty and sententious preacher, an exquisite orator, and an eminent poet." Until the recovery of his poems by Mr. B. Dobell, he had fallen into absolute oblivion. As a poet he shines most in lyrics and elegies. With much of the artificiality of his age he shows gracefulness, a feeling for the country, and occasional gleams of tenderness. His play, The Floating Island, a political allegory, was produced in 1633 and played before the Court then on a visit to Oxford, where it was a subject of complaint that it had more moralising than amusement. Mr. Dobell, edited a book of his poems (The Poetical Works of William Strode) in 1907.

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Jacke-On-Both-Sides

I hold as fayth
What Rome's Church sayth
Where the King's head,
That flock's misled
Where th' Altar's drest
That People's blest
Who shuns the Masse
Hee's but an Asse
Who Charity preach

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