Roydon, Matthew

(?1580-1622)
   Roydon's fame rests on the 39 six-lined stanzas in "An Elegy, or Friend's Passion for His Astrophil Written upon the death of the right Honorable Sir Philip Sidney knight, Lord governor of Flushing." He is thought to be the Matthew Roydon who graduated M.A. from Oxford in 1580. He was a prominent member of the London's literary circle of Thomas Lodge, Sir Philip Sidney, Christopher Marlowe, and George Chapman (see entries). He commemorates his friendship with Sidney in the above poem, which was first published in the Phenix Nest (1593), then was printed with Spenser's Astrophel in Spenser's Colin Clout (1595) and in all later editions of Spenser's works. The poem was praised by Thomas Nashe (see entry). Francis Meres, in his Palladis Tamia, (1598) describes Roydon as worthy of comparison with the great poets of Italy. George Chapman dedicated to him his Shadow of Night (1594) and Ovid's Banquet of Sence (1595). When he fell into poverty, Roydon was given a pension by Edward Alleyn, the actor and founder of Dulwich Hospital.
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Elizabethan Lyrics. Norman Ault, ed. William Sloane Associates, 1949. The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Penguin Book of Bird Poetry. Peggy Munsterberg, ed. 1984. The Phoenix Nest, Notes and Poem (1593) (http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/Roydon, Matthewrbear/phoenix.html\#Anelegiefor Astrophill).

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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