Villiers, George, 2nd Duke Of Buckingham

(1628-1687)
   After the assassination of Villiers' father when he was eight months old, Charles I reared George and his young brother, Francis, with his own children. They both went to Trinity College, Cambridge, and George graduated M.A. in 1642. He fought with the Royalist army during the English Civil War and later served the exiled Charles II as privy counsellor. He was imprisoned by Oliver Cromwell and escaped execution only through the intervention of his father-in-law, the former Parliamentary general Baron Fairfax. After the Restoration he became a gentleman of the bedchamber, a privy councilor and a leading member of King Charles II's inner circle of ministers. In 1674 Parliament had Buckingham dismissed from his posts for his intemperate behavior and alleged Catholic sympathies. He died while hunting at Kirkby Moorside, Yorkshire, and was buried in Henry VII's chapel, Westminster Abbey. He is Zimri in John Dryden's (see entry) Absalom and Achitophel. Villiers wrote satires and the farce the Rehearsal (1672). Some of his poems: "An Epitaph upon Thomas, Lord Fairfax," "Prayer," "The Battle of Sedgemoor," "The Cabin-Boy," "The Militant Couple," "To His Mistress."
   Sources: A Treasury of Poems for Worship and Devotion. Charles L. Wallis, ed. Harper, 1959. Anthology of Poems on Affairs of State: Augustan Satirical Verse, 1660-1714. George de F. Lord, ed. Yale University Press, 1975. Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite DVD, 2006. Microsoft Encarta 2006 (DVD). Microsoft Corporation, 2006. The National Portrait Gallery (www.npg.org.uk). The Cavalier Poets. Robin Skelton, ed. Oxford University Press, 1970. 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 Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000. Westminster Abbey Official Guide (no date).

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

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