Wither (Withers), George

(1588-1667)
   Born into a wealthy family at Bentworth, near Alton, Hampshire, he was educated at Magdalen College, Oxford, but did not graduate. About 1610 he settled in London in order to study law and was entered at Lincoln's Inn in 1615. Abuses Stript and Whipt (1613) landed him in Marshalsea prison in 1614. Withers Motto (1621) and Scholar's Purgatory, an attack on the patenting process (1624-1625), also earned him a prison sentence. He sided with Cromwell in the Civil War, and when captured by the Royalists, he was saved from execution only by the intervention of Sir John Denham (see entry), a royalist sympathizer. He died in London and was buried at the church of the Savoy Hospital in the Strand. Some of his other publications: A Collection of Emblems, 1635. The Hymns and Songs of the Church, 1623. A Paraphrase on the Ten Commandments, 1697. Psalms of David, 1632. The Songs of the Old Testament, 1621. Some of his poems: "A Prisoner's Lay," "For Scholars and Pupils," "Sleep, Baby, Sleep," "The Alchemy of Love," "The Prayer of Hezekiah," "The Tired Petitioner."
   Sources: A Sacrifice of Praise: An Anthology of Christian Poetry in English from Caedmon to the Mid-Twentieth Century. James H. Trott, ed. Cumberland House Publishing, 1999. A Treasury of Minor British Poetry. J. Churton Collins, ed. Edward Arnold, 1896. Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. En422 cyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite DVD, 2006. English Poetry: Author Search. Chadwyck-Healey Ltd., 1995 (http://www.lib.utexas.edu:8080/search/epoetry/author.html). Microsoft Encarta 2006 (DVD). Microsoft Corporation, 2006. The National Portrait Gallery (www.npg.org.uk). Poems by George Wither. Henry Morley, ed. George Routledge and Sons, 1891. Seventeenth-Century Verse and Prose, Vol. II: 1660-1700. Helen C. White, et al., ed. Macmillan. 1951, 1952. Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources (http://library.stanford.edu). 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. The Penguin Book of Renaissance Verse 1509-1659. David Norbrook, ed. Penguin Books, 1992.

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

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