Churchyard, Thomas

(?1520-1604)
   Born at Shrewsbury, in his youth Churchyard was attached to the household of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey. He was a soldier and was taken prisoner several times and served under Lord Grey at the siege of Leith in 1560. In a poem entitled "A tragicall discours of the vnhappie mans life" (printed in The Firste Part of Churchyardes Chippes (1575), he gives a long account of his adventures. He issued a number of broadsheets, tracts and small volumes in verse and prose, several containing autobiographic pieces. Generall Rehearsall of Warres (Churchyard's Choise) (1579) reviews the deeds of the soldiers and sailors of England from the time of Henry VIII. His descriptions of the sieges of Leith and Edinburgh are among the best of his narrative poems. Possibly his most noteworthy publication is The Worthines of Wales (1587), a long chorographical poem of historical interest. He also translated three books of Ovid's Tristia. He was buried at St. Margaret's, Westminster. Some of his other poems: "A Farewell to a Fondling," "A Fayned Fancy betweene the Spider and the Gowte," "A Musicall Consort," "A Tale of a Friar and a Shoemaker's Wife."
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition, 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. English Poetry: Author Search. Chadwyck-Healey Ltd., 1995 (http://www.lib.utexas.edu:8080/search/epoetry/author.html). Great Books Online (www.bartleby.com). 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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