Denham, Sir John

(1615-1669)
   Born in Dublin, the son of an Irish judge, educated in London at Trinity College, Oxford, he studied law at Lincoln's Inn. He inherited the family mansion at Egham, Surrey, but squandered a small fortune on gambling. He was knighted by Charles II and elected to the Royal Society. At the beginning of the civil wars, as a Royalist and sheriff of Surrey, the king made him governor of Farnham Castle, Surrey, which he lost to the parliamentary forces and he ended up in prison. After the Restoration in 1660, he was made surveyor-general of works, and was member of Parliament for Old Sarum, Hampshire, from 1661 till his death. He is buried in Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey. Some of his publications: The Sophy, 1642 (a tragedy). Cooper's Hill, 1642. The Destruction of Troy, 1645. Anatomy of Play, 1651. Session of the Poets, 1697. Psalms of David, fitted to the Tunes used in Churches, 1744. Some of his poems: "An Elegie upon the Death of the Lord Hastings," "On Mr. Abraham Cowley, His Death and Burial Amongst the Ancient Poets," "The Grasse-Hopper," "The Passion of Dido for Aeneas."
   Sources: Ben Jonson and the Cavalier Poets. Hugh MacLaen, ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1974. Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite DVD, 2006. English Poetry: Author Search. Chadwyck-Healey Ltd., 1995 (http://www.lib.utexas.edu:8080/search/epoetry/author.html). 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 National Portrait Gallery (www.npg.org.uk). 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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