Robert Herrickby Douglas Brooks-Davies
Robert Herrick was born in 1591 in Cheapside, London to Nicholas, a goldsmith, and Julia. Their seventh child, he was baptized on 24 August. Nicholas died after a fall from a window the following year. Although little is known of the intimate details of Herrick's life (some letters survive alongside the poems, but there are few other records), its broad shape is clear. He was apprenticed to his goldsmith uncle, Sir William, in 1607 but went to Cambridge as a fellow-commoner at St John's in 1613, graduating from the less expensive Trinity Hall in 1617 with his BA, he took his MA three years later. He was ordained at Peterborough in 1623, remaining in London until he went as chaplain to the Duke of Buckingham on the Isle of Dean Prior, where he remained until expelled by the Puritan purge of Anglicans in 1647. He returned to London, where his Hesperides was published in 1648. Although he wrote a few other poems, this remained his lifetime's poetic achievement. With the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 Herrick returned to Dean Prior, where he died, at the age of 83, on 15 October 1674.
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