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A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Rochester, John Wilmot

< A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature

Rochester, John Wilmot (2ND Earl Of) (1647-1680). -- Poet, s. of the 1st Earl, b. at Ditchley in Oxfordshire, and ed. at Oxf., saw some naval service when he showed conspicuous bravery. He became one of the most dissolute of the courtiers of Charles II., and wore himself out at 33 by his wild life. He was handsome, and witty, and possessed a singular charm of manner. He wrote a number of light, graceful poems, many of them extremely gross. Bishop Burnet, who attended him on his deathbed, believed him to have been sincerely repentant. In addition to his short pieces he wrote a Satyr against Mankind, and a tragedy, Valentinian, adapted from Beaumont and Fletcher.