Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Wharton, John
WHARTON, JOHN (fl. 1575–1578), puritan writer, was the author of several works of a religious and moral character. In 1575 he edited ‘A misticall deuise of the spiritual and godly loue betwene Christ the spouse, and the Church or Congregation. Firste made by the wise Prince Salomon, and now newly set forth in verse by Jud Smith. Wherunto are annexed certeine other briefe stories. And also a Treatise of Prodigalitie most fit and necessarie for to be read and marked of all estates. Imprinted at London by Henry Kirckham,’ black letter, 8vo. In a short prose address to the Christian reader Wharton deplores the popularity of Chaucer's tales and other ‘ribald songs,’ and expresses a hope that the ‘Song of Songs’ may supersede them. In 1578 he published an independent work in verse, entitled ‘Whartons Dreame. Conteyninge an inuectiue agaynst certaine abhominable Caterpillers as Usurers, Extorcioners, Leasmongers, and such others, confounding their diuellysh sectes by the aucthority of holy scripture. Selected and gathered by Iohn Warton Scholemaster. Imprinted at London by Iohn Charlewod for Paull Conyngton, 1578,’ 4to. It was dedicated to Alexander Nowell [q. v.], dean of St. Paul's. It is chiefly occupied with considerations on the punishments of the wicked in hell, peculiar torments being reserved for those who have neglected to bring up their children with the rod. On 26 July 1576 John Hunter was licensed to print a ballad entitled ‘Whartons follie,’ and on 19 April 1577 ‘Henry Kyrkham’ received a license for ‘a booke intituled Wartons novell.’ Both these were probably by John Wharton, but neither is extant.
[Works in Brit. Mus. Library; Corser's Collectanea Anglo-Poet. (Chetham Soc.), v. 246; Ritson's Bibliogr. Poet.; Arber's Reprint of the Stationers' Register, ii. 301, 311.]