Home » Languages » English (Sr. Secondary) » Essay, Biography or Paragraph on “Sir Thomas Overbury” great author complete biography for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Essay, Biography or Paragraph on “Sir Thomas Overbury” great author complete biography for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Sir Thomas Overbury

(1581 1613)



Sir Thomas Overbury, English poet and essayist, and the victim of one of the most sensational crimes in English history, was the son of Nicholas Overbury, of Bourton-on-the-Hill, and was born at Compton Scorpion, near Wilmington, in Warwickshire. He took his degree of B.A. in 1598 and came to London to study law in the Middle Temple. About the year 1601, he met Robert Carr, then an obscure page to the earl of Dunbar, and so great a friendship was struck up between the two youths that they came up to London together. The early history of Carr remains obscure. Early in 1611 the Court became aware of the mutual attraction between Rochester and the infamous and youthful countess of Essex, who-seemed to have bewitched the handsome Scots adventurer. It was at this time, too, that Overbury wrote, and circulated widely in manuscript, the poem called His Wife, which was a picture of the virtues, which a young man should demand in a woman before he has the rashness to marry her. It was represented to Lady Essex that Overbury’s object in writing this poem was to open the eyes of Rochester to her defects. The countess laid the trap, as to make him seem disrespectful to the king, and she succeeded so completely that he was thrown into the Tower on April 22,1613.

Lady Essex, however, was not satisfied with having had him shut up; she was determined that “he should return no more to this stage.” With the help of Sir William Wade, the .honest Governor of the -rower she plied the miserable poet with sulfuric acid in the form of copper vitriol. But his constitution long withstood the timid doses they gave him, and he lingered in exquisite sufferings until September 15, 1613. Two months later Rochester, now earl of Somerset, married the chief murderess, Lady Essex. More than a year passed before suspicion was roused, and when it was, the king showed a disinclination to bring the offenders to justice. The plot was uncovered. The four accomplices were hanged. Mean-while, Overbury’s poem, The Wife, was published in 1614, and ran through six editions within a year, the scandal connected with the murder of the author greatly aiding its success..It was abundantly reprinted within the next sixty years. Combined with later editions of The Wife, and gradually adding to its bulk, were Characters (first printed in the second of the 1614 editions). The Remedy of Love (1620), and Observations in Foreign Travels (1626).


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