The following biographical note by Anthony à Wood
    on Richard Lovelace is from

    Lovelace, Richard.   The Poems of Richard Lovelace.
    London: Unit Library, Ltd., 1904.   223-225.


ANTHONY WOOD'S (1632-1695) account of Lovelace is as follows :—

    “ Richard Lovelace, the eldest son of Sir William Lovelace of Woollidge in Kent, knight, was born in that county, educated in grammar learning in Charterhouse School near London, became a gent. commoner of Glocester Hall in the beginning of the year 1634, and in that of his age sixteen, being then accounted the most amiable and beautiful person that ever eye beheld ; a person also of innate modesty, virtue, and courtly deportment, which made him then, but especially after, when he retired to the great city, much admired and adored by the female sex.  In 1636, when the king and queen were for some days entertained at Oxon, he was, at the request of a great lady belonging to the queen, made to the Archbishop of Canterbury, then Chancellor of the University, actually created, among other persons of quality, Master of Arts, though but of two years' standing ; at which time his conversation being made public, and consequently his ingenuity and generous soul discovered, he became as much admired by the male, as before by the female, sex.  After he had left the University, he retired in great splendour to the court, and being taken into the favour of George, Lord Goring, afterwards Earl of Norwich, was by him adopted a soldier, and sent in the quality of an ensign, in the Scotch expedition, an. 1639.  Afterwards, in the second expedition, he was commissionated a captain in the same regiment, and in that time wrote a tragedy called The Soldier, but never acted, because the stage was soon after suppressed.  After the pacification of Berwick, he retired to his native country, and took possession of his estate at Lovelace Place, in the parish of Bethersden, at Canterbury, Chart, Halden, &c., worth, at least, £500 per annum.  About which time he was made choice of by the whole body of the county of Kent at an assize, to deliver the Kentish petition to the House of Commons, for the restoring the king to his rights, and for settling the government, &c.  For which piece of service he was committed to the Gatehouse at Westminster, where he made that celebrated song called, Stone Walls do not a Prison make, &c.  After three or four months' imprisonment, he had his liberty upon bail of £40,000 not to stir out of the lines of communication without a pass from the speaker.  During this time of confinement to London, he lived beyond the income of his estate, either to keep up the credit and reputation of the king's cause by furnishing men with horse and arms, or by relieving ingenious men in want, whether scholars, musicians, soldiers, &c.  Also, by furnishing his two brothers, Colonel Franc. Lovelace, and Captain William Lovelace (afterwards slain at Caermarthen) with men and money for the king's cause, and his other brother, called Dudley Posthumus Lovelace, with moneys for his maintenance in Holland, to study tactics and fortification in that school of war.  After the rendition of Oxford garrison, in 1646, he formed a regiment for the service of the French king, was colonel of it, and wounded at Dunkirk ; and in 1648, returning into England, he, with Dudley Posthumus before mentioned, then a captain under him, were both committed prisoners to Peter House,1 in London, where he framed his poems for the press, entitled, Lucasta : Epodes, Odes, Sonnets, Songs, &c., Lond. 1649, oct. The reason why he gave that title was because, some time before, he had made his amours to a gentlewoman of great beauty and fortune, named Lucy Sacheverel, whom he usually called Lux casta ;  but she, upon a strong report that Lovelace was dead of his wound received at Dunkirk, soon after married.  He also wrote Aramantha [sic], a Pastoral, printed with Lucasta.  Afterwards a musical composition of two parts was set to part of it by Henry Lawes, sometimes servant to king Charles I, in his public and private music.
    “After the murther of king Charles I. Lovelace was set at liberty, and, having by that time consumed all his estate, grew very melancholy (which brought him at length into a consumption), became very poor in body and purse, was the object of charity, went in ragged cloaths (whereas when he was in his glory he wore cloth of gold and silver), and mostly lodged in obscure and dirty places, more befitting the worst of beggars and poorest of servants, &c.  After his death his brother Dudley, before mentioned, made a collection of his poetical papers, fitted them for the press, and entitled them Lucasta : Posthume Poems, Lond. 1659, oct., the second part, with his picture before them.  These are all the things that he hath extant ; those that were never published were his tragedy, called The Soldier or Soldiers, before mentioned ; and his comedy, called The Scholar, which he composed at sixteen years of age, when he came first to Glocester hall, acted with applause afterwards in Salisbury Court.  He died in a very mean lodging in Gunpowder Alley, near Shoe Lane, and was buried at the west-end of the church of S. Bride, alias Bridget, in London, near to the body of his kinsman Will. Lovelace, of Gray's Inn, Esq., in sixteen hundred fifty and eight, having before been accounted by all those that well knew him to have been a person well versed in the Greek and Latin poets, in music, whether practical or theoretical, instrumental or vocal, and in other things befitting a gentleman.  Some of the said persons have also added, in my hearing, that his common discourse was not only significant and witty, but incomparably graceful, which drew respect from all men and women.  Many other things I could now say of him, relating either to his most generous mind in his prosperity, or dejected estate in his worst state of poverty, but for brevity's sake I shall now pass them by.  At the end of his Posthume Poems are several elegies written on him by eminent poets of that time, wherein you may see his just character."

1 Aldersgate Street.

Lovelace, Richard.   The Poems of Richard Lovelace.
London: Unit Library, Ltd., 1904.   223-225.

to Works of Richard Lovelace

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