Reference > Cambridge History > Cavalier and Puritan > Lesser Caroline Poets > Patrick Cary; William Hammond; Robert Heath; Thomas Beedome; Richard Flecknoe; Henry Hawkins; Thomas Flatman; Philip Ayres; Robert Baron
  Katherine Philips Edward Benlowes  


The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume VII. Cavalier and Puritan.

IV. Lesser Caroline Poets.

§ 15. Patrick Cary; William Hammond; Robert Heath; Thomas Beedome; Richard Flecknoe; Henry Hawkins; Thomas Flatman; Philip Ayres; Robert Baron.

Others of the lyrists must be more cursorily despatched. Patrick Cary, brother of the famous lord Falkland, and author (about 1651) of a pleasant volume of Trivial Poems and Triolets, which Scott printed in 1819; William Hammond, again a relation of Stanley and already referred to, a mild but not ungraceful amorist; Robert Heath, author of Clarastella (1650), a sort of average representative of style and time who, sometimes, a little transcends the mediocre; Thomas Beedome, a friend of the dramatist Glapthorne and author of some pretty things; the too-celebrated Richard Flecknoe, in whose work it is but too easy to discover general, if not particular, justification for Dryden’s posthumous maltreatment of him; Henry Hawkins, a Jesuit, whose Partheneia Sacra contains versepieces of merit; and, towards the end of the period, the poet-painter Thomas Flatman, whose unlucky name by no means expresses his poetic quality, and Philip Ayres, a copious translator, emblem-writer and so forth, in whom the peculiarities of the first Caroline school are prolonged into the time of the second. Diligent and conscientious students may push their researches further still, and by no means without profit of this or that kind, among the work, sometimes a satura of verse and prose, of Robert Baron (who seems to have paid distinct attention to Milton’s 1645 volume), Patheryke or Patrick Jenkyns, Robert Gomersal, Henry Bold, John Collop. But there are two writers who must have more particular treatment—Edward Benlowes and John Cleiveland. 3    29
  In different ways, though with a certain overlapping of community, these two poets are characteristic examples of the defects of the group. One of the two never enjoyed anything but a costly, personal, very limited and fleeting popularity; and, despite (rather than in consequence of) the flouts of certain persons of distinction, despite the additional fact that his principal book has attractions dear to bibliographers and collectors, he has been, until recently, quite forgotten. The other, a man of varied and practical, as well as poetical, genius, immensely popular for not so very short a time, dropped almost wholly out of general knowledge, and, by most of those who have known him at all, has been known either because he made some figure politically, or as the victim of a passing gibe of Dryden and as furnishing Johnson with typical extracts for his important life of Cowley, with its criticism of the metaphysical poets.   30

Note 3. Birth and death dates, where known, are given in the index, but both the birth and death dates and the life circumstances of most of the poets mentioned in this paragraph are quite unknown; and even their floruit is usually determined only by the dates of the rare volumes of their work. [ back ]

  Katherine Philips Edward Benlowes  

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