Fletcher, Giles, and sons Phineas and Giles


Fletcher, Giles, and sons Phineas and Giles
(?1549-1650)
   • Giles, the elder, ?1549-1611
   His place of birth is disputed, but he was a native of Kent and was educated at Eton College and at King's College, Cambridge, where he studied civil law. He was created doctor of laws in 1581 and was member of Parliament for Winchelsea in 1585. He was employed on diplomatic service in Scotland, Germany, Holland, Russia and Denmark, and became a trusted servant of Queen Elizabeth. In 1591 he published Of the Russe Common Wealth, a comprehensive account of Russian geography, government, law, methods of warfare, church, and manners. He died in London and was buried there. The Sonnet cycle Licia or Poems of Love in 52 parts is available at http://members.aol.com/ericblomqu/ fletcher.htm. Some of his poems: "Cruell Fayre Love, I Justly Do Complaine," "For If Alone Thou Thinke to Waft My Love," "If That I Dye (Fayre Lycia) with Disdaine," "Lyke Memnons Rocke Toucht, with the Rising Sunne," "My Griefe Begunne (Faire Saint) When First I Saw," "Sweet, I Protest, and Seale It with an Oath."
   • Phineas, 1582-1650
   The elder son was born at Cranbrook, Kent, where his grandfather was rector. Like his father, he was educated at Eton College and at King's College, Cambridge, graduating M.A. in 1607-8. From 1616 to 1621 he was chaplain to Sir Henry Willoughby at Risley, Derbyshire, then rector of Hilgay, Norfolk, where he lived for the rest of his life. He antagonized some people with his attack on Roman Catholicism in Locustæ vel Pietas Jesuitica: The Locusts or Apollyonists, published in 1627. Some of his publications: Sicelides, 1614 (a pastoral play). Brittain's Ida, 1627. The Way to Blessedness, a Treatise-on the First Psalm, 1632. Joy in Tribulation, a Consolation for Afflicted Spirits, 1632. The Purple Island or the Isle of Man, 1633 (an allegory of the human body). Sylva Poetica Auctore P.F., 1633 (a collection of Latin poems and eclogues). A Father's Testament, 1670. Some of his poems: "Against a Rich Man Despising Poverty," "Piscatorie Eclogues," "The Divine Wooer," "To a Girl" (translation from Asclepiades), "To My Soul."
   • Giles, the younger, ?1588-1623
   Believed to have been educated at Westminster School, he read classics at Trinity College, Cambridge, and graduated in 1606. After his ordination he held a college position and was known for his sermons at the Church of St. Mary the Great. Around 1618 he became rector of Alderton, Suffolk. Little else is known of his life, but the religious nature of his poetry and his use of imagery is said to have inspired John Milton's Paradise Lost (1667). He started writing poetry while at Cambridge, with "Canto upon the death of Eliza" (1603), published in a volume of academic verse. His major work, Christ's Victorie and Triumph in Heaven and Earth over and after Death, followed in 1610. He published a prose tract, The Reward of the Faithfull: The Labour of the Faithfull: the Ground of Our Faith, in 1623. Some of his other poems: "A Canto Upon the Death of Eliza," "A Description of Encolpius," "Christ's Triumph After Death," "Christ's Victory in Heaven," "Christ's Victory on Earth," "Upon the Most Lamented Departure of the Right Hopeful, and Blessed Prince Henry Prince of Wales."
   Sources: A Sacrifice of Praise: An Anthology of Christian Poetry in English from Caedmon to the Mid-Twentieth Century. James H. Trott, ed. Cumberland House Publishing, 1999. Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite DVD, 2006. English Poetry: Author Search. Chadwyck-Healey Ltd., 1995 (http://www.lib.utexas.edu:8080/search/epoetry/author.html). Giles and Phineas Fletcher: Poetical Works. Frederick S. Boas, ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1908. Jacobean and Caroline Poetry: An Anthology. T.G.S. Cain, ed. Methuen, 1981. Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources (http://library.stanford.edu). The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The New Oxford Book of Seventeenth Century Verse. Alastair Fowler, ed. Oxford University Press, 1991. The New Oxford Book of Christian Verse. Donald Davie, ed. Oxford University Press, 1981. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000. The Sonnet: An Antholog y. Robert M. Bender and Charles L. Squier, eds. Washington Square Press, 1987. The World's Great Religious Poetry. Caroline Miles Hill, ed. Macmillan, 1954.

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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