Wotton, Sir Henry

Wotton, Sir Henry, 1568–1639, English poet and diplomat, b. Kent. He was secretary to the earl of Essex and later became a favorite of James I, who knighted him and appointed him ambassador to Venice. He was provost of Eton from 1624 until his death. His poetic fame rests largely on two poems, “Character of a Happy Life” and his tribute to Elizabeth, queen of Bohemia, beginning, “You meaner beauties of the night,” which was first printed with music in East's Sixth Set of Books (1624). Wotton also wrote a number of prose tracts. His biography (1651) was written by his friend Izaak Walton.

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