A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Taylor, John

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Taylor, John (1580-1653). -- Known as the "Water Poet," b. at Gloucester of humble parentage, was apprenticed to a London waterman, and pressed for the navy. Thereafter he returned to London and resumed his occupation on the Thames, afterwards keeping inns first at Oxf., then in London. He had a talent for writing rollicking verses, enjoyed the acquaintance of Ben Jonson, and other famous men, superintended the water pageant at the marriage of the Princess Elizabeth 1613, and composed the "triumphs" at the Lord Mayor's shows. He made a journey on foot from London as far as to Braemar, of which he wrote an account, The Pennyless Pilgrimage ... of John Taylor, the King's Majesty's Water Poet (1618). He visited the Queen of Bohemia at Prague in 1620, and made other journeys, each of which was commemorated in a book. His writings are of little literary value, but have considerable historical and antiquarian interest.