A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Suckling, Sir John

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Suckling, Sir John (1609-1642). -- Poet, s. of a knight who had held office as Sec. of State and Comptroller of the Household to James I., was b. at Whitton, Middlesex, ed. at Camb., and thereafter went to Gray's Inn. On the death of his f. in 1627, he page 366inherited large estates. After travelling in France and Italy, he is said to have served for a short time under Gustavus Adolphus. On his return he was knighted, and went to Court, where his wealth, generosity, and wit made him a general favourite. When Charles I. was moving against the Scots S. fitted out a gorgeously appointed troop for his service which, however, were said to have fled at first sight of the Scots army at Duns, an exploit which is ridiculed in the ballad of Sir John Suckling's Campaign. He got into trouble in connection with a plot to rescue Strafford from the Tower, and fled to the Continent. He d. at Paris, it is now believed by his own hand. He was a noted gambler, and has the distinction of being the inventor of the game of cribbage. He wrote four plays, Aglaura (1637), Brennoralt (1646), The Goblins, and The Sad One (unfinished), now forgotten; his fame rests on his songs and ballads, including The Wedding, distinguished by a gay and sparkling wit, and a singular grace of expression.