Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Suckling, John

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SUCKLING, Sir JOHN (1609–1642), poet, was born in his father's house at Whitton, in the parish of Twickenham, Middlesex, and was baptised there on 10 Feb. 1608–9. His grandfather, Robert Suckling (d. 1589), the descendant of an ancient Norfolk family, was mayor of Norwich in 1582 (see Egerton MS. 2713), and represented that city in parliament in 1586. He married in 1559 Elizabeth (d. 1569), daughter of William Barwick. Their eldest son, Edmond Suckling (the poet's uncle), was dean of Norwich from 1614 until his death, at the age of seventy-two, in July 1628 (Le Neve, Fasti, ii. 476). In 1618 he drew up a protest against Archbishop Abbot's visitation of the see (cf. Addit. MS. 32092, f. 308). The poet's father, Sir John Suckling (1569–1627), entered Gray's Inn on 22 May 1590 (Foster, Register, p. 77), and was returned to parliament for the borough of Dunwich in 1601 (Members of Parl. i. 440). In 1602 he was acting as secretary to the lord treasurer, Sir Robert Cecil, and in December 1604 he became receiver of fines on alienations, in succession to Sir Arthur Aty (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1603–10, pp. 162, 175, 377). In the parliament of 1614 he appears to have sat for Reigate (Members of Parl. App. p. xl). He was knighted by James I at Theobalds on 22 Jan. 1615–16 (Metcalfe, Knights, p. 166); in February 1620 he became a master of requests, and in 1622 he was appointed comptroller of the royal household, ‘paying well for the post.’ The position was doubtless a very lucrative one in the hands of a man like Suckling, who had hitherto let slip no opportunity of accumulating manors, fee-farms, and advowsons in various parts of the country (State Papers, Dom. 1619–23, pp. 161, 434; several of his official commissions are preserved in Addit. MS. 34324 ff. 230–2). In September 1621 he had been mentioned as Weston's most serious competitor for the chancellorship of the exchequer (Sydney Papers, 1746, ii. 353, 364), and in March 1622 he was actually promoted to be secretary of state, while Charles I, upon his accession three years later, created him a privy councillor. In 1623 he elected to serve in parliament as member for Middlesex, having been elected not only for that county, but also for Lichfield and Kingston-on-Hull. In 1625 he represented Yarmouth, and in 1626 he elected to sit for Norwich in preference to Sandwich (Members of Parl. pp. 465, 470, 473). This was in Charles's second parliament, and he died on 27 March 1627.

The poet's mother was Martha, daughter of Thomas Cranfield, citizen and mercer of London, by Martha, daughter of Vincent Randill; she was thus sister to Lionel Cranfield [q. v.], who was in 1622 created first Earl of Middlesex. The poet is said, upon the somewhat dubious testimony of Aubrey, to have inherited his wit from her, his comely person from his father. Dame Martha Suckling died on 28 Oct. 1613, aged 35, her son John being then but four and a half years old (see inscriptions upon family tombs in St. Andrew's, Norwich, ap. Blomefield, Norfolk, iv. 307–311). She also left Martha, who married Sir George Southcott of Shillingford, Devonshire, and, after his suicide in 1638, married as her second husband William Clagett of Isleworth, and died at Bath on 29 June 1661 (she is said to have been the favourite sister of the poet, who sent her a consolatory letter in 1638); Anne, who married Sir John Davis of Bere Court (Le Neve, Pedigrees of Knights, p. 162), and died on 24 July 1659; Mary and Elizabeth, who died unmarried (cf. monument in Pangbourne church, Oxfordshire). After his first wife's death the elder Sir John married Jane, widow of Charles Hawkins, and originally of the Suffolk family of Reve or Reeve. At her instance about 1600 he purchased the estate of Roos or Rose Hall, near Beccles, and to her he left this manor, together with his house in Dorset Court, Fleet Street. He was anxious that after his death his son should purchase from his stepmother the reversion of the manor of Rose Hall; but the poet failed to do so, and when the widow took as her third husband Sir Edwyn Rich, knight, of Mulbarton, Norfolk, she carried the estate into that family (for this somewhat obscure transfer of property, see Suckling, Hist. of Suffolk, i. 29; cf. Davy, Suffolk Collections, vol. lxxiv.).

The only reason for supposing that Suckling was educated at Westminster seems to be that Aubrey made a memorandum to question Dr. Busby about the matter. At sixteen he went to Cambridge, matriculating from Trinity College as a fellow-commoner on 3 July 1623. He took no degree, and, though Davenant speaks in extravagant terms of his proficiency as a scholar, it seems safer to conclude with Isaac Reed that his learning was polite rather than profound. He is said to have had a very good ear for music, and with this went, as is often the case, a marked linguistic faculty. Suckling was admitted of Gray's Inn on 23 Feb. 1626–7 (Foster, Register, p. 180). His father's death, on 27 March following, made him heir to rich estates in Suffolk, Lincolnshire, and Middlesex, and enabled him to cut a considerable figure at court. Among his associates would appear to have been Sir Tobie Matthew [q. v.], Thomas Nabbes (who dedicated his play of ‘Covent Garden’ to him in 1638), Wye Saltonstall [q. v.] (who dedicated to him his translation of Ovid's ‘Epistolæ de Ponto’ in 1639), ‘Tom’ Carew, ‘Dick’ Lovelace, and ‘Jack’ Bond. He was more intimately allied with William Davenant (to whom he addressed several copies of verse, and from whom he may have derived the special veneration of Shakespeare by which he was distinguished), and ‘the ever memorable’ John Hales, to whom he also addressed verses in the form of a poetical epistle.

His connection with the Middlesex family served as an introduction to the higher official circles. But the sojourn of the youthful gallant at court was interrupted before the end of 1628, when he is said to have commenced his travels. From Paris, whither he went first, he proceeded to Italy, but he was back in England before 19 Sept. 1630, when he was knighted by the king at Theobalds (Metcalfe; Walkley in his Catalogue of 1639 says 19 Dec.) In July 1631 he seems to have attached himself to the force of six thousand men who set out from Yarmouth under the Marquis of Hamilton to reinforce the army of Gustavus Adolphus. Under these leaders he is said to have taken part in the defeat of Tilly before Leipzig on 7 Sept. 1631, and to have been present at the sieges of Crossen, Guben, Glogau, and Magdeburg. Returning from these adventures in 1632, Suckling flung himself with a passion of prodigality into all the pleasures of the court. Cards and dice had an irresistible fascination for him, and he is fain to admit that he prized a pair of black eyes or ‘a lucky hit at bowls above all the trophies of wit’ (Session of the Poets, stanza 19). Aubrey has a picturesque story to the effect that his sisters came one day to the ‘Peccadillo bowling-green crying for the fear he should lose all their portions’ (this is one of the earliest references to Piccadilly; cf. Wheatley and Cunningham, ii. 483). At times, however, he had his revenge, as when in 1635 at Tunbridge Wells he won the best part of 2,000l. from Lord Dunhill at ninepins (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1635, p. 385; cf. Spence's Anecdotes, ed. Singer, pp. 2–4). One of his favourite haunts in London was the Bear tavern at the Bridge Foot, whence he dated his letter ‘from the Wine-drinkers to the Water-drinkers.’ His gay career as a courtier was interrupted in the autumn of 1634 by an unpleasant episode, or, as Garrard says in a letter to Strafford dated 10 Nov. 1634, by ‘a rodomontado of such a nature as is scarce credible.’ Suckling had been paying assiduous court to the daughter of Sir Henry Willoughby, a considerable heiress, and his pretensions were approved by Charles I, with whom he was a favourite. The progress of the negotiations was regarded with disfavour by the lady, who was determined to thwart the match. In order to effect this she appealed to another suitor, Sir John Digby (younger brother of Sir Kenelm), to whom she assigned the task of procuring Suckling's signature to a written renunciation of all claim to her hand. Digby, who was a powerful man and an expert swordsman, proceeded to London in quest of his rival. As it happened, he met him on the road, and, after a brief argument, proceeded to blows, whereupon the unfortunate poet was cudgelled ‘into a handful, he never drawing his sword.’ The tame manner in which he submitted to the gross outrage loosened the tongues of many detractors at court, and consequent tattle may have led to the greater interest which he manifested about this time in the sedate avocations of men such as Lord Falkland, Roger Boyle, Thomas Stanley [q. v.], and other philosophers or scholars. He was present with Falkland and others at the formal debate, held in the rooms of John Hales at Eton, respecting the comparative merits of Shakespeare and the classical poets, when the decision was given unanimously in Shakespeare's favour (Gildon, Miscellaneous Letters and Essays, 1694, pp. 85–6). Early in 1637 was written and circulated (in manuscript form) the well-known ‘Session of the Poets,’ in which Suckling enshrined with happy ingenuity the names of the most interesting of his contemporaries. The idea has been often imitated by Rochester (Trial for the Bays), Sheffield (Election of a Poet Laureate), and by many others, of whom the best perhaps is Leigh Hunt (Feast of the Poets). In this same year Suckling made, in company with Davenant, a journey to Bath. ‘Sir John,’ Aubrey says, ‘came like a young prince for all manner of equipage;’ he ‘had a cartload of bookes carried down, and it was there he wrote the little tract about Socinianism.’ The winter that followed saw the production of his first play, ‘Aglaura,’ respecting which Garrard writes to Strafford on 7 Feb. 1637–8, ‘Two of the king's servants, privy chambermen both, have writ each of them a play, Sir John Sutlin and Will Barclay, which have been acted in court and at the Black Friars with much applause. Sutlin's play cost three or four hundred pounds setting out. Eight or ten suits of new cloathes he gave the players, an unheard of prodigality.’ There is little doubt that the king was present, and expressed concern at the unhappy ending, for Suckling modified his tragedy and called it a tragi-comedy, a plan ‘so well approved by that excellent poet Sir Robert Howard that he has followed this president [sic] in his “Vestal Virgin”’ (Langbaine). The success was probably due in large measure to the novelty of the scenery, rarely, if ever, seen before on the stage, except in the production of masques. It was revived at the Restoration, when Pepys called it ‘a mean play,’ and Flecknoe, scarcely more polite, said that it seemed ‘full of flowers, but rather stuck in than growing there’ (Short Discourse on the English Stage). ‘Aglaura’ was published in folio in 1638 with some prefatory verses by Brome. The wide margins provoked the derision of the wits, who compared the text to ‘a child in the great bed at Ware’ (University Poems, 1656, p. 57; Musarum Deliciæ, 1817, p. 53).

In January 1639, when the Scottish campaign was first mooted, Suckling and his friend George Goring [q. v.] offered and undertook to bring a hundred horse each to the rendezvous within three days if necessary. Suckling's contingent was duly raised at a cost, it is said, of 12,000l., and accompanied Charles on his march to the border in May 1639. Though he shared in Holland's precipitate retreat from Kelso, no special act of cowardice can be laid to the poet's share. What exposed him in particular to the raillery of the rhymesters was the costly bravery of scarlet coats and plumes and white doublets with which he bedecked his troopers. The maker of the sprightly verses ‘Upon Sir John Suckling's Most Warlike Preparations for the Scottish War’ (ib. p. 81; cf. Vox Borealis, 1641, ap. Harl. Misc. 1809, iii. 235) would have been still more sarcastic had he known how Leslie had captured Suckling's private coach containing a quantity of sumptuous clothes and 300l. in money (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1640–1, p. 178). But Suckling seems to have gained rather than lost ground in the king's esteem by his conduct in this campaign. On 22 Feb. 1639–40 he was given a commission as captain of carabineers (ib. 1639–40, p. 481), and about this time appeared in quarto his play ‘The Discontented Colonel’ [1640], in which the disloyalty of the Scots was reflected upon not obscurely. This was the first draft of the play which was printed in 1646 as ‘Brennoralt.’ It must have been shortly after this, or at any rate during the winter of 1640–1, that he drew up his letter of counsel to the king in the form of a letter to the queen's confidant, Sir Henry Jermyn (it was printed in 1641 as ‘A Coppy of a Letter found in the Privy Lodgeings at Whitehall,’ and subsequently included in the ‘Fragmenta’ of 1646; cf. Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1640–1, p. 521). His vague advice to Charles was primarily to quit his passive attitude and ‘doe something extraordinary.’ The king was to outbid the parliamentary leaders by granting all, and more than all, that was desired. About the middle of March the poet supplemented his advice by a scheme for a coup de main. This was the ‘first army plot’ or plan to secure the command of the army for the king. But dissensions took place among its promoters, and one of them, George Goring, communicated as much of the design as it suited his purpose to reveal to the leaders of the opposition (see D'Ewes's Diary ap. Harl. MS. 163, f. 316; see Goring, George, (1608–1657)). A committee was promptly appointed to investigate the plot. The leaders of the opposition were specially exasperated against Suckling, as he was known during the past fortnight to have been busily engaged in enlisting pretended levies for Portugal. On 2 May the king's agents had tried to procure admission for a hundred of these men into the Tower, with a view, it was believed, to the liberation of Strafford. On the same day Suckling had brought sixty armed men to a tavern in Bread Street (Rushworth, iv. 250; Moore's Diary, ap. Harl. MS. 477, f. 26; Gardiner, Hist. of England, ix. 349). On 6 May it was expected that Suckling and his associates would be charged before the lords' committee, but they failed to put in an appearance, and on 8 May a proclamation was issued against them.

The king had promised the parliament to detain the courtiers; but Suckling was already beyond the seas, and his friends had found concealment. Shortly after his escape there appeared ‘A Letter sent by Sir John Suckling from France deploring his sad Estate and Flight, with a Discoverie of the Plot and Conspiracie intended by him and his adherents against England,’ a metrical tract containing a burlesque account of the poet's life in forty-two stanzas, the manner being very much that of Sir John Mennes. This trifle was printed in quarto at London, though dated from Paris, 16 June 1641, and is important as proving that Suckling was living at Paris in June 1641. A singular pamphlet in prose also appeared in 1641, entitled ‘Newes from Sir John Sucklin, being a relation of his conversion from a Papist to a Protestant; also what torment he endured by those of the Inquisition in Spaine; and how the Lord Lekeux, his Accuser, was strucken dumbe, hee going to have the Sentence of Death passed upon him. Sent in a letter to the Lord Conway, now being in Ireland. Printed for M. Rookes, and are to be sold in Grub Street, 1641.’ This rare tract deserves small measure of credit, but some portions may be true. It relates how Suckling after his flight took up his residence at Rouen, and thence removed to Paris. Here he commenced an amour with a lady of distinction, but was soon compelled to make his escape in order to avoid the fury of Lord Lequeux, the lady's former lover. Suckling fled to Spain, whither he was followed by the nobleman, who accused him of having conspired the death of Philip IV. After suffering various tortures he was condemned to the gallows, but was saved by the remorse of his enemy, who confessed to the perjury and was sentenced to die in his stead. The tract concludes, ‘Sir John and his lady are now living at The Hague in Holland, piously and religiously, and grieve at nothing but that he did the kingdom of England wrong.’ Somewhat similar in its tone is the squib, also dated 1641, entitled ‘Four Fugitives Meeting, or the Discourse amongst my Lord Finch, Sir Francis Windebank, Sir John Sucklin, and Dr. Roane, as they accidentally met in France, with a detection of their severall pranks in England’ (London, 4to). Much more intelligible in its general aim and purport than these roundhead fabrications is a satire launched about the same time against the levities of Suckling's gilded youth, under the title ‘The Sucklington Faction, or Suckling's Roaring Boyes.’ Here in the centre of a large folio sheet an engraving represents two cavaliers, sumptuously dressed, and provided with such emblems of debauchery and profusion as long hair and wreaths of tobacco-smoke, dice-boxes and drinking-cups; while the paper, which is closely printed, condemns in strong language all such incitements to evil conversation.

Some uncertainty exists as to the circumstances of Suckling's death. One story, of which there are several variants, recounts how having been ‘robbed by his valet, that treacherous domestic, on finding his offence discovered, placed an open razor [Oldys says a penknife] in his master's boot; who, by drawing it hastily on, divided an artery which caused his death through loss of blood’ (see Rimbault, ap. Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. i. 316). This story, which reached its disseminator Oldys in a very circuitous manner, may quite safely be rejected in favour of Aubrey's account of the poet's death, which also has the support of family tradition. Reduced in fortune and dreading to encounter poverty, he purchased poison of an apothecary in Paris, and ‘produced death by violent fits of vomiting.’ This solution, which he had condemned strongly enough in the case of his eldest sister's husband, was probably reached by him in May or June 1642. He was buried, says Aubrey, in the cemetery attached to the protestant church at Paris. The news of his death elicited ‘An Elegie upon the Death of the Renowned Sir John Sucklin [by William Norris?],’ 1642, 4to; and also ‘A copy of two remonstrances brought over the River Stix in Caron's Ferry-boate, by the Ghost of Sir John Sucklin’ (London, 1643, 4to; Brit. Mus.).

Upon his death, unmarried and without issue, the patrimony passed to his father's half-brother, Charles Suckling. His great-grandson, Dr. Maurice Suckling, prebendary of Westminster, was father of Captain Maurice Suckling [q. v.] and of Catherine, the mother of Lord Nelson (see Burke, Commoners, iii. 460).

Only a small fraction of Suckling's writings appeared during his lifetime. All that is of importance in his literary legacy appeared four years after his death in a volume entitled ‘Fragmenta Aurea. A collection of all the Incomparable Peeces written by Sir John Suckling; and published by a friend to perpetuate his memory. Printed by his owne copies, London: for Humphrey Moseley,’ 1646, 8vo; 2nd edit. unaltered, 1648, 8vo. This contains his ‘Poems,’ ‘Letters to divers eminent personages written on several occasions,’ the three plays ‘Aglaura,’ ‘The Goblins,’ and ‘Brennoralt,’ and the tract on Socinianism already mentioned, entitled ‘An Account of Religion by Reason. A Discourse upon Occasion presented to the Earl of Dorset’ (a manuscript copy of this remarkable essay is in the Record Office). Prefixed is an indifferent portrait, skilfully engraved by William Marshall, and accompanied by some lines from the pen of Thomas Stanley (see Stanley, Poems, 1651) (the original edition with the portrait is scarce; it fetched 8l. 10s. in 1897, Book Prices Current, p. 37). Among the ‘Poems,’ of which the lyrics are stated to have been ‘set in music’ by Henry Lawes, appeared for the first time in print ‘A Session of the Poets,’ together with ‘I prithee send me back my heart.’ ‘The Ballad upon a Wedding,’ that ‘masterpiece of sportive gaiety and good humour,’ had already seen the light in ‘Witts Recreations’ (1640). Harleian MS. 6917 contains a copy of the ‘Ballad’ headed ‘Upon the Marriage of the Lord Lovelace;’ but the hero and heroine were in fact Roger Boyle (afterwards Earl of Orrery [q. v.]) and Lady Margaret Howard, third daughter of the Earl of Suffolk, and the wedding took place at Northumberland House (where now stands the Grand Hotel), hence the allusion to Charing Cross in the second stanza (see Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. xi. 376). Suckling celebrated the same event in his Dialogue ‘Upon my Lord Brohall's Wedding.’ An imitation of the ‘Ballad’ by Robert Fletcher, entitled ‘A Sing-song on Clarinda's Wedding,’ was printed in his ‘Ex Otio Negotium’ (1656, pp. 226 sq.); another appeared in 1667 in ‘Folly in print or a Book of Rymes’ (pp. 116–21).

The liveliest of Suckling's dramatic efforts saw the light for the first time in the posthumous ‘Fragmenta.’ ‘The Goblins’ was acted at Blackfriars by the king's men in 1638, and revived at the Theatre Royal on 24 Jan. 1667; a few copies with separate title-page, of which the British Museum possesses an imperfect example, were circulated in 1646. The ‘goblins’ are thieves who, under their chief, Tamoren, frighten the kingdom of ‘Francelia’ by their devils' pranks, and deal out a rough kind of justice in the fashion of Robin Hood and his men. The course of the action is bewildering, though opportunity is found for some passages that sparkle and for some smart touches of literary and social criticism. Its sprightly fancy and lively admixture of dialogue with songs and music, and a superabundance of action, seem to have commended it to Sheridan, who is stated to have had the intention of remodelling it (Gent. Mag. 1840, i. 127; cf. Ward, ii. 349. ‘The Goblins’ is printed in Dodsley's ‘Old Plays,’ 1744, vol. vii.).

‘The Tragedy of Brennoralt’ (a revised and expanded version of ‘The Discontented Colonel’ of 1640), though it contains some fine rhetorical passages, is less effective than either ‘Aglaura’ or ‘The Goblins,’ the point being considerably lost when the relation between Almerin and Iphigene, after apparently resembling that between the ‘Two Noble Kinsmen,’ turns out to be one of attraction between a man and a disguised woman. It is curious as containing some palpable allusions to the political situation in 1639, the Lithuanians in the piece, the scene of which is laid in Poland, being evidently meant for the Scots (ib. p. 351). ‘Brennoralt’ was revived at the Theatre Royal on 5 March 1668 (see Genest, x. 68). Suckling did not hesitate to introduce into the printed text without acknowledgment some whole lines from Shakespeare. Wordsworth made a note in manuscript in his copy of Suckling upon the marked extent to which Suckling praised, quoted, and imitated Shakespeare (Hazlitt, vol. i. p. lxvi).

Suckling's unfinished tragedy, ‘The Sad One,’ was published, together with some other supplementary poems and letters, in the third edition of ‘Fragmenta Aurea … with some new Additionals’ of 1658. Later editions, entitled ‘The Works of Sir John Suckling,’ appeared in 1696, 1709 (for Jacob Tonson), 1719, 1766 (Dublin), and 1770. In 1836 appeared ‘Selections from the Works of Sir John Suckling’ (with a very fine portrait engraved by James Thomson after Vandyck), with an elaborate life by Alfred Inigo Suckling [q. v.], upon which, as far as the critical apparatus is concerned, is based the standard edition of ‘The Poems, Plays, and other Remains of Sir John Suckling,’ edited by W. C. Hazlitt in 1874 (London, 2 vols. 8vo; Mr. Hazlitt is not fortunate in the additional poems which he inserts and ascribes to Suckling. One of these, ‘Cantilena,’ &c., i. 102, is by Dr. Richard Corbet, and is inscribed in ‘Corbet's Poems,’ 1807, p. 94, as ‘Dr. Corbet's Journey into France.’ There is equally little reason for ascribing to Suckling the verses ‘I am confirmed a woman can,’ which first appeared in the ‘Musical Ayres and Dialogues’ of 1652). A decorative edition of the ‘Poems and Songs’ was published in 1896 (London, 8vo).

Hallam, with his usual good judgment, remarks of Suckling that, though deficient in imagination, he left former song-writers far behind in gaiety and ease. It is not equally clear, he adds, that he has ever since been surpassed. His ‘Epithalamion’ ‘is a matchless piece of liveliness and facility’ (Lit. Hist. of Europe, 1854, iii. 44). The pre-eminence of ‘natural, easy Suckling,’ as Millamant calls him (Congreve, Way of the World, act iv. sc. iv.), in the qualities of fluency and brio is best shown by the contrast of his minor pieces to those of contemporaries with whom he had most affinity, such as Lovelace and Carew. The chief merit of his somewhat dreary plays is that of harbouring a few poems of price, such as ‘Why so pale and wan, fond lover?’ (in the fourth act of ‘Aglaura’).

Aubrey obtained a minute description of Suckling from his intimate friend Davenant. ‘He was incomparably ready at reparteeing, and his wit most sparkling when most set on and provoked. He was the greatest gallant of his time, the greatest gamester both for bowling and cards; so that no shopkeeper would trust him for sixpence, as to day for instance he might by winning be worth 200l. and the next day he might not be worth half so much, or perhaps be sometimes minus nihilo. He was of middle stature and slight strength, brisk round eye, reddish-faced and red-nosed (ill-liver), his head not very big, his hair a kind of sand colour. His beard turned up naturally, so that he had a brisk and graceful look’ (Aubrey, Brief Lives, 1898, ii. 242). Aubrey adds that Suckling invented the game of cribbage, and that he made 20,000l. by sending ‘his cards to all gameing places in the country which were marked with private markes of his’ (ib. p. 245).

The best portrait of Suckling is by Vandyck, and is now at Hartwell, near Aylesbury. It represents the poet, in a blue jacket and scarlet mantle, leaning against a rock, and holding in his hand what is evidently intended to be the first folio of Shakespeare. The head only has been engraved by George Vertue, whose work has been copied by W. P. Sherlock and others. A second Vandyck portrait, preserved by the Suckling family at Woodton, was engraved for the ‘Selections’ in 1836. The head engraved for the 1719 edition by Vandergucht was taken from a third portrait by Vandyck, of which the National Portrait Gallery possesses a copy by Theodore Russel (reproduced in the ‘Academy,’ 28 Nov. 1896). The Ashmolean Museum at Oxford contains a half-length portrait of the poet as a young man; an engraving by Newton, after a drawing by J. Thurston, is prefixed to the 1874 edition of Suckling's ‘Works.’

[The valuable life of Suckling prefixed to the Selections by Alfred Inigo Suckling in 1836 is not based upon any single authority, but rather upon the accretions that have grown round the scanty notices of Phillips, Langbaine, and Wood, especially the notes of Oldys and Haslewood, and the anecdotes related by Aubrey. Mr. Hazlitt has supplemented this life, in the edition of 1874, by some valuable references to the State Papers and other documents. See also Davy's Suffolk Collections, vol. lxxiv. ff. 287–303 (invaluable for the genealogical information they contain); Hunter's Chorus Vatum (Addit. MS. 24489); Bromfield's Hist. of Norwich; Blomefield's Hist. of Norfolk, iv. 307 sq., and x. 190 sq.; Strafford Letters, 1739, i. 336–337; Nichols's Progresses of James I, iii. 132; Pepys's Diary and Correspondence, 1849, i. 253, ii. 373, iii. 383, iv. 51, 91; Waller's Poems, 1694, p. 146; Gardiner's Hist. of England, ix. 311–60; Langbaine's Dramatic Poets, 1691 and 1699 (British Museum copies with notes by Oldys and Haslewood); Morgan's Phœnix Britannicus, 1732; Ellis's Orig. Letters, 3rd ser. iv. 191; Ellis's Early English Poets, iii. 243; Drake's Literary Hours, ii. 253; Wheatley and Cunningham's London, i. 136, 513, ii. 483; Husband's Collection of Orders, &c. 1643, pp. 215 sq.; Verney Papers (Camden Soc.), p. 235; Brydges's Restituta, iii. 3, and Censura, iii. 115, 120; Lysons's Environs of London, iii. 588; Genest's Hist. of the British Stage, x. 66–68 and 250; Baker's Biogr. Dram. 1812, i. 697; Fleay's Biogr. Chron. of Engl. Drama, ii. 255; Jesse's Memoirs of the Court of the Stuarts, ii. 472; Monro's Acta Cancellaria, 1847, p. 277; Burke's Hist. of Commoners, iii. 458–9; Masson's Life of Milton, i. 503, ii. 62, 183, vi. 515; Retrospective Review, ix. 19–38; Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. xi. 203; Granger's Biogr. Hist. ii. 243; Harl. MS. 6071; notes kindly furnished by G. Thorn Drury, esq. The life in Lloyd's Memoires is justly called by Oldys ‘a chaine of Hyperbolies’.]

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