Ancestors of a 21st century British family

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  • ID: I5412
  • Name: John Denham
  • Suffix: Kt
  • Prefix: Sir
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 1615 in Dublin, Ireland
  • Death: MAR 1669
  • Burial: Poet?s Corner, Westminster Abbey, London
  • Education: Trinity, Oxford
  • Occupation: Poet and spy
  • Note:

    Only son.
    Married 2nd Margaret dau. of Sir William Brooke, on 25 May 1665.
    ---
    O could I flow like thee, and make thy stream
    My great example, as it is my theme!
    Though deep, yet clear, though gentle, yet not dull;
    Strong without rage, without o'erflowing full.
    (From Cooper's Hill, 189-192)

    Sir John Denham was born in Dublin, but was brought to England in 1617 by his father, also Sir John Denham, to be educated in London and at Trinity College, Oxford.  He spent his childhood in Egham on an estate called Denham Place which was situated in Vicarage Road where the Police Station is now.  The house was demolished in the middle of the 19th century.  After Oxford, Denham studied law in Lincoln?s Inn where he was ?given more to dice and cards than to study?.  However he was called to the Bar in 1639.  At the outbreak of the Civil War, he joined  King Charles I and was appointed Governor of Farnham Castle, being imprisoned when it was captured by Roundhead forces.  On his release, he went to Oxford, where he produced in 1641 a tragedy called ?The Sophy? which was well received.  In 1641 he published the first version of ?Cooper?s Hill?, the poem for which he is best remembered. He worked secretly for Charles I and had to escape to Holland in 1648, later collecting money in Poland to support Charles II and coming back to England on several occasions to spy on the King?s behalf.  At the Restoration he was appointed Surveyor-General of Works with Christopher Wren as his deputy.  He was created a Knight of the Bath in 1661.  He is buried in Poet?s Corner in Westminster Abbey.
     
    The poem ?Cooper?s-Hill? was the first influential English poem in the topographical genre and Samuel Johnson wrote in a biographical introduction to Denham?s poems (1), ?Coopers? Hill is the work that confers upon him the rank and dignity of an original author. To trace a new scheme of poetry has in itself a very high claim to praise?.  John Dryden wrote, ?Coopers-Hill; a poem, which for majesty of style, is, and ever will be, the standard of good writing?.  Alexander Pope celebrated ?Cooper?s Hill? by imitating it in his poem ?Windsor Castle?
     
    The poem was published at least seven times in the 17th century, and there are two distinct versions.  The early editions are radically different from the 1655 edition.  In an article in 1957, Professor Rufus Putney puts a different interpretation on the whole poem, describing it not as a series of reflections on the view, but as a view of England?s ?political turmoil and imminent peril?  In conclusion, he states ?The political position Denham sought to persuade his countrymen to accept was intelligent and reasonable.  That he reached it painfully and stated it honestly the poem testifies.  No argument could transmute Cooper?s Hill into a masterpiece, but to read it in the political context that provoked it is to gain new respect for the poet and admiration for the poem?.
     
    Various editions of Denham?s poems, articles, biographical details, and other information related to Sir John Denham (see listing) can be found in the Oliver Collection which is housed in the Depository Library.  Readers may visit the collection on any Tuesday morning.
    Royal Holloway College
    http://www.rhbnc.ac.uk/~uhyl007/denham.htmSir John Denham was born in Dublin, but was brought to England in 1617 by his father, also Sir John Denham, to be educated in London and at Trinity College, Oxford.  He spent his childhood in Egham on an estate called Denham Place which was situated in Vicarage Road where the Police Station is now.  The house was demolished in the middle of the 19th century.  After Oxford, Denham studied law in Lincoln?s Inn where he was ?given more to dice and cards than to study?.  However he was called to the Bar in 1639.  At the outbreak of the Civil War, he joined  King Charles I and was appointed Governor of Farnham Castle, being imprisoned when it was captured by Roundhead forces.  On his release, he went to Oxford, where he produced in 1641 a tragedy called ?The Sophy? which was well received.  In 1641 he published the first version of ?Cooper?s Hill?, the poem for which he is best remembered. He worked secretly for Charles I and had to escape to Holland in 1648, later collecting money in Poland to support Charles II and coming back to England on several occasions to spy on the King?s behalf.  At the Restoration he was appointed Surveyor-General of Works with Christopher Wren as his deputy.  He was created a Knight of the Bath in 1661.  He is buried in Poet?s Corner in Westminster Abbey.
     
    The poem ?Cooper?s-Hill? was the first influential English poem in the topographical genre and Samuel Johnson wrote in a biographical introduction to Denham?s poems (1), ?Coopers? Hill is the work that confers upon him the rank and dignity of an original author. To trace a new scheme of poetry has in itself a very high claim to praise?.  John Dryden wrote, ?Coopers-Hill; a poem, which for majesty of style, is, and ever will be, the standard of good writing?.  Alexander Pope celebrated ?Cooper?s Hill? by imitating it in his poem ?Windsor Castle?
     
    The poem was published at least seven times in the 17th century, and there are two distinct versions.  The early editions are radically different from the 1655 edition.  In an article in 1957, Professor Rufus Putney puts a different interpretation on the whole poem, describing it not as a series of reflections on the view, but as a view of England?s ?political turmoil and imminent peril?  In conclusion, he states ?The political position Denham sought to persuade his countrymen to accept was intelligent and reasonable.  That he reached it painfully and stated it honestly the poem testifies.  No argument could transmute Cooper?s Hill into a masterpiece, but to read it in the political context that provoked it is to gain new respect for the poet and admiration for the poem?.
    Various editions of Denham?s poems, articles, biographical details, and other information related to Sir John Denham (see listing) can be found in the Oliver Collection which is housed in the Depository Library of Royal Holloway College.  Readers may visit the collection on any Tuesday morning.
    Education
              Trinity College, Oxford: 18 November 1631
              Lincoln's Inn: 28 April 1631
    Patron: Earl of Pembroke
    Literary period: Seventeenth century
    Occupation: Sheriff
    Residences
              London
              Dublin: 1615
              Egham, Surrey: 1634
              Oxford: 1642 to 1647
              Holland: 1650 to 1652
              Bury, Suffolk: 1657
    Illness: Mental diseaseEducation
              Trinity College, Oxford: 18 November 1631
              Lincoln's Inn: 28 April 1631
    Patron: Earl of Pembroke
    Literary period: Seventeenth century
    Occupation: Sheriff
    Residences
              London
              Dublin: 1615
              Egham, Surrey: 1634
              Oxford: 1642 to 1647
              Holland: 1650 to 1652
              Bury, Suffolk: 1657
    Illness: Mental disease

    http://www.rhbnc.ac.uk/~uhyl007/denham.htm
  • _UID: 7CB97CC7247E4637BE46A9A72DD85D4C9994
  • Change Date: 11 MAY 2009



    Father: John Denham b: 1559
    Mother: Eleanor Moore b: ABT 1584 in Mellefont, Meath, Ireland

    Marriage 1 Anna Cotton b: ABT 1615
    • Married: 25 JUN 1634 in St Brides Fleet St, London
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