Page images
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]



HE Life of Milton has been al

ready written in fo many forms, with fuch minute enquiry, that I might perhaps more properly have contented myfelf with the addition of a few notes. to Mr. Fenton's elegant Abridgement, but that a new narrative was thought neceffary to the uniformity of this edi


JOHN MILTON was by birth a gentleman, defcended from the proprietors


prietors of Milton near Thame in Oxfordshire, one of whom forfeited his eftate in the times of York and Lancafter. Which fide he took I know not; his defcendant inherited no veneration for the White Rofe.

His grandfather John was keeper of the foreft of Shotover, a zealous papist, who difinherited his fon, because he had forfaken the religion of his ancestors.

His father, John, who was the fon difinherited, had recourfe for his fupport to the profeffion of a fcrivener. He was a man eminent for his fkill in mufick, many of his compofitions being ftill to be found; and his reputation in his profeffion was fuch, that he grew rich, and retired to an eftate. He had pro


bably more than common literature, as his fon addreffes him in one of his moft elaborate Latin poems. He married a gentlewoman of the name of Cafton, a Welsh family, by whom he had two fons, John the poet, and Christopher who studied the law, and adhered, as the law taught him, to the king's party, for which he was awhile perfecuted, but having, by his brother's intereft, obtained permiffion to live in quiet, he supported himself by chamber-practice, till, foon after the acceffion of king James, he was knighted and made a judge; but, his conftitution being too weak for business, he retired before any difreputable compliances became necef


« PreviousContinue »