Poet Laureate Ben Jonson Granted a Pension

Poet laureate, playwright and lyrical poet, Ben Jonson was granted an annual pension by King James I in 1616 as payment for his literary services to the monarchy. A second pension was awarded to Sir William Davenant in 1639. John Dryden received the first official title of poet laureate in 1668 as a preeminent poet, translator and literary critic of the generation. The stipend for poet laureates from 1630 to 1790 included a ‘butt of canary wine’ annually.

      1616, 1639, 1668, 1630 to 1790
      Ben Jonson
      Poet, Playwright

Additional Information:

  • Ben Jonson – Wikipedia
    Benjamin Jonson was an English playwright, poet, actor, and literary critic, whose artistry …. Perhaps partly as a result of this new career, Jonson gave up writing plays for the public theatres … In 1616 Jonson received a yearly pension of 100 marks (about £60), leading some to identify him as England’s first Poet Laureate.
  • Poet laureate – Wikipedia
    A poet laureate (plural: poets laureates) is a poet officially appointed by a government or … A royal degree in rhetoric, poet laureate was awarded at European …. a pension for Ben Jonson in 1617, although there is no formal record extant.
  • Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom – Wikipedia
    The British Poet Laureate is an honorary position appointed by the monarch of the United … The origins of the poet laureateship date back to 1616 when James I of England granted a pension to the writer Ben Jonson. Although there were …
  • List of poets laureate of Britain | Britannica.com
    The title of poet laureate was first granted in England in the 17th century for poetic excellence. … The tradition of a poet acting in service to a British sovereign is a long one, but the origins of the modern post can be traced to Ben Jonson, who was granted a pension by James I in 1616.

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