Biography of John Milton

John Milton was a seventeenth century epic poet.

When and Where was he Born?

9th December 1608, London, England.

Family Background:

John Milton was the son of a scrivener and composer.

Education:

St. Paul’s School, London. Christ’s College, Cambridge.

Timeline of John Milton:

1632: Milton leaves Cambridge University and moves back to his father’s house at Horton in Buckinghamshire.

1634: First performance of “Comus” at Ludlow, Shropshire.

1638-39: Milton embarks on a tour of the continent, through France, Italy and Switzerland.

1640: He teaches at a school in London.

1641: Milton begins writing anti-Episcopal leaflets.

1642: The English Civil War begins in October. He marries Mary Powell in May or June.

Statue of John Milton
Statue of John Milton on the rear facade of 
the Royal Academy in London (copyright Anthony Blagg)

1649: Execution of King Charles the First on 30th January. In March he is appointed Secretary for Foreign Tongues to the Council of State. Becomes totally blind.

1652: Death of his first wife.

1656: He marries Katherine Woodcock in November.

1658: Death of Oliver Cromwell on 3rd September. Death of his wife Katherine.

1660: Restoration of the monarchy in May with the return of Prince Charles as King Charles the Second. Milton is arrested and then released.

1663: He marries Elizabeth Minshull in February..

1665: Milton lives in the countryside at Chalfont St. Giles to try and escape the plague.

When and Where did he Die?

8th November 1674, Chalfont St. Giles, Buckinghamshire, England.

66.

Age at Death:

Written Works:

1628: “On the Death of a Fair Infant dying of a Cough”.
1630: “The Passion” (unfinished).
1631: “L’Allegro” and “Il Penserro”
1638: “Lycidas.” “Justa Eduardo King”.
1640: “Epitahium Damonis”.
1641: “Of Reformation in England”.
1642: “An Apology against Smectymnuus.” “The Reason of Church Government urged against Prelacy.”
1643: “The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce.”
1644: “Areopagitica of Education.” “The Judgement of Martin Bucer concerning Divorce.”
1645: “Colasterion.” “Tetrachordon.” “Poems (Including Christ’s Nativity,” “Penseroso,” “Sonnets”)
1646: “Poems”.
1649: “Eikonoklastes.” “The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates.” (a defence of the Regicides).
1651: “Defensio pro Populo Anglicano”.
1654: “Defensio Secunda”.
1655: “Pro Se Defensio”.
1659: “A Treatise of Civil Power in Ecclesiastical Causes.” “Likeliest Means to Remove Hirelings out of the Church”.
1660: “The Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth.”
1667: “Paradise Lost”
1670: “History of Britain.”
1671: “Paradise Regained.”  “Samson Agonistes.”
1673: “Poems on Several Occasions.”
1674: “Paradise Lost. (Revised).” “Letters and Academic Exercises.”
(1695): “First Annotation of Poetical Works.”
(1698): “Collected Prose Works.”

Marriages:

  1. May or June 1642 to Mary Powell. (died 1652).
  2. November 1656 to Katherine Woodcock. (died 1658).
  3. February 1663 to Elizabeth Minshull.

Site of Grave:

St. Gile’s Church Without Cripplegate, London Wall, London, England.

Places of Interest:

LONDON:

British Library, St. Pancras.