|John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester|
Portrait of Wilmot from the National Portrait Gallery
|Born||1 April 1647|
Ditchley, Oxfordshire, England
|Died||26 July 1680|
Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England
|Occupation||Writer of satirical and bawdy poetry. Events 527 - Byzantine Emperor Justin I names his nephew Justinian I as co-ruler and successor to the throne History See also History of Oxfordshire The county of Oxfordshire was formed in the early years of the 10th century and is broadly situated in the England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland Events 657 - Battle of Siffin. 811 - Battle of Pliska; Byzantine Emperor Nicephorus Woodstock is a small Town in Oxfordshire, England which is home to Blenheim Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where History See also History of Oxfordshire The county of Oxfordshire was formed in the early years of the 10th century and is broadly situated in the England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland A writer is anyone who creates a written work although the word usually designates those who write creatively or professionally as well as those who have written in many different forms Satire is often strictly defined as a literary genre or form; although in practice it is also found in the graphic and Performing arts In satire human Ribaldry is humorous entertainment that ranges from bordering on indelicacy to vulgar|
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester (April 1, 1647–July 26, 1680) was an English libertine, a friend of King Charles II, and the writer of much satirical and bawdy poetry. Events 527 - Byzantine Emperor Justin I names his nephew Justinian I as co-ruler and successor to the throne Events 657 - Battle of Siffin. 811 - Battle of Pliska; Byzantine Emperor Nicephorus Libertine has come to mean one devoid of any restraints especially one who ignores or even spurns religious norms accepted morals and forms of behaviour sanctioned by the larger society Charles II (Charles Stuart 29 May 1630 – 6 February 1685 was the King of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Satire is often strictly defined as a literary genre or form; although in practice it is also found in the graphic and Performing arts In satire human Ribaldry is humorous entertainment that ranges from bordering on indelicacy to vulgar
He was the toast of the Restoration court and a patron of the arts. The English Restoration, or simply The Restoration began in 1660 when the English monarchy, Scottish monarchy and Irish monarchy were restored He married an heiress, Elizabeth Malet, but had many mistresses, including the actress Elizabeth Barry. Elizabeth Wilmot Countess of Rochester ( 1651 - 20 August, 1681) was born Elizabeth Malet the daughter of John Malet of Enmore Castle and Unton Elizabeth Barry (1658 – November 7, 1713) was an English actress of the Restoration period
Rochester was born in Ditchley, Oxfordshire. Ditchley (Ditchley Park or Ditchley House is a Stately home situated about a mile from the town of Charlbury in Oxfordshire. History See also History of Oxfordshire The county of Oxfordshire was formed in the early years of the 10th century and is broadly situated in the His mother Anne St. John, Countess of Rochester was a Royalist by descent and a staunch Anglican. His father Henry Wilmot, a hard-drinking Royalist from Anglo-Irish stock, had been named Earl of Rochester in 1652 for military services to Charles II during his exile under the Commonwealth; he died abroad in 1658, two years before the restoration of the monarchy in England. Lieutenant-General Henry Wilmot 1st Earl of Rochester ( 26 October, 1612 &ndash 19 February, 1658) was an English Cavalier Cavalier was the name used by Parliamentarians for a Royalist supporter of King Charles I during the English Civil War ( 1642 &ndash 1651 The title Earl of Rochester was created twice in the Peerage of England. The Commonwealth of England was the Republican government which ruled first England (including Wales) and then Ireland and Scotland
At age twelve, Rochester matriculated at Wadham College, Oxford, and there, it is said, "grew debauched". Wadham College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, located at the southern end of Parks Road  At fourteen he was conferred with the degree of M.A. by Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, who was Chancellor to the University and Rochester's uncle. Edward Hyde 1st Earl of Clarendon ( 18 February 1609 &ndash 9 December 1674) was an English Historian and statesman and A Chancellor is the head of a University. Other titles are sometimes used such as President or Rector. After carrying out a Grand Tour of France and Italy, Rochester returned to London, where he graced the Restoration court. The Grand Tour was the traditional travel of Europe undertaken by mainly upper-class European young men of means London ( ˈlʌndən is the capital and largest urban area in the United Kingdom. The English Restoration, or simply The Restoration began in 1660 when the English monarchy, Scottish monarchy and Irish monarchy were restored Later, his courage in a sea-battle against the Dutch made him a hero. The Battle of Vågen was a naval battle between a Dutch merchant and treasure fleet and an English flotilla of warships in August 1665 as part of the Second Anglo-Dutch
Thence to my Lady Sandwich's, where, to my shame, I had not been a great while before. Samuel Pepys, FRS (23 February 1633 – 26 May 1703 was an English naval administrator and Member of Parliament, who is now most famous for Events 585 BC - A Solar eclipse occurs as predicted by Greek philosopher and scientist Thales, while Alyattes is battling Here, upon my telling her a story of my Lord Rochester's running away on Friday night last with Mrs. Mallett, the great beauty and fortune of the North, who had supped at White Hall with Mrs. Stewart, and was going home to her lodgings with her grandfather, my Lord Haly, by coach; and was at Charing Cross seized on by both horse and foot men, and forcibly taken from him, and put into a coach with six horses, and two women provided to receive her, and carried away. Upon immediate pursuit, my Lord of Rochester (for whom the King had spoke to the lady often, but with no successe [sic]) was taken at Uxbridge; but the lady is not yet heard of, and the King mighty angry, and the Lord sent to the Tower. 
Rochester's life was divided between domesticity in the country and a riotous existence at court, where he was renowned for drunkenness, vivacious conversation, and "extravagant frolics" as part of the Merry Gang (as Andrew Marvell called them). Andrew Marvell ( 31 March 1621 &ndash 16 August 1678) was an English metaphysical poet, and the son of a Church of The Merry Gang flourished for about fifteen years after 1665 and included Henry Jermyn; Charles Sackville, Earl of Dorset; John Sheffield, Earl of Mulgrave; Henry Killigrew; Sir Charles Sedley; the playwrights William Wycherley and George Etherege; and George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham. Henry Jermyn may refer to either of two related Courtiers to the House of Stuart: Henry Jermyn 1st Earl of St Albans KG (c Charles Sackville 6th Earl of Dorset and 1st Earl of Middlesex ( 24 January 1638 &ndash 29 January 1706) was an English poet and courtier son John Sheffield 1st Duke of Buckingham and Normanby, KG, PC ( 7 April 1648 &ndash 24 February 1721) English statesman Dr Henry Killigrew (1613-1700 was the fifth and youngest son of Robert Killigrew and his wife Mary Sir Charles Sedley 5th Baronet (March 1639 &ndash August 20 1701) was an English wit Dramatist and politician William Wycherley ( c 1640 – 31 December 1715) was an English Dramatist of the Restoration period Sir George Etherege (1635? Maidenhead, Berkshire &ndashc May 10, 1692, Paris) was an English Dramatist. The titles Marquess and Duke of Buckingham, referring to Buckingham, have been created several times in the peerages of England, Great Britain Much of Rochester's poetry suggests that he was bisexual. Bisexuality refers to sexual behavior with or attraction to people of both sexes or to a bisexual orientation
Rochester was fascinated by the theater and was the model for the witty, poetry-reciting rake Dorimant in Etherege's The Man of Mode (1676). Sir George Etherege (1635? Maidenhead, Berkshire &ndashc May 10, 1692, Paris) was an English Dramatist. The Man of Mode is a Restoration comedy by George Etherege, written in 1676 and first performed March 2 of the same year According to an often repeated anecdote, his coaching of his mistress Elizabeth Barry began her career as the greatest actress of the Restoration stage. Elizabeth Barry (1658 – November 7, 1713) was an English actress of the Restoration period
In 1674, Rochester wrote a satire on Charles II (variously known simply as "Satyr" and by its first line, "In the Isle of Britain"), which criticised the King for being obsessed with sex at the expense of his kingdom. Charles reacted by briefly exiling Rochester from the court. During his brief exile, Rochester appears to have spent time at his estate in Adderbury and perhaps also posing as a merchant in London's old city. He then returned to his seat in the House of Lords after an absence of about seven weeks. (Johnson, Profane Wit, 182-83).
Rochester fell into disfavor again in 1676. During a late-night scuffle with the night watch--a scuffle probably provoked by Rochester himself--one of Rochester's companions was killed by a pike-thrust. Rochester was reported to have fled the scene. (Johnson, Profane Wit, 250-53).
Following this incident, Rochester briefly went underground, impersonating a quack physician, "Doctor Bendo. " Under this persona, he claimed skill in treating "barrenness," i. e. infertility. Gilbert Burnet wryly noted that Rochester's practice was "not without success," implying his intercession of himself as surreptitious sperm donor. Gilbert Burnet ( September 18, 1643 – March 17, 1715) was a Scottish theologian and Historian, and Bishop of Salisbury 
By the age of thirty-three Rochester was dying, presumably from syphilis, other venereal diseases, and the effects of alcoholism. Syphilis is a Sexually transmitted disease caused by the spirochetal Bacterium Treponema pallidum pallidum. His mother had him attended in his final weeks by her religious associates, particularly Gilbert Burnet, who later became the Bishop of Salisbury. Gilbert Burnet ( September 18, 1643 – March 17, 1715) was a Scottish theologian and Historian, and Bishop of Salisbury The Bishop of Salisbury is the Ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of Salisbury in the Province of Canterbury. A deathbed renunciation of atheism was published and promulgated as the conversion of a prodigal. Atheism This became legendary, reappearing in numerous pious tracts over the next two centuries. Because the first published account of this story appears in Burnet's own writings, some have disputed its accuracy, suggesting that Gilbert shaped the account to enhance his own reputation. However, other sources, including documents signed by Rochester, confirm that in his final months his thoughts turned towards religion and the afterlife (Johnson, Profane Wit, 327-43). Rochester was later buried at Spelsbury Church in Spelsbury, Oxfordshire. Spelsbury (ˈspɛlzb(əri locally) is a small English village in north-west Oxfordshire about one mile from Charlbury on a narrow hill between the Coldron and
Because his interest in poetry was not professional, Rochester's poetic work varies widely in form, genre, and content. He was part of a "mob of gentlemen who wrote with ease", who continued to produce their poetry in manuscripts, rather than in publication. As a consequence, some of Rochester's work deals with topical concerns, such as satires of courtly affairs in libels, to parodies of the styles of his contemporaries, such as Sir Charles Scroope. Libel is a verse genre primarily of the Renaissance, descended from the tradition of invective in classical Greek and Roman poetry A parody (ˈpɛɹədiː US, [ˈpaɹədiː] UK) in contemporary usage is a work created to mock comment on or poke fun at an original work its subject He is also notable for his impromptus, one of which is a teasing epigram of King Charles II:
To which Charles is reputed to have replied:
His poetry displays a wide range of learning, and a wide range of influences. These included imitations of Malherbe, Ronsard, and Boileau. François de Malherbe ( 1555 - October 16, 1628) was a French Poet, Critic and translator Pierre de Ronsard ( 11 September, 1524 – December 1585 was a French Poet and "prince of poets" (as his own generation in France Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux ( November 1 1636 - March 13, 1711) commonly called Boileau, was a French Poet and Rochester also translated or adapted from classical authors such as Petronius, Lucretius, Ovid, Anacreon, Horace, and Seneca. Petronius (ca 27–66 was a Roman writer of the Neronian age he was a noted satirist. Titus Lucretius Carus (ca 99 BC- ca 55 BC was a Roman Poet and Philosopher. Publius Ovidius Naso ( March 20, 43 BC – 17 AD was a Roman poet known to the English -speaking world as Ovid who wrote on many topics including Anacreon ( Greek) (570 BC-488 BC was a Greek lyric Poet, notable for his drinking songs and hymns Quintus Horatius Flaccus, ( Venosa, December 8, 65 BC - Rome, November 27, 8 BC known in the English-speaking world as Horace
Rochester's writings were at once admired and infamous. A Satyr Against Mankind (1675), one of the few poems he published (in a broadside in 1679) is a scathing denunciation of rationalism and optimism that contrasts human perfidy with animal wisdom.
The majority of his poetry was not published under his name until after his death. Because most of his poems circulated only in manuscript form during his lifetime, it is likely that much of his writing does not survive. Burnet claimed that Wilmot's conversion experience led him to ask that “all his profane and lewd writings” be burned; it is unclear how much, if any, of Rochester's writing was destroyed.
Rochester was also interested in the theatre. In addition to an interest in the actresses, he wrote an adaptation of Fletcher's Valentinian (1685), a scene for Sir Robert Howard's The Conquest of China, a prologue to Elkanah Settle's The Empress of Morocco (1673), and epilogues to Sir Francis Fane's Love in the Dark (1675), Charles Davenant's Circe, a Tragedy (1677). Elizabeth Barry (1658 – November 7, 1713) was an English actress of the Restoration period John Fletcher (1579 &ndash 1625 was a Jacobean Playwright. Following William Shakespeare as house playwright for the King's Men, he was Valentinian is a Jacobean era stage play a Revenge tragedy written by John Fletcher was that originally published in the first Beaumont Sir Robert Howard may refer to Sir Robert Howard (d 1436, father of John Howard 1st Duke of Norfolk[http //www Elkanah Settle ( January 1, 1648 &ndash February 12, 1724) was an English Poet and Playwright. Charles Davenant (1656-1714 English Economist, eldest son of Sir William Davenant, the poet was born in London.
The best-known dramatic work attributed to Rochester, Sodom, or the Quintessence of Debauchery, has never been successfully proven to be written by him. Sodom is a seventeenth century restoration play The work is thought to be (though not definitively that of John Wilmot 2nd Earl of Rochester However, supposed posthumous printings of Sodom gave rise to prosecutions for obscenity, and were destroyed. Obscenity (in Latin obscenus, meaning "foul repulsive detestable" is a term that is most often used in a legal context to On 16 December 2004 one of the few surviving copies of Sodom was sold by Sotheby's for £45,600. Events 755 - An Lushan revolts against Chancellor Yang Guozhong at Fanyang, initiating the An Shi Rebellion "MMIV" redirects here For the Modest Mouse album see " Baron von Bullshit Rides Again " Sotheby's ( is the world's second oldest Auction house in continuous operation (the oldest being Stockholms Auktionsverk founded in 1674 
Rochester has not lacked distinguished admirers. His contemporary Aphra Behn lauded him in verse and also based several rakish characters in her plays on Rochester. Anne Wharton wrote an elegy marking Rochester's death, which itself came to be praised by contemporary poets. Anne Hollingsworth Wharton ( 15 December 1845 – 29 July 1928) was an American writer and historian Horace Walpole described him as "a man whom the muses were fond to inspire but ashamed to avow". Horace Walpole 4th Earl of Orford ( 24 September, 1717 &ndash 2 March, 1797) more commonly known as Horace Walpole, was a politician  Daniel Defoe quoted him in Moll Flanders, and discussed Rochester in other works. Daniel Defoe (1659/1661 — April 24, 1731 was an English Writer, Journalist, and Pamphleteer, who gained enduring fame for The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders (commonly known as simply "Moll Flanders") is a Novel written by Tennyson would recite from him with fervour. Alfred Tennyson 1st Baron Tennyson (6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892 was Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom and remains one of the most popular English poets Voltaire, who spoke of Rochester as "the man of genius, the great poet", admired Rochester's satire for "energy and fire" and translated some lines into French to "display the shining imagination his lordship only could boast. François-Marie Arouet ( 21 November 1694 30 May 1778) better known by the Pen name Voltaire, was a French French ( français,) is a Romance language spoken around the world by 118 million people as a native language and by about 180 to 260 million people " Goethe quoted A Satyr against Reason and Mankind in English in his Autobiography. ˈjoːhan ˈvɔlfgaŋ fɔn ˈgøːtə (in English generally ˈgɝːtə 28 August 1749 22 March 1832 was a German writer  William Hazlitt commented that Rochester's "verses cut and sparkle like diamonds" while his "epigrams were the bitterest, the least laboured, and the truest, that ever were written". William Hazlitt ( 10 April 1778 &ndash 18 September 1830) was an English Writer remembered for his humanistic Essays and  Referring to Rochester's perspective, Hazlitt wrote that "his contempt for everything that others respect almost amounts to sublimity. "
The witty amoral nobleman Dorimant in Rochester's friend George Etherege's Restoration Comedy The Man of Mode is based on the Earl. Sir George Etherege (1635? Maidenhead, Berkshire &ndashc May 10, 1692, Paris) was an English Dramatist. Restoration comedy is the name given to English comedies written and performed in the Restoration period from 1660 to 1710 The Man of Mode is a Restoration comedy by George Etherege, written in 1676 and first performed March 2 of the same year
The libertine character in Aphra Behn's Restoration comedy The Rover, Willmore, was assumed by contemporaries to have been modeled on John Wilmot. Restoration comedy is the name given to English comedies written and performed in the Restoration period from 1660 to 1710 
Two plays have been directly written about Rochester's life. Stephen Jeffreys wrote The Libertine in 1994; it was staged by the Royal Court Theatre. Court Theatre The Royal Court Theatre is a non-commercial theatre on Sloane Square, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Craig Baxter wrote The Ministry of Pleasure, which was produced at the Latchmere Theatre in London, in 2004.
The film The Libertine, based on Jeffreys's play, was shown at the 2004 Toronto Film Festival and was released in the UK on November 25, 2005. The Libertine is a movie that was widely released in the United Kingdom on 25 November 2005, and on 10 March 2006 The year 2004 in film involved some significant events Major releases of sequels took place The Toronto International Film Festival ( TIFF) is a publicly-attended Film festival held each September in Toronto, Ontario, Canada Events 1034 - Máel Coluim mac Cináeda, King of Scots dies Donnchad, the Year 2005 ( MMV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. While taking some artistic liberties, it chronicles Rochester's life, with Johnny Depp as Rochester, Samantha Morton as Elizabeth Barry, John Malkovich as King Charles II, and Rosamund Pike as Elizabeth Malet. John Samantha Morton (born May 13, 1977) is a Golden Globe Award-winning and two-time Academy Award -nominated English actress John Gavin Malkovich (born December 9, 1953) is an Emmy Award -winning two-time Academy Award -nominated American Actor Rosamund Pike (born 27 January 1979) is an English actress. She is perhaps best known for her portrayals of Bond Villainess
Rochester's work and background figures centrally in "Last Bus To Woodstock", an episode of the British TV crime drama Inspector Morse. Detective Chief Inspector Endeavour Morse is a Fictional character in a series of thirteen Detective novels by British Author Colin
Henry Wilmot, 1st Earl of Rochester
|Earl of Rochester|
Charles Wilmot, 3rd Earl of Rochester