Who was John Donne?
John Donne was a seventeenth century poet and
prose writer as well as being the Dean of Saint Paul's Cathedral,
Date and Place of Birth:
Between 24th January and 19th June 1572, London,
Donne was born of Catholic parents, John, a
prosperous ironmonger and Elizabeth Donne. His mother was a descendent
of Sir Thomas More. His father was a prosperous
merchant. He was the third of six children.
Hart Hall, later Hertford College, Oxford and
Cambridge University to study law.
Chronology/Biography of John Donne:
1576: Death of
his father. His mother later marries Dr. John Syminges.
1577: Death of
his sister Elizabeth.
1578: Death of
his sisters Katherine and Mary.
1584: John Donne
goes to Oxford.
1588: Death of
his step father John Syminges.
1589: Tours on
1590: His mother
marries again this time to Richard Rainford.
1592: John Donne
admitted to Lincoln's Inn Fields.
1597: Goes on
an expedition to Cadiz in Spain with the Earl of Essex.
to the Azores with Essex. Becomes Secretary to Sir Thomas Egerton,
the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal.
1601: John Donne
becomes Member of Parliament for Bracley in Northamptonshire.
from Egerton's service once he finds out about his secret marriage
to his niece, Anne.
Constance was born. Son John was born.
1605: John Donne
travels to France and possibly Italy. Son George is born.
1606: Donne family
move to Mitcham and Donne becomes a Protestant.
1607: John Donne
takes lodgings in the Strand in London. Son Francis is born.
Lucy was born.
Bridget was born. First publication of "The Expiration".
Mary was born. Publication of "Ignatius his Conclave"
and "The First Anniversary".
1612: His eighth
child is stillborn.
1613: Son Nicholas
was born but died within a few months.
the Member of Parliament for Taunton, Somerset. Death's of children
Mary and Francis. Ordained as deacon and priest at St. Paul's
Cathedral encouraged by King James the First.
1615: John Donne
appointed as a royal chaplain. Daughter Margaret born.
his first sermon at St. Paul's Cross. His twelfth child is still
born. His wife Anne dies whilst giving birth.
1619: Joins Viscount
Doncaster on an embassy to Germany.
as Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral.
of first two of Donne's sermons.
1623: Taken seriously
1624: First publication
of "Devotions upon Emergent Occasions".
1627: Death of
1630: His final
illness begins. Most of the poems known today were published posthumously
as they were originally written for friends or patrons.
- 1611: "Ignatius
his Conclave". "An Anatomy of the World: The First
"The Second Anniversary: Of the Progress of the
"Devotions upon Emergent Occasions".
- 1631: "Death's
- (1649): "Fifty
- (1651): "Essays
"Paradoxes, Problems, Essays, Characters".
1601: Secretly marries the niece of Sir Thomas
Egerton, Anne More.
Date and Place of Death:
31st March 1631, London, England.
Age at Death:
Site of Grave:
St. Paulís Cathedral, London, England.
The new St Paul's Cathedral, London designed
by Christopher Wren
(© Anthony Blagg)
Places of Interest:
St. Paul's Cathedral (Old building, known by
Donne, was burnt down in 1666 during the Great Fire of London).