|Father||Sir Thomas Lodge|
|Died||Early autumn 1625 (aged 66–67)|
His paternal great-grandfather was Sir William Littleton (1450–1507), knighted after the Battle of Stoke, eldest son and heir of Sir Thomas Littleton (d.1481), justice and author of Littleton's Tenures. According to Bernard:
Sir William Littleton (1450–1507) eldest son of the judge, had issue by his second marriage one son John, his heir, and one daughter Anne, the wife of Thomas Rouse of Ragley in Warwickshire. She was mother of the Lady Abbess of Ramsey. Sir William had likewise a natural son called William Littleton alias Lodge, afterwards of Cressage in Shropshire. He was the first of the family who bore the triton as a supporter. He sealed many deeds with the same crest as the judge, his father, and spelled his name Littleton. He lived in great splendor at Frankley till his death November the 8th 1508, and was interred in the great church of the abbey of Hales-Owen.
Sir William Littleton's legitimate son, John Littleton (c.1499 – 17 May 1532), married Elizabeth Talbot, one of the three daughters and coheirs of Sir Gilbert Talbot (d. 22 October 1542) of Grafton by Agnes Paston, by whom he had seven sons and two daughters, including his eldest son and heir, Sir John Littleton.
Sir William Littleton's illegitimate son, William Littleton alias Lodge, was the father of Thomas Lodge, Lord Mayor of London. According to Sisson, 'If Sir Thomas was a scion of the Littleton family, it could surely only have been with a bar sinister'.
Lodge's mother was Sir Thomas Lodge's third wife, Anne Luddington (1528–1579), widow of the London grocer, William Lane (by whom she had four children, Luke, Gabriel, Anne and Elizabeth), and daughter of the London grocer, Henry Luddington (d.1531), by Joan Kirkeby (d.1576), daughter and heir of William Kirkeby (d.1531) of London. After the death of Henry Luddington in 1531, his widow, Joan, married Sir William Laxton, Lord Mayor of London and one of the wealthiest merchants of his day. There were no issue of Laxton's marriage, and his will stipulated that after the death of his widow, Joan, his estate would go to his niece Joan Wanton, who was his right heir, and to his three step-children by Joan's first marriage, Nicholas Luddington, Joan Luddington, and Sir Thomas Lodge's third wife, Anne Luddington.
- William Lodge, eldest son and heir, aged 30 on 8 July 1584, who on 14 October 1577 married Mary Blagrave, the daughter of Thomas Blagrave, Master of the Revels.
- Thomas Lodge (baptized 23 May 1556, buried 4 June 1556), second son.
- Nicholas Lodge (born before 1562), who became a ward of his brother-in-law, Gamaliel Woodford.
- Benedict Lodge (baptized 18 April 1563), who became a ward of Richard Culverwell.
- Henry Lodge (baptized 14 April 1566 at St Peter's Cornhill, who became a ward of Thomas Waterhouse.
- Joan Lodge (born 1555), who was the god-daughter of Anthony Hussey, and married, on 30 March 1573, Gamaliel Woodford, grocer and Merchant of the Staple, by whom she had a son, Thomas Woodford (born 13 January 1578), who held the lease of the Whitefriars Theatre with Michael Drayton.
- Anne Lodge (born 1558-1562, buried 19 December 1573).
Lodge was educated at Merchant Taylors' School and Trinity College, Oxford; taking his BA in 1577 and MA in 1581. In 1578 he entered Lincoln's Inn, where, as in the other Inns of Court, a love of letters and a crop of debts were common. Lodge, disregarding the wishes of his family, took up literature. When the penitent Stephen Gosson had (in 1579) published his Schoole of Abuse, Lodge responded with Defence of Poetry, Music and Stage Plays (1579 or 1580), which shows a certain restraint, though both forceful and learned. The pamphlet was banned, but appears to have been circulated privately. It was answered by Gosson in his Playes Confuted in Five Actions; and Lodge retorted with his Alarum Against Usurers (1585)—a tract for the times which may have resulted from personal experience. In the same year he produced the first tale written by him on his own account in prose and verse, The Delectable History of Forbonius and Prisceria, both published and reprinted with the Alarum.
From 1587 onwards he seems to have made a series of attempts at play writing, though most of those attributed to him are mainly conjectural. He probably never became an actor, and John Payne Collier's conclusion to that effect rested on the two assumptions that the "Lodge" of Philip Henslowe's manuscript was a player and that his name was Thomas, neither of which is supported by the text (see CM Ingleby, Was Thomas Lodge an Actor? 1868). Having been to sea with Captain Clarke in his expedition to Terceira and the Canaries, Lodge in 1591 made a voyage with Thomas Cavendish to Brazil and the Straits of Magellan, returning home by 1593. During the Canaries expedition, to beguile the tedium of his voyage, he composed his prose tale of Rosalynde, Euphues Golden Legacie, which, printed in 1590, afterwards furnished the story of Shakespeare's As You Like It. The novel, which in its turn owes some, though no very considerable, debt to the medieval Tale of Gamelyn (unwarrantably appended to the fragmentary Cookes Tale in certain manuscripts of Geoffrey Chaucer's works), is written in the euphuistic manner, but decidedly attractive both by its plot and by the situations arising from it. It has been frequently reprinted. Before starting on his second expedition he had published a historical romance, The History of Robert, Second Duke of Normandy, surnamed Robert the Devil; and he left behind him for publication Catharos Diogenes in his Singularity, a discourse on the immorality of Athens (London). Both appeared in 1591. Another romance in the manner of Lyly, Euphues Shadow, the Battaile of the Sences (1592), appeared while Lodge was still on his travels.
Lodge's known dramatic work is small in quantity. In conjunction with Robert Greene he, probably in 1590, produced in a popular vein the odd but far from feeble play, A Looking Glass for London and England (published 1594). He had already written The Wounds of Civil War (produced perhaps as early as 1587, and published in 1594, and put on as a play reading at the Globe Theatre on 7 February 1606), a good second-rate piece in the half-chronicle fashion of its age. Fleay saw grounds for assigning to Lodge Mucedorus and Amadine, played by the Queen's Men about 1588, a share with Robert Greene in George a Greene, the Pinner of Wakefield, and in Shakespeare's 2nd part of Henry VI; he also regards him as at least part-author of The True Chronicle of King Leir and his three Daughters (1594); and The Troublesome Raigne of John, King of England (c. 1588); in the case of two other plays he allowed the assignation to Lodge to be purely conjectural. That Lodge is the "Young Juvenal" of Greene's Groatsworth of Wit is no longer a generally accepted hypothesis. In the latter part of his life—possibly about 1596, when he published his Wits Miserie and the World's Madnesse, which is dated from Low Leyton in Essex, and the religious tract Prosopopeia (if, as seems probable, it was his), in which he repents him of his "lewd lines" of other days—he became a Catholic and engaged in the practice of medicine, for which Wood says he qualified himself by a degree at Avignon in 1600. Two years afterwards he received the degree of M.D. from Oxford University.
His second historical romance, the Life and Death of William Longbeard (1593), was more successful than the first. Lodge also brought back with him from the new world A Margarite of America (published 1596), a romance of the same description interspersed with many lyrics. Already in 1580 Lodge had given to the world a volume of poems bearing the title of the chief among them, Scillaes Metamorphosis, Enterlaced with the Unfortunate Love of Glaucus, more briefly known as Glaucus and Scilla. To this tale Shakespeare was possibly indebted for the idea of Venus and Adonis. In a lost work, the Sailor's Kalendar, he must in one way or another have recounted his sea adventures.
If Lodge, as has been supposed, was the Alcon in Colin Clout's Come Home Again, it may have been the influence of Edmund Spenser which led to the composition of Phillis, a volume of sonnets, in which the voice of nature seems only now and then to become audible, published with the narrative poem, The Complaynte of Elsired, in 1593. A Fig for Momus, on the strength of which he has been called the earliest English satirist, and which contains eclogues addressed to Daniel and others, an epistle addressed to Michael Drayton, and other pieces, appeared in 1595. Thomas Woodford, Drayton's partner in the development of the Whitefriars Theatre, was the nephew of Thomas Lodge the dramatist by the 1573 marriage of his sister Joan Lodge to the prominent London Grocer Gamaliel Woodford.
His works from then on take on a more serious note, comprising translations of Josephus (1602), of Seneca (1614), a Learned Summary of Du Bartas's Divine Sepmaine (1625 and 1637), besides a Treatise of the Plague (1603), and a popular manual, which remained unpublished, on Domestic Medicine. Early in 1606 he seems to have left England, to escape the persecution then directed against the Catholics; and a letter from him dated 1610 thanks the English ambassador in Paris for enabling him to return in safety. He was abroad on urgent private affairs of one kind and another in 1616. From this time to his death nothing further concerning him remains to be noted.
- Halasz 2004.
- Baker 2004.
- Clifford 1817, pp. 144-5.
- Bernard 1738, p. 118.
- Phillimore 1888, p. 113.
- Near Much Wenlock; Sisson 1933, p. 10.
- Richardson III 2011, pp. 462-3.
- Grazebrook 1889, p. 284.
- Sisson 1931, pp. 7-9.
- Sissons 1931, pp. 60, 70-2.
- Lady Joan Laxton was buried 15 August 1576; Sisson 1931, p. 63.
- Alsop 2004.
- Sisson 1931, p. 60.
- Collier 1843, p. xvi.
- Sisson 1931, pp. 60, 63, 72-3.
- Sisson 1931, p. 61.
- Sisson 1931, pp. 61, 76.
- Sisson 1931, pp. 48, 60-3, 73.
- Sisson 1931, pp. 61, 63.
- Bishai, Nadia, 'At the Signe of the Gunne': Titus Andronicus, the London Book Trade, and the Literature of Crime, 1590-1615 in Liberty Stanavage and Paxton Hehmeyer, eds., Titus Out of Joint: Reading the Fragmented Titus Andronicus, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012, pp. 7-48 at p.11 Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- Sisson 1931, p. 62.
- Alsop, J.D. (2004). Laxton, Sir William (d. 1556). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 21 November 2013. (subscription required)
- Baker, J.H. (2004). Littleton, Sir Thomas (d. 1481). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 21 November 2013. (subscription required)
- Bernard, John Peter and Thomas Birch (1738). A General Dictionary Historical and Critical III. p. 118. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- Clifford, Thomas and Arthur Clifford (1817). A Topographical and Historical Description of the Parish of Tixall in the County of Stafford. pp. 144–5. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
- Collier, John Payne, ed. (1843). A Defence of Poetry, Music, and Stage-Plays, by Thomas Lodge of Lincoln's Inn. London: Shakespeare Society. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
- Grazebrook, George and John Paul Rylands, eds. (1889). The Visitation of Shropshire Taken in the Year 1623, Part II XXIX. London: Harleian Society. pp. 284–5. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- Halasz, Alexandra (2004). Lodge, Thomas (1558–1625). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 21 November 2013. (subscription required)
- McConnell, Anita (2004). Lodge, Sir Thomas (1509/10–1585). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 21 November 2013. (subscription required)
- Phillimore, W.P.W., ed. (1888). The Visitation of the County of Worcester Made in the Year 1569. XXVII. London: Harleian Society. p. 113. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- Richardson, Douglas (2011). Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, ed. Kimball G. Everingham III (2nd ed.). Salt Lake City. pp. 462–3. ISBN 144996639X
- Sisson, Charles J. (1931). Thomas Lodge and Other Elizabethans. New York: Octagon Books Inc. pp. 1–164.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Thomas Lodge". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press
- Tenney, Edward Andrews. Thomas Lodge. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1935 [Cornell Studies in English, Volume 26]; reprinted New York: Russell & Russell, 1969.
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