near Kendal, Cumberland
|Died||1673 (aged 84–85)
|Notable work||Drunken Barnaby's Four Journeys|
Richard Brathwait or Brathwaite (1588 – 4 May 1673) was an English poet.
He was born at Burnishead, near Kendal. He entered Oriel College, Oxford in 1604, and remained there for some years, pursuing the study of poetry and Roman history. He moved to Cambridge to study law and afterwards to London to the Inns of Court. His father, Thomas, died in 1610, and the son went down to live on the estate he inherited. He was married at Hurworth, 4 May 1617, to Frances, daughter of James Lawson, of Nesham Abbey.
On the death of his elder brother, Sir Thomas Brathwait, in 1618, Richard became the head of the family, and an important personage in the county, being deputy-lieutenant and justice of the peace. In 1633 his wife died and he wrote her epitaph; in 1639 he married again. His only son by this second marriage, Sir Strafford Brathwait, was killed at sea.
He was the author of many works of very unequal merit, of which the best known is Drunken Barnaby's Four Journeys, which records his pilgrimages through England in rhymed Latin (said by Southey to be the best of modern times), and doggerel English verse. The English Gentleman (1631) and English Gentlewoman are in a much more decorous strain. Other works are The Golden Fleece (1611) (poems), The Poet's Willow, A Strappado for the Devil (a satire), and Art Asleepe, Husband?
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Cousin, John William (1910). A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature. London: J. M. Dent & Sons. Wikisource
- Works by or about Richard Brathwait in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Barbara A. Reed, "Richard Brathwait: A Case Study of Publishing and Conduct Literature in Seventeenth-Century England," (M.A. Thesis, Arizona State University, 2000).
- Bishoprick Garlands
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