Richard Corbet (or Corbett) (1582 – 28 July 1635) was an English bishop in the Church of England. He was also a poet of the metaphysical school who, although highly praised in his own lifetime, is relatively obscure today.
The son of a prominent nurseryman in Twickenham, he was educated at Westminster School and Oxford, and entered the Church, in which he obtained many preferments, e.g. James I., in consideration of his “fine fancy and preaching,” made him one of the royal chaplains. In 1620 he became vicar of Stewkley, and in the same year was made dean of Christchurch, Oxford. He later became Bishop of Oxford (1628) and then Bishop of Norwich (1632).
Corbet was noted as a practical joker and considered rather scatter-brained. He was celebrated for his wit, which sometimes classed as buffoonery. Reportedly, he was to give a sermon before James I and was so entertained playing with a ring the King gave him that he forgot the sermon altogether.
He knew both John Donne and Ben Jonson. His poems, which are often mere doggerel, were not published until after his death. They include Journey to France, Iter Boreale, the account of a tour from Oxford to Newark, and the Farewell to the Fairies. He wrote numerous ballads, which he would also sing.
- List of the Bishops of the Diocese of Norwich, England and its precursor offices
- Link to the poem, The Fairies Farewell, by Richard Corbet
- Twickenham', The Environs of London: volume 3: County of Middlesex (1795), pp. 558-604. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=45451
- Chisholm 1911.
- Kenner, Hugh, ed. Seventeenth Century Poetry. New York: Rinehart Editions, 1964.
- Corbett, Richard. Poems. J.A.W. Bennett and H. R. Trevor-Roper, eds. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1955.
|Church of England titles|
|Bishop of Oxford
|Bishop of Norwich
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