William Chamberlayne (poet)

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William Chamberlayne line engraving by A. Hertocks, 1659

William Chamberlayne (1619 – 11 July 1679[1] or 1689[2]) was an English poet.

Nothing is known of his history except that he practised as a physician at Shaftesbury in Dorset and fought on the Royalist side at the Second Battle of Newbury.

His works are:

  • Pharonnida (1659), a verse romance in five books
  • Love's Victory (1658), a tragi-comedy, acted under another title in 1678 at the Theatre Royal
  • England's Jubilee (1660), a poem in honour of the Restoration

A prose version of Pharonnida, entitled Eromena, or the Noble Stranger, appeared in 1683.

Robert Southey speaks of him as "a poet to whom I am indebted for many hours of delight." Pharonnida was reprinted by S. W. Singer in 1820 and again in 1905 by George Saintsbury in Minor Poets of the Caroline Period (vol. i). The poem is loose in construction but contains some passages of great beauty.


  1. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Chamberlayne, William". Encyclopædia Britannica. 5 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 820. 
  2. ^ "The Facts on File Companion to British Poetry: 17th and 18th Centuries". 

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