Authorised form of nameDryden; John (1631 - 1700); poet, playwright, and critic
Other forms of surnameDriden
Dates1631 - 1700
Place of birthAldwinkle All Saints [Aldwincle], Northamptonshire, England, Europe
Date of birth9 August 1631
Place of deathGerrard Street, London, England, Europe
Date of death1 May 1700
Dates and placesBurial:
1) St Anne's Church, Soho (2 May 1700); moved to Chaucer's grave, 'Poet's Corner', Westminster Abbey, London, England, Europe (13 May 1700)
OccupationPlaywright; Poet
Westminster School; Trinity College, Cambridge; MA (Lambeth 1668)
Clerk to his cousin, Sir Gilbert Pickering, Chamberlain to Cromwell; Wrote 'Astraea redux (Justice brought back)' for returning Charles II (1660); Staged first play 'The Wild Gallant' (1663); Wrote major works 'Dramatick Poesie' and 'Annus mirabilis' (1665-1667); Poet Laureate and Historiographer Royal (1670-1688); published 'Troilus and Cressida' (1679); translated parts of 'Ovid's Epistles' (1680)
Membership categoryOriginal Fellow
Date of election20/05/1663
ProposerWalter Charleton
Date of ejection or withdrawal29 October 1666 (due to non-payment of subscriptions)
Royal Society activityCommittee and panels:
Committee for collecting all the phenomena of nature hitherto observed (1664)
RelationshipsParents: Erasmus Dryden and Mary Pickering
Siblings: 14 overall
Married: Lady Elizabeth Howard
Children: Charles Dryden; John Dryden; Erasmus-Henry Dryden
Additional relative: by marriage connected to John Creed (FRS 1663)
General contextHis profound influence on literature during the Restoration period led to the period being called by fellow literary people the 'Age of Dryden'. He was on occasion criticised for being opportunistic and not following deeply-rooted loyalties, in particular after his conversion to Roman Catholocism, which coincided with the accession of Catholic James II. While Dryden and his work is generally seen as being reverent of the monarchy, his work 'An Essay upon Satire' (1679) seemingly vilifies multiple members of the court and possibly even led to a physical assault on Dryden on 18 December 1679. Generally, his writing is influenced by events such as the Popish Plot and the Exclusion Crisis. and Dryden included satirical sections on politics and religion in his works.
Bulloch's Roll; DNB; ODNB
George Watson, 'Dryden and the Scientific Image' in NR 1963 vol 18 pp 25-35, plate
C C Booth, 'Sir Samuel Garth, FRS: The Dispensary Poet' in NR 1985-86 vol 40 pp 125-145
Neil Chambers, 'Letters From the President: the Correspondence of Sir Joseph Banks' in NR 1999 vol 53 pp 27-57
The election date is Dryden's re-election date into the Society after the grant of the second charter in April 1663. All Fellows admitted in a two-month window after this charter, until 22 June 1663, are considered Original Fellows. He was previously elected on 19 November 1662 and admitted into the Society on 26 November 1662.
Virtual International Authority File
Royal Society codeNA8109
Add to My Items

    Collection highlights

    Browse the records of some of our collections, which cover all branches of science and date from the 12th century onwards. These include the published works of Fellows of the Royal Society, personal papers of eminent scientists, letters and manuscripts sent to the Society or presented at meetings, and administrative records documenting the Society's activities since our foundation in 1660.

    The Royal Society

    The Royal Society is a Fellowship of many of
    the world's most eminent scientists and is the
    oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.
    Registered charity number 207043

    Website design ©CalmView


    + 44 207 451 2500
    (Lines open Mon-Fri, 9:00-17:00. Excludes bank holidays)

    6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG

    Email Us →


    Subscribe to our newsletters to be updated with the
    latest news on innovation, events, articles and reports.

    Subscribe →

    © CalmView