Picture of the Day

William Davenant
Sir William Davenant (1606-1668) As A Young Man (Old Member of Lincoln College),
by Robert Walker, ©Lincoln College, University of Oxford

An English poet and playwright, Davenant was long rumoured to have been either the godson or even the biological son of William Shakespeare. A supporter of King Charles I during the English civil wars, Davenant was accused of high treason by Parliament in 1641, after which he he fled to France. He returned to the King’s side a few years later, before leaving for Paris again in 1645 after the Royalist defeat at Naseby. After various adventures, including capture at sea and and a death sentence while in service of the exiled Charles II, he spent a year in the Tower of London before being pardoned. After one last arrest and flight to France, he returned to England with the restored king, and spent the rest of his life writing poems and producing plays for the newly reopened theatres.

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