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A Short Biographical Sketch of NICHOLAS ROWE (1674 to 1718)

by John W. Cousin

ROWE, NICHOLAS (1674-1718). —Dramatist and poet, b. of a good family at Little Barford, Bedfordshire, was bred to the law, but inheriting an income of £300 a year, he devoted himself to literature, and produced several dramas, including The Ambitious Stepmother, The Fair Penitent, and Jane Shore. The last, which is his best, contains some scenes of true pathos, and holds its place. He also wrote some poems, and translated Lucan. R., who was a man of very engaging manners, was the friend of Pope, Swift, and Addison, and received many lucrative appointments, including that of Under-Sec. of State. He has the distinction of being the first ed. and biographer of Shakespeare (1709). He was appointed Poet Laureate in 1715, and was buried in Westminster Abbey, with an epitaph by Pope.