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John Skelton (1460?-1529)

Although it is not known where he studied, John Skelton had the title of laureate conferred on him by the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, and Louvain and he was appointed court poet to Henry VII in 1489. He became tutor to the five year old Prince Henry (Henry VIII) in 1496 and was ordained as a priest two years later. In 1503 he became the rector of Diss in Norfolk, holding this post until his death.

His poetical works were largely satirical and include The Bowge of Court, the egotistical The Garlande of Laurell, Phylyp Sparowe, Colyn Cloute, Speke Parrot, and Why Come Ye Not to Courte. He also wrote a play, Magnyfycence (1516), a thinly veiled allegory on the sycophancy of King Henry VIII's court.

To Mistress Margaret Hussey
To Mistress Margery Wentworth


John Skelton and the Politics of the 1520s (Cambridge Studies in Early Modern British History) John Skelton and the Politics of the 1520s (Cambridge Studies in Early Modern British History)
Greg Walker

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