Francis Beaumont (Francis Beaumont)

Francis Beaumont

Dramatist, Poet. The younger half of the English playwrighting team of Beaumont and Fletcher, famed for their tragicomedies, a hybrid genre they successfully revived on the Jacobean stage. Their work foreshadowed and influenced later Restoration drama. Among the dozen or so plays attributed to them are “The Woman Hater” (1606), “Philaster, or Love Lies a-Bleeding” (c. 1609), “The Maid’s Tragedy” (c. 1609), “A King and No King” (1611), and “The Scornful Lady” (c. 1613). Of Beaumont’s solo efforts the most notable is the burlesque “The Knight of the Burning Pestle” (1607). Beaumont was born into a distinguished family at their estate, Grace-Dieu, near Thringstone in Leicestershire. He studied at Oxford University and at the Inner Temple in London with the intention of becoming an attorney, but there is no record he ever practiced law. His poetry, including the long poem “Salmacis and Hermaphroditus” (1602), won him the esteem of Ben Jonson, for whom he wrote commendatory verses for his plays. Jonson may have introduced him to John Fletcher in 1605. Unlike the commercial hackery of most collaborations for the early London stage, the partnership of Beaumont and Fletcher was voluntary and built on close friendship. They shared a house near the theatres in Southwark, and the fairly wealthy Beaumont took Fletcher with him on vacations. In 1613 Beaumont married an heiress from Kent, but his retirement that year was more likely due to declining health. He apparently suffered from high blood pressure and died of a stroke at 32. Fletcher collaborated with other playwrights (including Shakespeare) until his death in 1625. (bio by: Bobb Edwards)


  • January, 01, 1970
  • England


  • March, 03, 1616
  • England


  • Westminster Abbey
  • England

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