Lydgate, John

Lydgate, John an ancient English theologian, celebrated particularly as a poet, one of the successors of Chaucer, was a monk of the Benedictine abbey of Bury St. Edmunds, in Suffolk. The dates of only a few of the events of his life have been ascertained. He was ordained a subdeacon in 1389, a deacon in 1393, and a priest in 1397, whence it has been conjectured that he was born about 1375. He seems to have arrived at his greatest eminence about 1430. After a short education at Oxford he traveled in France and Italy, and returned a complete master of the language and literature of both countries. He chiefly studied Dante, Boccaccio, and Alain Chartier, and became so distinguished a proficient in polite learning that he opened a school in his monastery for teaching the sons of the nobility versification and composition. Although philology was his subject, he was not unacquainted with the philosophy of the day: he was not only a poet and a rhetorician, but a geometrician, an astronomer, a theologist, and a disputant. He died about 1461. — English. Cyclop. s.v.; Warton, Hist. Engl. Poetry; Chambers, Cyclop. Eng. Lit. 1:40 sq.

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