Sir Thomas Overbury

(1377 words)
  • David Lindley (University of Leeds)

Thomas Overbury, a Jacobean courtier and minor poet, would almost certainly have faded entirely from historical view were it not for the unfortunate and mysterious circumstances of his death.

He was born in Compton Scorpion in Warwickshire, the son of Sir Nicholas Overbury, judge and MP, and his wife Mary. He went up to Queen’s College, Oxford, in 1595, taking his BA in 1598 and then, following a common course of young gentlemen of the time, entered the Middle Temple in 1598. He seems to have created something of an impression at both institutions; Charles Fitzgeffrey, an Oxford contemporary, included an epigram on him in his Affaniae (1601), and witticisms attributed to him are recorded in the diary of his …

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Lindley, David. "Sir Thomas Overbury". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 March 2015; last revised 30 November -1.
[, accessed 21 April 2015.]