The poet and playwright known to posterity as Richard Savage is an enigmatic figure. In 1715, a young man charged with writing and distributing Jacobite propaganda identified himself to the authorities as Richard Savage, illegitimate son of Richard Savage, fourth Earl Rivers (c. 1652-1712). The teenager’s claim was repeated in print when he entered the London literary world during the following years. The teenager was identifying himself as the product of the scandalous affair of Earl Rivers with Anne, Countess Macclesfield (1667/8-1753), by which she gave birth to two children: Anne died in early infancy in 1695; Richard, born in 1697, passed through various hands as a child, but we know no more. Anne’s divorce from her first …

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Citation: Seager, Nicholas. "Richard Savage". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 June 2016 [, accessed 25 September 2023.]

3944 Richard Savage 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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