Owen Felltham

(1602 - 1668 / England)

Biography of Owen Felltham

Owen Felltham, born about 1602, possibly at Mutford, a village near Lowestoft, Suffolk. Second son to his father, Thomas Felltham and mother, Mary Ufflete Felltham.

Felltham, appears to have been self-educated or that of a squire, for there is little information available that clearly states his education. He continued his self-education through out his life. And although one of his poems was later published in Panassis Biceps (1656), a collection of alumni of Oxford and Cambridge, there is no record of him attending either of these universities.

His influences included, Ben Jonson for whom he wrote the elegy “To the Memory of Immortall BEN’ a seventy-four-line poem which was published in Jonus Vibius, 1638, and possibly Bacon and Donne.

Felltham, as a young man traveled to London searching his fortune as a merchant. He married on October 10, 1621, his wife Mary Clopton of Kentwell Hall, Melford, Suffolk. By 1628 he left London, leaving his trade behind he then became steward to the Great Billing estate (Northamptonshire) belonging to Barnabas O’Brien (whom was to become the sixth Earl of Thomond after 1639), then to Henry O’Brien (seventh Earl Of Thomond). Later becoming steward to Dowager Countess Mary, Till his death on February 23, 1668 at her London townhouse. It also appears that his wife and/or any children they may have had, died before him, for there was no mention of them in his will.

In his lifetime Felltham wrote several pieces, his interest in moral problems clearly displayed in his work, which showed certain mastery in reflective prose and essays. Known and remembered primarily for his works, a collection of prose musings called Resolves Divine, Morall, Political originally published in 1623, and His most anthologized poem, "When, Dearest, I but think on thee,".

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