Richard Barnfield (1574–1627) was an English poet.
Barnfield was born at Norbury, Staffordshire, and brought up in Newport, Shropshire. He was baptized on 13 June 1574, the son of Richard Barnfield, gentleman. His obscure though close relationship with William Shakespeare has long made him interesting to scholars. In November 1589 Barnfield matriculated at Brasenose College, Oxford, and took his degree in February 1592. He performed the exercise for his masters gown, but seems to have left the university abruptly, without proceeding to the M.A.
It is conjectured that he came up to London in 1593, and became acquainted with Watson, Drayton, and perhaps with Edmund Spenser. The death of Sir Philip Sidney had occurred while Barnfield was still a school-boy, but it seems to have strongly ...
Against The Dispraisers Of Poetry
Chaucer is dead; and Gower lies in grave;
The Earl of Surrey long ago is gone;
Sir Philip Sidney's soul the heavens have;
George Gascoigne him before was tombed in stone.
Yet, though their bodies lie full low in ground,
As every thing must die that erst was born,
Their living fame no fortune can confound,
Nor ever shall their labors be forlorn.
And you, that discommend sweet poetry,
(So that the subject of the same be good)
Here may you see your fond simplicity,
Sith kings have favored it, of royal blood.
The King of Scots (now living) is a poet,
As his Lepanto and his Furies show it.