Benjamin Jonson, 1572 - 1637

portrait of Ben Jonson
Early 19th century copy of original portrait by Abraham van Blyenberch, ca. 1617

Born: 11 June 1572, Westminster, London, England, UK
Died: 6 August 1637, Westminster, London, England, UK

Jonson's father, a clergyman, died before Ben was born and his mother married a bricklayer. He was educated at a school in St Martin's Lane and was sent to Westminster School where he was taught by William Camden. Jonson went "into trade", presumably laying brick, but soon departed for a life as a soldier in Flanders. He returned to England about 1592, married in 1594, and joined the "Lord Admiral's Men," Philip Henslowe's acting company in London and soon was writing original plays. Unlike Shakespeare, with whom Jonson had both a friendship and rivalry, Jonson's plays several times landed him in jail, and his situation rose and fell with his reputation at court. He suffered a severe stroke in 1628 and was housebound until his death.

Biography from Wikipedia and Luminarium

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