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Writers and poets who were born or died in London during the 17th century

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17th Century

In 1608 John Milton, author of Paradise Lost, was born at Cheapside. In 1674 he was buried in Cripplegate.

John Milton



Samuel Pepys was born in Salisbury Court near Fleet Street in 1633. Most famous for his diary which he began on 1st January 1660 and continued until 31st May 1669. In it he depicted life in the capital during the turbulent years after the restoration of the monarchy with Charles II and the disasters of the Great Plague and Great Fire of London. He died in London in 1703 and is buried in the City.

Samuel Pepys


Strange to see how a good dinner and feasting reconciles everybody.

Diary (1665)



The author of Robinson Crusoe Daniel Defoe, was born in the city in 1660. In 1731 he died in Moorfields, where he had been hiding from his creditors. He is buried at Bunhill Fields in Finsbury.

Daniel Defoe
Famous London cemeteries



In 1668 the poet William D'Avenant died in London. He had succeeded Ben Jonson in 1638 as the second unofficial Poet Laureate and he was succeeded in the now official post by John Dryden. He is buried in Westminster Abbey.

Famous people buried at Westminster Abbey
Poets laureate



In 1671 the poet Colley Cibber was born in London. He succeeded Laurence Eusden in 1730 as Poet Laureate and on his death in the capital in 1757 was succeeded by William Whitehead.

Colley Cibber
Poets laureate



The poet Alexander Pope was born in London in 1688. He died in 1744 at Twickenham where he is buried.

Alexander Pope


A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.

Miscellanies (1727)



The author of The Pilgrim's Progress John Bunyan died in London in 1688. He is buried at Bunhill Fields in Finsbury.

John Bunyan
Famous London cemeteries



The writer Aphra Behn died in London in 1689. She is regarded as the first ever woman writer to earn a living from her craft. She is buried in Westminster Abbey.

Aphra Behn
Famous people buried at Westminster Abbey



The poet Thomas Shadwell died in London in 1692 having been Poet Laureate since 1689 when he had succeeded John Dryden. He was succeeded by Nahum Tate. Shadwell is buried in Westminster Abbey.

Thomas Shadwell
Famous people buried at Westminster Abbey
Poets laureate



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