Ben Jonson
POETS LAUREATE OF ENGLAND
1616 TO DATE

Andrew Motion

The title of "Poet Laureate" was first granted in England for poetic excellence. Its holder is a salaried member of the British royal household, but the post has come to be free of specific duties. Although Ben Jonson apparently filled this role as early as 1616 under James I, the first official British poet laureate was John Dryden in 1668. The post is a lifetime appointment.

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Andrew Motion 1999-
Ted Hughes 1984-1998
Sir John Betjeman 1972-1984
C. Day Lewis 1967-1972
John Masefield 1930-1967
Robert Bridges 1913-1930
Alfred Austin 1896-1913
Alfred Lord Tennyson 1850-1892
William Wordsworth 1843-1850
Robert Southey 1813-1843
Henry James Pye 1790-1813
Thomas Wharton 1785-1790
William Whitehead 1757-1785
Colley Cibber 1730-1757
Laurence Eusden 1718-1730
Nicholas Rowe 1715-1718
Nahum Tate 1692-1715
Thomas Shadwell 1689-1692
John Dryden 1670-1689
William Davenant 1638-1668
Ben Jonson 1616-1637

 
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