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Wilmot, John

Born: 1647 AD
Died: 1680 AD
Nationality: English
Categories: Poets, Satirists

1647 – Rochester was born in Ditchley, Oxfordshire on April 01, 1647.

1659 – At age twelve, Rochester matriculated at Wadham College, Oxford, and there, it is said, "grew debauched."

1661 – At fourteen he was conferred with the degree of M.A. by Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, who was Chancellor to the University and Rochester’s uncle. After carrying out a Grand Tour of France and Italy, Rochester returned to London, where he graced the Restoration court. Later, his purported courage in a sea-battle against the Dutch made him a hero.

1667 – Married Elizabeth Malet, a witty heiress whom he had attempted to abduct two years earlier.

1680 – By the age of thirty-three Rochester was dying, presumably from syphilis, other venereal diseases, and the effects of alcoholism. He famously attended Parliament at a late stage of illness, his rotting nose concealed beneath a silver nasion and his facial gummata beneath pancake makeup. His mother had him attended in his final weeks by her religious associates, particularly Gilbert Burnet, later Bishop of Salisbury. A deathbed renunciation of atheism was published and promulgated as the conversion of a prodigal. Wilmot died on July 26, 1680 and was later buried in Spelsbury, Oxfordshire.