Skip to content

We ask you, humbly: don't scroll away.

Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you.

Help Now >

John Lydgate

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

Born at Lydgate, Suffolk, about 1370; d. probably about 1450. He entered the Benedictine abbey at Bury when fifteen and may have been educated earlier at the school of the Benedictine monks there and have been afterwards at the Benedictine house of studies at Oxford. It is possible, as Bale asserts, that he studied at both Oxford and Cambridge, and it is fairly certain that he travelled in France, and perhaps in Italy. He was ordained priest in 1397. Bale (Scriptorum Summarium) says he opened a school for sons of the nobility probably in the monastery of Bury. His verses seem to have been much in request by noble lords and ladies, and having been court poet he wrote a ballad for the coronation of Henry VI. For eleven years (1423-1434) he was prior of Hatfield Broadoak, but is said not to have busied himself much with his duties there. He then returned to Bury. At various times he received as rewards for his poetry some land and a pension. Many of these details of his career can only be vaguely asserted, but his poetic work is not vague. It is certain that he was a learned and industrious poet who wrote much verse on varied subject-matter. His poetry, however, though interesting from other points of view than the poetical, never rises much above mediocrity. A blight seemed at that period to have fallen upon poetry in England, though in Scotland the Chaucerian tradition was followed still with dignity and force. The writings of Lydgate are very numerous. Ritson, in his "Bibliographica Poetica", numbers 251 poems, some of them of enormous length, such as the Troy Book of 30,000 lines. It is fairly certain, too, that much of what he wrote has been lost. A good deal of his existing work is still in manuscript He is said to have written one piece of prose — an account of Caesar's wars and death. Most modern critics agree as to the general mediocrity of his work, but Lydgate has not wanted admirers in the past such as Chatterton, who imitated him, and Gray, who was impressed by the carefulness of his phraseology and the smoothness of his verse. Among his poetical compositions may be mentioned:—

15% OFF Sterling Silver Sale

"Falls of Princes," "Troy Book", "Story of Thebes ", narrative poems; "The Life of Our Lady" and "The Dance of Death", devotional poems; "The Temple of Glass", and imitations of Chaucer. The well-known poem of "London Lackpenny", which has been for long reckoned as Lydgate's, is now almost certainly proved not to be by him.

LIVE Lessons @ Catholic Online School

'Live Lessons' with Zoom on Catholic Online School

Professor Connolly: Monday-Friday @ 9am/12pm Eastern
Deacon Frederick Bartels: Tuesday-Friday @ 10am/1pm Eastern

LIVE Lessons This Month's Curriculum

We ask you, humbly: don't scroll away.

Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you.

Help Now >

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Face Mask with Cross BOGO 50% OFF
Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter!