John Marston 1576-1634

From Book Owners Online

John MARSTON 1576-1634

Biographical Note

Born at Wardington, Oxfordshire, son of John Marston, lawyer. BA Brasenose College, Oxford 1594; admitted to the Middle Temple, 1592. He began publishing verse in 1598 and was shortly thereafter drawn into the world of the stage, as an author and playwright. He collaborated (and quarrelled) with Ben Jonson and George Chapman, and wrote a number of successful plays, including The Malcontent (1603) and The Dutch courtesan (ca.1604). He left the stage shortly afterwards, was ordained a priest in 1609, and became curate for his father in law William Wilkes at his parish of Barford St Martin, Wiltshire. He became vicar of Christchurch, Hampshire in 1616; he returned to London, where he died, in 1631.


An early draft of Marston's father's will notes the fear that his son might sell his law books in light of his "delight in plays and vain studies" (ODNB). In his own will, he bequeathed all his goods to his wife Mary. When she died, she left to her kinsman Matthew Poore "a trunk full of books, with lock and key and a book of martyrs in 3 volumes not in the trunk".

Characteristic Markings

None of Marston's books have been identified.