Nicholas Rowe d.1718
Nicholas ROWE 1674-1718
Son of John Rowe, who was a Middle Temple barrister and sergeant-at-law. Nicholas was educated at a private grammar school in Highgate and at Westminster School before entering the Middle Temple in 1691 and being called to the bar in 1696. Upon his father's death in 1692, Rowe inherited the financial means necessary to focus on his preferred work as a poet and dramatist. He is most well known for his tragedies (including The Fair Penitent and Lady Jane Gray), being the first modern editor of Shakespeare's plays, and for his translation of Lucan's Pharsalia. He was appointed poet laureate in 1715 and in the same year became a land surveyor of the customs of the Port of London. He was also made a clerk of the Prince of Wales' council, and in 1718 became clerk of the presentations. Rowe was buried in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey.
Rowe's will doesn't mention any books, and his library was sold by retail sale in London, beginning 26 August 1719. Advertisements for the sale described it as 'a Collection of very valuable Books in old English History, Poetry &c. in Greek, Latin, French, Italian and Spanish, neatly bound, gilt or letter'd'. The catalogue lists 617 items, dividing them under headings relating to their format and language.
- Alston, R. C. Inventory of sale catalogues ... 1676-1800, St Philip, 2010.
- A catalogue of the library of Nicholas Rowe, Esq; deceased, late Poet Laureate, [London, 1719], ESTC T10290.
- Will of Nicholas Rowe of Saint Paul Covent Garden, Middlesex
- Sherbo, Arthur. "Rowe, Nicholas (1674–1718), poet and playwright." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.