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Sir Richard Steele

A picture of Sir Richard Steele

About Sir Richard Steele

He was born in Dublin in March 1672, the son of an attorney. His parents died when he was young and he was brought up by an uncle, Henry Gascoigne, secretary to the first Duke of Ormonde. Ormonde sent him to Charterhouse, where he first met Addison, and in 1690 he went up to Oxford. In 1694 he suddenly enlisted in the Horse Guards. In 1695 he published a poem on the funeral of Queen Mary, dedicated to Lord Cutts, who made him his secretary and an ensign in the Coldstream Guards. By 1705 he was a Captain in Lord Lucas's Regiment of Foot, he then engaged in researches for the 'Philosopher's Stone' he married in the same year a widow, Margaret Stretch who had estates in Barbadoes. In 1706 he was made gentleman-in-waiting to Queen Anne's Consort, Prince George of Denmark, and in May 1707 he was appointed to the post of Gazetteer, with 300 a year. His 1st wife having died in May 1707, he married again in September Miss Mary Scurlock. On the 12th April 1709 appeared the first issue of the tri-weekly Tatler, this continued until January 1711. In 1710 Steele became Commissioner for Stamps. The Tatler was succeeded in March 1711 by the more famous Spectator, which ceased in December 1712, and was followed in March 1713 by the Guardian. Steele entered Parliament for Stockbridge, and the Guardian was dropped for the more professedly political the Englishman. In 1714 Steele was expelled from the House for seditious utterances in The Crisis. With the death of Queen Anne, his party again came into power and he was re-elected to parliament and knighted. He was made a patentee of the Drury Lane Theatre, where in 1722 he produced The Conscious Lovers, his best comedy. He died 1st September 1729 at Carmarthen.

Information submitted by Alan Longbottom

Other famous people alive at the time of Sir Richard Steele

Joseph AddisonBorn 1st May 1672, died 17th June 1719 aged 47
Capability BrownBorn 1716, died 6th February 1783 aged 67
John BunyanBorn 28th November 1628, died 31st August 1688 aged 59
George ByngBorn 1663, died 1733 aged 70
John ByngBorn 29th October 1704, died 14th March 1757 aged 52
Captain James CookBorn 27th October 1728, died 14th February 1779 aged 50

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