An Apology for the Life of Benjamin Bridgewa...
"His genius was very rich, and ran much upon poetry, in which he excelled. But alas! In the issue. Wine and Love were the ruin of this ingenious Gentleman."
John Dunton (1659 - 1733) English bookseller and author, writing of Benjamin Bridgewater.
This completed story will form one full episode of a larger, historical fact/fiction work. The story here relates to Benjamin, one of my many Bridgewater ancestors. These early forebears include:
Benjamin: the current subject, a rogue black sheep of the family (for every family has at least one in their closet) who was a London Lawyer of the Middle Temple, a writer, poet and all round bad 'un. In later years, the sad life of this once promising Cambridge scholar spiralled in an ever downward direction to the dark abyss.
Henry: an Elizabethan Gentleman, who named in his Will a titled Lady who was a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I (the Virgin Queen), and whom Her Majesty affectionately called 'My Black Crow'.
Nathaniel: a Gentleman and servant to Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset (known as 'The Proud Duke'). One of Nathaniel's many rôles was as 'Waiter on the Robes' to Queen Anne.
Thomas: a Master Joiner/Carver, an example of whose handsome ornamental work can be seen to this day on the wooden pulpit inside the famous London church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields.
Benjamin: (father of Benjamin above), who was a Freeman Citizen of The Worshipful Company of Dyers and elected to the Court of Common Council.
Roger: an 18th century actor who performed with the celebrated players of the day at the Covent Garden and Drury Lane Theatres in London.
Extracts from the 1697 Calves-Head Club anthem and the poem on Mary II are the contemporary works of Benjamin Bridgewater. The Epistle to him is by his contemporary, John Tutchin.
There is 'A readers' abridged FAMILY TREE of Benjamin Bridgewater', at the end of this work, which may help with your journey through his story.