Brooke, Henry (1708-1783)

Brooke, Henry, dramatist and novelist, was born in 1708. at Rantavan, County Cavan, the son of a wealthy clergyman. In 1720 he entered Trinity College, Dublin ; in 1724 went to study law in London, where he became the chosen friend of Pope and Lyttelton; in 1728 married his cousin and ward, a girl of fifteen ; in 1740 returned in ill-health to Rantavan, and in 1745 was made barrack-master of Mullingar, a post worth £400 a year. He died in Dublin, 10th October 1783. His poem, Universal Beauty (1735), is supposed to have suggested Erasmus Darwin's Botanic Garden. Gustavus Vasa (1739), the acting of which was prohibited at Drury Lane, was afterwards produced in Dublin as the Patriot. His plays are forgotten ; and his novel, The Fool of Quality (5 vols. 1766; new ed. with biographical preface by Kingsley, 1859), is the sole survivor of his numerous works. See also Broolciana (2 vols. 1804).
1. Chamber's Biographical Dictionary, Philadelphia, 1926, page 136.

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