John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester

John WilmotEarl of RochesterJohn Wilmot, Earl of RochesterLord RochesterRochesterJohn Wilmot, Lord RochesterThe Earl of Rochesterhumorous Earl of RochesterJohn Wilmot RochesterRochester satires
John Wilmot (1 April 1647 – 26 July 1680) was an English poet and courtier of King Charles II's Restoration court.wikipedia
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Rake (stock character)

rakerakishcad
Rochester embodied this new era, and he became as well known for his rakish lifestyle as his poetry, although the two were often interlinked.
They were typified by the "Merry Gang" of courtiers, who included as prominent members the Earl of Rochester; George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham; and the Earl of Dorset, who combined riotous living with intellectual pursuits and patronage of the arts.

Libertine

libertinismLibertineslibertinage
The critic Vivian de Sola Pinto linked Rochester's libertinism to Hobbesian materialism.
Notable among these were John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester and the Marquis de Sade.

A Satyr Against Reason and Mankind

During his lifetime, Rochester was best known for A Satyr Against Reason and Mankind, and it remains among his best-known works today.
A Satyr Against Reason and Mankind is a satirical poem by the English Restoration poet John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester.

Charles II of England

Charles IIKing Charles IIKing Charles II of England
John Wilmot (1 April 1647 – 26 July 1680) was an English poet and courtier of King Charles II's Restoration court.
Theatre licences granted by Charles required that female parts be played by "their natural performers", rather than by boys as was often the practice before; and Restoration literature celebrated or reacted to the restored court, which included libertines such as John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester.

Elizabeth Wilmot, Countess of Rochester

Elizabeth Malet
Charles II suggested a marriage between Rochester and the wealthy heiress Elizabeth Malet.
Elizabeth Wilmot, Countess of Rochester (1651 – 20 August 1681) was an English heiress and the wife of John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, the "libertine".

Gentleman of the Bedchamber

Gentlemen of the BedchamberLord of the BedchamberFirst Gentleman of the Chamber
Pleased with his conduct, Charles appointed Rochester a Gentleman of the Bedchamber in March 1666, which granted him prime lodgings in Whitehall and a pension of £1,000 a year.

Andrew Balfour (botanist)

Andrew BalfourDr (later Sir) Andrew BalfourSir Andrew Balfour
In November 1661 Charles sent Rochester on a three year Grand Tour of France and Italy, and appointed the physician Andrew Balfour as his governor.
Returning to London, he became a governor end of 1661 to John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, travelling to France and Italy with him from end of 1661 to 1664.

Charles Sackville, 6th Earl of Dorset

Charles SackvilleEarl of DorsetCharles Sackville, Earl of Dorset
The Merry Gang flourished for about 15 years after 1665 and included Henry Jermyn; Charles Sackville, Earl of Dorset; John Sheffield, Earl of Mulgrave; Henry Killigrew; Sir Charles Sedley; the playwrights William Wycherley and George Etherege; and George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham.
He bore his share in the excesses for which Sir Charles Sedley and Lord Rochester were notorious.

Sir Charles Sedley, 5th Baronet

Charles SedleySir Charles Sedley
The Merry Gang flourished for about 15 years after 1665 and included Henry Jermyn; Charles Sackville, Earl of Dorset; John Sheffield, Earl of Mulgrave; Henry Killigrew; Sir Charles Sedley; the playwrights William Wycherley and George Etherege; and George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham.
Sedley was reputed as a notorious rake and libertine, part of the "Merry Gang" of courtiers which included the Earl of Rochester and Lord Buckhurst.

Elizabeth Barry

Mrs. Barry
In 1673, Rochester began to train Elizabeth Barry as an actress.
She then met John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester and was quickly transformed into a brilliant actress.

George Etherege

Sir George EtheregeGeorge EtheridgeEtherege
The Merry Gang flourished for about 15 years after 1665 and included Henry Jermyn; Charles Sackville, Earl of Dorset; John Sheffield, Earl of Mulgrave; Henry Killigrew; Sir Charles Sedley; the playwrights William Wycherley and George Etherege; and George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham. Rochester was the model for a number of rake heroes in plays of the period, such as Don John in Thomas Shadwell's The Libertine (1675) and Dorimant in George Etherege's The Man of Mode (1676).
Meanwhile he gained a high reputation as a poetical beau and moved in the circle of Sir Charles Sedley, Lord Rochester and other noble wits of the day.

Henry Wilmot, 1st Earl of Rochester

Lord WilmotEarl of RochesterHenry Wilmot
His father, Henry, Viscount Wilmot, was created Earl of Rochester in 1652 for his military service to Charles II during the King's exile under the Commonwealth.
He was succeeded by son John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, a noted poet and libertine at the Restoration court.

Battle of Vågen

slag in de haven van het Noorse Bergen, 12 augustus 1665Vågen
His courage at the Battle of Vågen, serving on board the ship of Thomas Teddeman, made him a war hero.
In the biography of John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester the story is told that Rochester, Montagu and George Windham, three young noblemen, had had a strong premonition of their death.

Aphra Behn

The Lucky ChanceAfra BehnBehn
Meanwhile he was eulogised by his contemporaries such as Aphra Behn and Andrew Marvell, who described him as "the only man in England that had the true vein of satire".
She belonged to a coterie of poets and famous libertines such as John Wilmot, Lord Rochester.

Nell Gwyn

Nell GwynneNell GwynnEleanor Gwynn
Teenage actress Nell Gwyn "almost certainly" took him as her lover; she was later to become the mistress of Charles II.
Though Nell Gwyn was often caricatured as an empty-headed woman, John Dryden said that her greatest attribute was her native wit, and she certainly became a hostess who was able to keep the friendship of Dryden, the playwright Aphra Behn, William Ley, 4th Earl of Marlborough (another lover), John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, and the king's other mistresses.

Sodom, or the Quintessence of Debauchery

Farce of SodomSodom
The best-known dramatic work attributed to Rochester, Sodom, or the Quintessence of Debauchery, has never been successfully proven to be written by him.
The work has been attributed to John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, though its authorship is disputed.

George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham

Duke of BuckinghamBuckinghamThe Duke of Buckingham
The Merry Gang flourished for about 15 years after 1665 and included Henry Jermyn; Charles Sackville, Earl of Dorset; John Sheffield, Earl of Mulgrave; Henry Killigrew; Sir Charles Sedley; the playwrights William Wycherley and George Etherege; and George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham.
Buckingham was one of the archetypal Restoration rakes, part of the "Merry Gang" of courtiers whose other members included John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, Sir Charles Sedley, Charles Sackville, 6th Earl of Dorset, and the playwrights William Wycherley and George Etherege.

Francis Fane (dramatist)

Francis FaneFrancisFrancis Fane of Fulbeck
In addition to an interest in actresses, he wrote an adaptation of Fletcher's Valentinian (1685), a scene for Sir Robert Howard's The Conquest of China, a prologue to Elkanah Settle's The Empress of Morocco (1673), and epilogues to Sir Francis Fane's Love in the Dark (1675), Charles Davenant's Circe, a Tragedy (1677).

The Libertine (2004 film)

The Libertine2004 film adaptation2005
The 2004 film The Libertine, based on Jeffreys' play, starred Johnny Depp as Rochester, Samantha Morton as Elizabeth Barry, John Malkovich as King Charles II and Rosamund Pike as Elizabeth Malet.
Depp stars as John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, a notorious rake and libertine poet in the court of King Charles II of England.

The Man of Mode

Man of ModeThe Man of Mode or, Sir Fopling FlutterThe Man of Mode, or Sir Fopling Flutter
Rochester was the model for a number of rake heroes in plays of the period, such as Don John in Thomas Shadwell's The Libertine (1675) and Dorimant in George Etherege's The Man of Mode (1676).
The character of Dorimant may have been based on John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, though there is no evidence of this.

Fleetwood Sheppard

Sir Fleetwood SheppardFleetwood Shepheard
John Aubrey learned what Rochester said on this occasion when he came in from his "revells" with Charles Sackville, Lord Buckhurst, and Fleetwood Sheppard to see the object: "'What… doest thou stand here to fuck time?' Dash they fell to worke".
Charles Gildon, Thomas Rymer, and John Dennis dedicated volumes of literary criticism to Sheppard, and John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester regarded Sheppard as the only critic he needed for his verses.

Ditchley

Ditchley ParkDitchley HouseDitchley House and Park
John Wilmot was born at Ditchley House in Oxfordshire on 1 April 1647.

Spelsbury

He was buried at Spelsbury church in Oxfordshire.
The poet John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester lived and is buried in Spelsbury.

Libel (poetry)

libellibelsinvective poems
As a consequence, some of Rochester's work deals with topical concerns, such as satires of courtly affairs in libels, to parodies of the styles of his contemporaries, such as Sir Carr Scroope.
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester was one of the more accomplished practitioners; Rochester is still held in high esteem by literary critics.

Valentinian (play)

ValentinianValentinian'' (play)
In addition to an interest in actresses, he wrote an adaptation of Fletcher's Valentinian (1685), a scene for Sir Robert Howard's The Conquest of China, a prologue to Elkanah Settle's The Empress of Morocco (1673), and epilogues to Sir Francis Fane's Love in the Dark (1675), Charles Davenant's Circe, a Tragedy (1677).
An adaptation under the same title by the poet and playwright John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester was staged in 1684 at Drury Lane and published in 1685.