Stapleton, Sir Robert

, a dramatic poet, was the third son of Richard Stapleton, esq. of Carleton, in | Yorkshire, and uncle to sir Miles Stapleton, and Dr. Stapleton, a Benedictine monk. As his family were zealous Roman catholics, he was educated in the same religion in the college of the English Benedictines at Douay: hut, being born with a poetical turn, and too volatile to be confined within the walls of a cloister, he threw off the restraint of his education, quitted a recluse life, came over to England, and turned protestant. Having good interest, which was perhaps also promoted by the change of his religion, he was made gentleman-usher of the privy-chamber to the prince of Wales, afterwards Charles II. We find him constantly adhering to, the interest of his royal master; for when his majesty was driven out of London by the threatenings and tumults of the discontented, he followed him, and, in 1642, received the honour of knighthood. After the battle of Edgehill, when his majesty was obliged to retire to Oxford, our author then attended hi.n, and was created doctor of the civil laws. When the royal cause declined, Stapleton thought proper to retire and apply himself to study; and, as he was not amongst the most conspicuous of the royalists, he was suffered to enjoy his solitude unmolested. At the restoration he was again promoted in the service of Charles II. and held a place in that monarch’s esteem till his death, July 11, 1C69. He was interred near the vestry door in Westminster-abbey. Langbaine says that his writings have “made him not only known, but admired, throughout all England, and while Musæus and Juvenal are in esteem with the learned, sir Robert’s fame will still survive the translation of these two authors having placed his name in the temple of immortality.” “The Loves of Hero and Leander, from the Greek of Musaeus, with notes,” was published, Lond. 1647, 8vo, and such was Stapleton’s regard for Musseus, that he afterwards reduced the story into a dramatic poem. His “Juvenal” was published in 1647, 8vo, and was thought to be preferable to Holyday’s, but they are both too literal. In 1650 he published a translation of Strada’s “History of the Belgic War,” fol. His dramatic pieces are, l.“The Slighted Maid”, 1663. 2. “The Step-mother,1664. 3. “Hero and Leander,1669 and, according to the books of the stationers’ company, 4. “The Royal Choice.1

1 Ath. Ox. ro!. II. Biog. Dram. Gibber’s Lives. Dodd’s Ch. Hist.
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