Marmion, Shakerley

, a dramatic writer, was born of an ancient family at Aynhoe in Northamptonshire, about the beginning of January, 1602. He went to school at Thame in Oxfordshire, and was thence removed to | Wadham-college, Oxford, as a gentleman-commoner, and took his master of arts’ degree in 1624. Wood says, that “he was a goodly proper gentleman, and had once in his possession seven hundred pounds per annum at least.” The whole of this he dissipated, and afterwards went to serve in the Low Countries. Not being promoted there, after three campaigns, he returned to England, and was admitted in 1639, by sir John Suckling, into a troop raised for Charles I. in his expedition against Scotland, but at York he fell sick, and was obliged to return to London, where he died the same year. Marmion, although not a voluminous writer, for he produced only four dramas, is considered by the author of the Biographia Dramatica as one of the best among the dramatic writers of his time. “His plots are ingenious,” says that author, “his characters well drawn, and his language not only easy and dramatic, but full of lively wit and solid understanding.” His plays are, 1 “Holland’s Leaguer, an excellent comedy, as it hath bin lately and often acted with great applause, by the high and mighty prince Charles his servants, at the private house in Salisbury court,1632, 4to. According to Oldys, in his ms notes on Langbaine, there was a tract in prose, published under the same title of “Holland’s Leaguer,” in the same year, from which this drama might possibly be taken 2. “A fine Companion, acted before the King and Queen at Whitehall, and sundrie times with great applause at the private house in Salisbury-court, by the Prince his servants,1633, 4to. 3. “The Antiquary, a comedy, acted by her Majesty’s servants at the Cockpit,1641, 4to. This is also printed in Dodsley’s Collection of Old Plays, vol. X. second edition. The Biographia Dramatica, and other books, add to these, 4. “The Crafty Merchant, or the Souldier’d Citizen;” which, as welt as the rest, was a comedy; but they all state that it was never printed, and neglect to tell where it is extant in manuscript. He also published, 5. “Cupid and Psiche; or an epic poem of Cupid and his Mistress, as it was lately presented to the Prince Elector.” Prefixed to this are complimentary verses, by Richard Brome, Francis Tuckyr, Thomas N abbes, and Thomas Hey wood. He wrote, be sides these, several poems, which are scattered in different publications; and Wood says that he left some things in ms. ready for the press, but what became of them is not known. 1


Biog. Dram. —Ath. Ox. I. and II.