We have 12 guests and no members online
- Published on Sunday, 22 June 2008 17:30
- Written by Administrator
- Hits: 1887
Elijah Fenton (May 25, 1683 - July 16, 1730)
This man is Elijah Fenton who was born in England on May 15th, 1683. His father, John Fenton and mother, Elizabeth Bagnall were from Newcastle and Fenton Park of England. (Information is gathered from john Ward's book "Borough Stoke-Upon-Trent").
I was able to get a hold of a lot of informtion for the following article from two books that I recieved from an inter-library loan. One book was the one mentioned above and the other was "Elijah Fenton - His Poetry and Friends" written by William Watkiss Loyd.
Elijah Fenton was born at Shelton in the Valley of the Trent, in the old Hall or Family seat of the Fentons in Staffordshire, a large, irregular, half timbered building, commonly called Shelton Hall.
Elijah had ten brothers and sisters. Their names were Hannah, John, Katherine, Deborah, Lydia, Thomas, Sarah, Katherine, Abigail, and Lydia (the last three children died as infants).
Elijah went to Jesus College, Cambridge to obtain his bachleor's degree in 1704. In 1706 he was entered into Trinity Hall to work on his Masters of Arts degree. Many of his friends destined him for the clerical profession, but he refused to take the oaths necessary to enable him to enter the Church. His objection to taking the oaths was not religious, but political in nature, as he had opinions that varied to those of the existing governing powers, as to the claims of the exiled house of Stuart and was too conscientious to take oaths, as many clergymen did, with secret resolution of breaking them upon a restoration of the old dynasty. From this striking circumstance in his life, the highest integrity of character must be awarded to him. He left the University with a well-educated mind, but without any certain prospect of obtaining a livelihood.
He later went to work for Charles, Earl of Cork and Lord Orney, as his secretary. In working with this noble family, that had produced many men of genius and piety, his abilities and principles were matured. Lord Orney's confidence in Elijah was so high that he appointed him as a tutor for his only son, Lord Boyle. While working under this family, he produced many famous English poems.
If the interest is there, I can share more about this famous English poet, but I end with the Epitaph on his tombstone:
"This modest stone, what few vain marbles can, may truely say, here lies an honest man; A poet blest beyond the Poet's fate, whom Heaven kept sacred from the proud and great; Foe to loud praise, and friend to learned ease, content with science in the vale of peace, calmly he look'd on either life, and here saw nothing to regret, or there to fear; From nature's temp'rate feast rose satisfied, Thank'd Heaven that he had liv'd and that died".