Henry Glapthorne

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Henry Glapthorne (baptised, 28 July 1610 – c. 1643) was an English dramatist and poet.

Glapthorne was baptized in Cambridgeshire, the son of Thomas Glapthorne and Faith nee Hatcliff. His father was a bailiff of Lady Hatton, the wife of Sir Edward Coke. Before he turned fourteen, Henry Glapthorne was matriculated as a pensioner at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, but there is no record that he ever took a degree.[1] From then until he emerges as a playwright in the mid-1630s, little is known of him. There is some evidence that he may have been employed as a groom-porter in a nobleman's household during some of that time — a later document refers to him as "Glapthorne the Porter" — but there is nothing conclusive.


His best-regarded work is Argalus and Parthenia (c. 1633, printed 1639), based upon Sidney's Arcadia. Other plays are the comedy The Hollander (licensed for performance 12 March 1636), Wit in a Constable (c. 1636–38), and the tragicomedy The Lady's Privilege (all printed 1640), and the historical tragedy Albertus Wallenstein (c. 1634–39, printed 1639), based on the famous general in the Thirty Years' War.

Glapthorne published a volume of Poems in 1639, including a series addressed to "Lucinda", and a 1643 poem entitled "Whitehall", dedicated to Richard Lovelace, among other minor works.

A collected edition of his work, The Plays and Poems of Henry Glapthorne, was published in 1874. In 1883, editor A. H. Bullen attributed the anonymous play The Lady Mother, written c. 1633–35, to Glapthorne, an attribution that has been accepted by the consensus of critical opinion.

The play Revenge for Honour, first printed in 1654 and misattributed to George Chapman, may be another work by Glapthorne; it was entered into the Stationers' Register on 29 November 1653, as a Glapthorne work, under the title The Parricide, or Revenge for Honour. A play called The Parricide, was acted in 1624, but Glapthorne would have been only 14 years old at the time.

Later years[edit]

On 1 July 1642, his daughter Lovelace (probably named in honor of his friend Richard Lovelace) was baptized in the parish of St. Bride's, Fleet Street; the record also mentions the name of Glapthorne's wife, Susan. On 23 March 1643, Susan was buried in the parish of St. Andrew's, Holborn, having died the day before in Fetter Lane. The location of her death makes it certain that Henry Glapthorne is the "one Glapthorne, who lived in Fetter Lane", that on 12 January 1643 was identified to the House of Lords as the author of the tract His Maiesties Gracious Answer to The Message sent from the Honourable Citie of London, concerning Peace (1643). He, along with his printer Richard Herne and others, were supposed to be brought in to give evidence on the subject a few weeks later, but no further record has been found of what happened to him. Gerald Eades Bentley believes it is most likely he died before the Restoration.


  1. ^ "Glapthorne, Henry (GLPN624H)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.