|Birth Day:||May 1, 1672|
|Death Date:||17 June 1719 (aged 47)
Kensington, Middlesex, England
|Birth Place:||Milston, United Kingdom, British|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
As per our current Database, Joseph Addison died on 17 June 1719 (aged 47)
Kensington, Middlesex, England.
Addison was born in Milston, Wiltshire, but soon after his birth his father, Lancelot Addison, was appointed Dean of Lichfield and the family moved into the cathedral close. His father was a scholarly English clergyman. He was educated at Charterhouse School, London, where he first met Richard Steele, and at The Queen's College, Oxford. He excelled in classics, being specially noted for his Latin verse, and became a fellow of Magdalen College. In 1693, he addressed a poem to John Dryden, and his first major work, a book of the lives of English poets, was published in 1694. His translation of Virgil's Georgics was published in the same year. Dryden, Lord Somers and Charles Montague, 1st Earl of Halifax, took an interest in Addison's work and obtained for him a pension of £300 a year to enable him to travel to Europe with a view to diplomatic employment, all the time writing and studying politics. While in Switzerland in 1702, he heard of the death of William III, an event which lost him his pension, as his influential contacts, Halifax and Somers, had lost their employment with the Crown.
Addison returned to England at the end of 1703. For more than a year he remained unemployed, but the Battle of Blenheim in 1704 gave him a fresh opportunity to distinguish himself. The government, specifically Lord Treasurer Godolphin, commissioned Addison to write a commemorative poem about the battle, and he produced The Campaign, which was received with such satisfaction that he was appointed Commissioner of Appeals in Halifax's government. His next literary venture was an account of his travels in Italy, Remarks on several parts of Italy, &c., in the years 1701, 1702, 1703, published in 1705 by Jacob Tonson. In 1705, with the Whigs in power, Addison was made Under-Secretary of State and accompanied Lord Halifax on a diplomatic mission to Hanover, Germany. A biography of Addison states: "In the field of his foreign responsibilities Addison's views were those of a good Whig. He had always believed that England's power depended upon her wealth, her wealth upon her commerce, and her commerce upon the freedom of the seas and the checking of the power of France and Spain."
He wrote the libretto for Thomas Clayton's opera Rosamond, which had a disastrous premiere in London in 1707. In 1713 Addison's tragedy Cato was produced, and was received with acclamation by both Whigs and Tories. He followed this effort with a comedic play, The Drummer (1716).
In 1708 and 1709, Addison was a Member of Parliament for the borough of Lostwithiel. He was soon appointed secretary to the new Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord Wharton. Under the direction of Wharton, he was an MP in the Irish House of Commons for Cavan Borough from 1709 until 1713. In 1710, he represented Malmesbury, in his home county of Wiltshire, holding the seat until his death in 1719.
He met Jonathan Swift in Ireland and remained there for a year. Later, he helped form the Kitcat Club and renewed his friendship with Richard Steele. In 1709, Steele began to publish the Tatler, and Addison became a regular contributor. In 1711 they began The Spectator; its first issue appeared on 1 March 1711. This paper, which was originally a daily, was published until 20 December 1714, interrupted for a year by the publication of The Guardian in 1713. His last publication was The Freeholder, a political paper, in 1715–16.
It is as an essayist that Addison is remembered today. He began writing essays quite casually. In April 1709, his childhood friend Richard Steele started the Tatler. Addison contributed 42 essays to the Tatler, while Steele wrote 188. Regarding Addison's help, Steele remarked, "when I had once called him in, I could not subsist without dependence on him". The Tatler was discontinued on 2 January 1711. The Spectator began publication on 1 March of that year, and it continued – being issued daily, and achieving great popularity – until 6 December 1712. It exercised an influence over the reading public of the time, and Addison soon became the leading partner in it, contributing 274 essays out of a total of 635; Steele wrote 236. Addison also assisted Steele with The Guardian, which began in 1713. Addison is the originator of the quote, "Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” The quote can be found in Issue 147 of the Tatler.
In 1712, Addison wrote his most famous work, Cato, a Tragedy. Based on the last days of Marcus Porcius Cato Uticensis, it deals with conflicts such as individual liberty versus government tyranny, Republicanism versus Monarchism, logic versus emotion, and Cato's personal struggle to retain his beliefs in the face of death. It has a prologue written by Alexander Pope and an epilogue by Samuel Garth.
Addison wrote the popular church hymn "The Spacious Firmament on High", publishing it in The Spectator in 1712. It is sung either to the tune known as "London (Addison's)" by John Sheeles, written c. 1720, or to "Creation" by Joseph Haydn, 1798.
The later part of Addison's life was not without its troubles. In 1716, he married Charlotte, Dowager Countess of Warwick, after working for a time as a tutor for her son. His political career continued, and he served as Secretary of State for the Southern Department from 1717 to 1718. His political newspaper The Freeholder was much criticised, and Alexander Pope in his Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot made Addison an object of derision, naming him "Atticus", and comparing him to an adder, "willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike". His wife was arrogant and imperious; his stepson, Edward Rich, was an unfriendly rake. Addison's shyness in public limited his effectiveness as a member of Parliament. He eventually fell out with Steele over the Peerage Bill. In 1718, Addison was forced to resign as Secretary of State because of his poor health, but he remained an MP until his death at Holland House, London, on 17 June 1719 (aged 47). He was buried in Westminster Abbey. After his death, an apocryphal story circulated that Addison, on his deathbed, had sent for his wastrel stepson to witness how a Christian man meets death.
In 1789, Edmund Burke quoted the play in a letter to Charles-Jean-François Depont entitled Reflections on the revolution in France, saying that the French people may yet be obliged to go through more changes and "to pass, as one of our poets says, 'through great varieties of untried being,'" before their state obtains its final form. The poet referred to is Addison and the passage quoted is from Cato (V.i. II): "Through what variety of untried being, through what new scenes and changes must we pass!"
On 6 April 1808, Middletown, a town in upstate New York, was renamed Addison in his honour.
In 2005, an Austrian banker and collector named Albin Schram died, and in his laundry room a collection of a thousand letters was found, some of them of interest to historians. Two of them were written by Joseph Addison.
|#1||Charlotte, Countess of Warwick||Spouse||N/A||N/A||N/A|
Currently, Joseph Addison is 349 years, 8 months and 18 days old. Joseph Addison will celebrate 350th birthday on a Sunday 1st of May 2022. Below we countdown to Joseph Addison upcoming birthday.