John Sheffield, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Normanby, KG, PC (7 April 1648 – 24 February 1721)
English poet and Tory politician of the late Stuart period who served as Lord Privy Seal and Lord President of the Council. He was also known by his original title, Lord Mulgrave.
Buckingham was the author of An Account of the Revolution and some other essays, and of numerous poems, among them the Essay on Poetry and the Essay on Satire. It is probable that the Essay on Satire, which attacked many notable persons, “sauntering Charles” amongst others, was circulated in MS. It was often attributed at the time to Dryden, who accordingly suffered a thrashing at the hands of Rochester’s bravoes for the reflections it contained upon the earl. Mulgrave was a patron of Dryden, who may possibly have revised it, but was certainly not responsible, although it is commonly printed with his works. Mulgrave adapted Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, breaking it up into two plays, Julius Caesar and Marcus Brutus. He introduced choruses between the acts, two of these being written by Pope, and an incongruous love scene between Brutus and Portia. He was a constant friend and patron of Pope, who expressed a flattering opinion of his Essay on Poetry.
In 1721 Edmund Curl published a pirated edition of his works, and was brought before the bar of the House of Lords for breach of privilege accordingly. An authorized edition under the superintendence of Pope appeared in 1723, but the authorities cut out the Account of the Revolution and The Feast of the Gods on account of their alleged Jacobite tendencies. These were printed at the Hague in 1727. Pope disingenuously repudiated any knowledge of the contents. Other editions reappeared in 1723, 1726, 1729, 1740 and 1753. His Poems were included in Johnson’s and other editions of the British poets. (Wikipedia)
From our stacks: The Works of John Sheffield, Earl of Mulgrave, Marquis of Normanby, and Duke of Buckingham. Vol. II. The Third Edition, Corrected. London: Printed for T. Wotton, against St. Dunstan’s Church, Fleet-Street; D. Browne, without Temple-Bar; T. Astley, in St. Paul’s Church-yard; A. Millar, against St. Clement’s Church, in the Strand; J. Stagg, in Westminster-Hall; and S. Williamson. 1740.