Hugh Beavin

England's most popular poet

The most popular English poet in the mid-17th century was John Cleveland, who grew up in Hinckley where his father, Thomas, was the vicar.

He was born in Loughborough, Leicestershire in 1613 but the family moved to Hinckley in 1621 after his father's appointment.

In 1627 he was accepted at Christ's College, Cambridge and stayed at university for 16 years until the outbreak of the English Civil War, whereupon he joined the Royalist camp.

At the end of the war, and with the Royalists defeated, he disappeared from sight and died a few years later in 1658.

Today his name lives on, though, as the former Hinckley Grammar School was renamed the John Cleveland College in his honour in the mid 1970s.

Author: Hugh Beavin

Written for: Hinckley-on-line