Our new season is now open: Spring 1677 !
|Full Name:||Charles Sedley|
- <.. a notorious rake and wit, but a fine poet...>
Physical Attributes & Initial Impression of Personality
A wealthy, generously endowed man, who was raised to a baronetcy because he was in favour with Charles II. While he behaved outrageous in his youth in later years he turned more political.
He was part of the Merry Gang. Sedley is also occasionally associated with a notorious gang of unbridled revellers who called themselves Ballers and who were active between 1660 and 1670. It was probably Sedley who wrote the Ballers' Oath on behalf of them. However his most famous poem is:
- Phyllis is my only joy,
- Faithless as the winds or seas;
- Sometimes coming, sometimes coy,
- Yet she never fails to please;
- If with a frown
- I am cast down,
- Phyllis smiling,
- And beguiling,
- Makes me happier than before.
- Though, alas! too late I find
- Nothing can her fancy fix,
- Yet the moment she is kind
- I forgive her all her tricks;
- Which, though I see,
- I can’t get free;
- She deceiving,
- I believing;
- What need lovers wish for more?
The son of Sir John Sedley, 4th Baronet, of Aylesford in Kent, and wife Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Henry Savile. The Sedleys (also sometimes spelled Sidley) had been prominent in Kent since at least 1337.
He was educated at Wadham College, Oxford, but left without taking a degree. Sedley is famous as a patron of literature in the Restoration period, and was the Lisideius of Dryden's Essay of Dramatic Poesy. His most famous song, Phyllis is my only joy, is much more widely known now than the author's name.
In 1663 an indecent frolic in Bow Street, for which he was heavily fined, made Sedley notorious. He was Member of Parliament for New Romney in Kent, and took an active and useful part in politics.His first comedy, The Mulberry Garden (1668), hardly sustains Sedley's contemporary reputation for wit in conversation. He also wrote Antony and Cleopatra (1667).
He is married but estranged. He and his daughter Catherine Sedley are at Windsor