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 • Chapel of Saint Peter-ad-Vincula, Tower of London
 • London Borough of Tower Hamlets
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Sir Thomas Overbury
Birth: unknown
Death: Sep. 15, 1613

Poet. Born at Compton Scorpion in Warwickshire, the son of Nicholas Overbury, of Bourton-on-the-Hill. In 1595 he became a gentleman commoner of Queen's College, Oxford, and took his degree in 1598. He secured a position of servitor-in-ordinary to James I and was knighted in June 1608 along with his great friend, Robert Carr. By 1611, Overbury involved himself in his friend Carr's affairs when that gentleman apparently fell for Frances Howard, the notorious Countess of Essex whom Overbury called a ‘filthy, base woman.' Overbury's objections to the lady became known to her when he circulated his forty-seven stanza poem ‘A Wife' which enumerated the virtues necessary in a woman which were apparently lacking in the Countess. An implacable enemy, the Countess conspired with others who managed to convince Overbury to reject the offer of the Russian Embassy from the King. James I considered this action a near treasonous insult and committed Overbury to the Tower. The Countess then contrived to remove the Governor of the Tower and replace him with her own man who worked in concert with a pair of apothecaries and an intermediary. The cabal than administered a stew of poisons including rosalger, sublimate of mercury, white arsenic, and copper vitriol to Overbury in his food over a four or five month period. Overbury lingered in great pain until September 1613 when he died in agony. Initially, the cause of his death was thought to be syphilis, due to the excessive blistering on his skin. Two months after Overbury's death Carr, now Earl of Somerset, married the Countess. Within a year, suspicion about Overbury's convenient death grew and the Somersets found themselves on trial during which evidence of the plot was uncovered. All participants were sentenced to death; a sentence carried out on all save the Somersets for whom it was commuted. Following five years in the Tower, they remained within the grounds of a country house until pardoned by the King. Pardon was granted after four years. Overbury's poem, ‘A Wife', was published during his murder trial, capitalizing of the sensationalism of the case, and ran through six editions within a year. It eventually became one of the most popular printings of the century. His works also include ‘Characters,' ‘The Remedy of Love,' and the essay ‘Observations in Foreign Travels.' (bio by: Iola) 

Cause of death: Poisoned
 
Burial:
Chapel of Saint Peter-ad-Vincula, Tower of London
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Greater London, England
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Nov 07, 1999
Find A Grave Memorial# 6851
Sir Thomas Overbury
Added by: quebecoise
 
Sir Thomas Overbury
Added by: David Conway
 
Sir Thomas Overbury
Cemetery Photo
Added by: KRW
 
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Sir Thomas Overbury: Sir, you will be remembered as an English poet and essayist, also known for being the victim of a murder which led to a scandalous trial. Your poem A Wife, which depicted the virtues that a young man should demand of a woman, played a...(Read more)
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 Added: Sep. 15, 2013
Dearest Uncle Thomas - I pray you are enjoying the peace, love and happiness in Heaven that was so cruelly taken from you here on Earth. ♥
- Paige Ana Gillilan McGhan
 Added: May. 31, 2013
Such a tragic and cruel ending... Rest in Peace, Thomas. See you in Heaven.
- Mary
 Added: Jan. 6, 2013
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