Richard Steele, Sir (1671 - 1729) MP

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Ireland
Death: Died in Carmarthen, Dyfed, UK
Managed by: Treva Sherman
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About Richard Steele, Sir

Died in Cameron, Wales

Wikipedia: Sir Richard Steele (bap. 12 March 1672 – 1 September 1729) was an Irish writer and politician, remembered as co-founder, with his friend Joseph Addison, of the magazine The Spectator.

Steele was born in Dublin, Ireland in March 1672 to Richard Steele, an attorney, and Elinor Symes (née Sheyles); his sister Katherine was born the previous year. Steele was largely raised by his uncle and aunt, Henry Gascoigne and Lady Katherine Mildmay.[1] A member of the Protestant gentry, he was educated at Charterhouse School, where he first met Addison. After starting at Christ Church in Oxford, he went on to Merton College, Oxford, then with joined the Life Guards of the Household Cavalry in order to support King William's wars against France. He was commissioned in 1697, and rose up in the ranks to captain of the 34th Foot in 2 years.[2] He disliked British Army life, and left the army in 1705, perhaps due to the death of the 34th Foot’s commanding officer, and with him, his opportunities of promotion. It may then, be no coincidence that Steele's first published work, The Christian Hero (1701), attempted to point out the differences between perceived and actual masculinity.

In 1706 Steele was appointed to a position in the household of Prince George of Denmark, consort of Anne of Great Britain. He also gained the favour of Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford.

In 1705, Steele married a widow, Margaret Stretch, who died in the following year. At her funeral he met his second wife, Mary Scurlock, whom he nicknamed "Prue" and married in 1707. In the course of their courtship and marriage, he wrote over 400 letters to her. They were a devoted couple, their correspondence still being regarded as one of the best illustrations of a happy marriage, but their relationship was stormy. Mary died in 1718, at a time when she was considering separation. Their daughter, Elizabeth (Steele's only surviving legitimate child), married John Trevor, 3rd Baron Trevor.

Steele became a Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom in 1713, but was soon expelled for issuing a pamphlet in favour of the Hanoverian succession. When George I of Great Britain came to the throne in the following year, Steele was knighted and given responsibility for the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London. While at Drury Lane, Steele wrote and directed The Conscious Lovers, which was an immediate hit. However, he fell out with Addison and with the administration over the Peerage Bill (1719), and in 1724 he retired to his wife's homeland of Wales, where he spent the remainder of his life.[3]

A member of the Whig Kit-Kat Club, Steele remained in Carmarthen after Mary's death, and was buried there, at St Peter's Church. During restoration of the church in 2000, his skull was discovered in a lead casket, having previously been accidentally disinterred during the 1870s.

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Sir Richard Steele's Timeline

1671
March 12, 1671
Ireland
1705
1705
Age 33
1707
September 9, 1707
Age 36
Ireland
1709
1709
Age 37
Augusta County, Virginia
1729
September 1, 1729
Age 58
Carmarthen, Dyfed, UK
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