SACKVILLE, Sir Thomas, Earl of Dorset

(1563-1608)
Statesman for Elizabeth I,* Sir Thomas Sackville contributed to A Mirror for Magistrates and in collaboration with Thomas Norton wrote Gorboduc, the first English tragedy in blank verse. Born in Buckhurst, Sackville was the only son of Sir Richard Sackville. He attended Oxford, joined the Inner Temple, and married Cicely Baker. Knighted on 8 June 1567 and made a peer, Baron Buck­hurst, Sackville was sent on various missions for Queen Elizabeth. His offices under Elizabeth I and James I* included commissioner at state trials, knight of the Garter, lord chancellor of Oxford, and lord high treasurer for life. He died on duty at the council table on 19 April 1608. Sackville's literary career includes contributions to A Mirror for Magistrates, a collection of verse in which famous English men and women recount their ruin. Sackville wrote the "Complaint of Buckingham," and his "Induction" to A Mirror for Magistrates features Sorrow leading the poet to the dead. On 6 January 1561 Gorboduc was performed at the Inner Temple. Thomas Norton, who wrote the first three acts, and Sackville, who wrote the last two, drew their story from the chronicles of Britain and patterned the play after Senecan tragedy.
Bibliography
N. Berlin, Thomas Sackville, 1974.
Megan S. Lloyd

Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary. . 2001.

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