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Thomas Wyatt

Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503 - 1542) was a poet and Ambassador in the service of Henry VIII. He first entered Henry's service in 1516 as 'Sewer Extraordinary', and the same year he began studying at St John's College of the University of Cambridge. He married Elizabeth Brooke (the daughter of Lord Cobham) in 1521 and she gave birth to a son a year later. In 1524 Henry VIII assigned Wyatt to be an Ambassador at home and abroad, and some time soon after he divorced his wife on the grounds of adultery.

In 1535 he was knighted, and in 1536 he was imprisoned in the Tower of London for quarrelling with the Duke of Suffolk, and also under suspicion of being one of Anne Boleyn's lovers. He was released from the Tower later that year, and he returned to his duties. During his stay in the Tower he witnessed the execution of Anne Boleyn, and he wrote a poem inspired by the experience V.Innocenti Veritas Viat Fides Circumdederunt me inimici mei (http://www.luminarium.org/renlit/innocent.htm)

In 1541 he was charged again with treason and the charges were again lifted and he was granted a full pardon and restored once again to his duties as Ambassador. He became ill not long after, and died in September 1542. None of Wyatt's poems were published during his lifetime - the first book to feature his verse was printed a full fifteen years after his death. He and Lord Henry Howard were the first poets to use the form of the sonnet in English.

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