Alexander Pope Death, English Poet Died 1744 – Alexander Pope, an English poet, translator, died on May 30, 1744 at the age of 56. Pope is best known for his satirical and discursive poetry, such as The Rape of the Lock, The Dunciad, and An Essay on Criticism, as well as his Homeric translations. Alexander Pope was born in London on May 21, 1688, during the Glorious Revolution. His father (Alexander Pope, 1646-1717) was a prosperous linen merchant on London’s Strand. Edith (1643-1733) was the daughter of York’s William Turner, Esquire.
Both of his parents were devout Catholics. His mother’s sister married the well-known miniature painter Samuel Cooper. The recently enacted Test Acts, a series of English penal laws that upheld the status of the established Church of England by prohibiting Catholics from teaching, attending university, voting, and holding public office under penalty of perpetual imprisonment, had an impact on Pope’s education. Pope learned to read from his aunt and attended Twyford School in 1698. In London, he also attended two Roman Catholic schools. Although illegal, such schools were tolerated in some areas.
He made many important friends at Binfield. One of them, John Caryll (the future dedicatee of The Rape of the Lock), was twenty years older than the poet and had many literary connections in London. He introduced the young Pope to the aging playwright William Wycherley and to William Walsh, a minor poet who assisted Pope in revising The Pastorals, his first major work. He also met the Blount sisters, Teresa and Martha, who became lifelong friends with him.