John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, and us
We have been delighted to discover that Mike Willmott, a well-known Shrewsbury editor and colleague, is the descendent of illegitimate progeny of John Wilmot, 1647-1680, Second Earl of Rochester. John Wilmot was perhaps the most licentious of the Restoration poets, in fact much of his output is too flagrant to post on this blog. Mike is himself a poet although nothing should be inferred from his antecendents. Bob takes a particular interest in John Wilmot because Wilmot was at one time appointed ranger and keeper of Woodstock Park by Charles II – and Woodstock is where Simon Hatley the ‘real’ Ancient Mariner came from. Rochester once ran naked in the Park with a companion, ‘upon a Sunday afternoon, expecting that several of the female sex would be spectators but not one appear’d’. We’ll leave it there.