‘This rare Poetesse’: the Remains of Lady Jane Burdett

  • Mary E. Polito University of Calgary
Keywords: patronage, country house drama, funeral sermons,


Jane Burdett (d. 1637) is named a literary patron in the entry on her in the ODNB by historian Vivienne Larminie. The primary evidence for this attribution of patronage is found in the only extant copy of Burdett’s funeral sermon, with eight poetic tributes, published at York in 1650 and held at the Bodleian Library: Thomas Calvert’s The Wearie Souls Wish. With permission from the Bodleian, Mary Polito provides a transcription of the poems, one provided by John Newdigate III. The prefatory material reviews the other scant evidence about Burdett and her links to the Newdigate circle. Polito speculates that some of the poems may have been employed as part of the funeral ritual for Burdett and foregrounds evidence that alludes to her productivity as poet, intellectual, muse and salon style patron.