Andrew Marvell ‘in want of money’: The Evidence in John Farrington v. Mary Marvell

Kavanagh, Art
October 2002
Seventeenth Century;Autumn2002, Vol. 17 Issue 2, p206
Academic Journal
Andrew Marvell's poverty is legendary but, until now, the legend has not been supported by persuasive evidence. In 1938, Fred S. Tupper discovered that Chancery proceedings had been commenced in 1681 by John Farrington against Marvell's administrators, Mary Marvell and John Greene. Tupper did not, however, find the depositions that were sworn by Farrington's witnesses. One of the witnesses was Nathaniel Ponder, the bookseller of , whom Farrington produced in order to establish that £500 deposited at interest in 1677 could not have been Marvell's money. Ponder swore that, in the five years before his death in 1678, Marvell had not been at any time worth £100 ‘besides his bookes and furniture’.


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