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date: 29 February 2020

Poets laureatelocked

(1668–2016)

Extract

Some accounts date this office from 1616, when Ben Jonson was named poet laureate. The official post dates from 1668, when Charles II gave John Dryden a formal warrant awarding him the title. Since then the poet laureate has been appointed by the lord chamberlain, acting on the instructions of the reigning monarch, although since 1790 the prime minister has been responsible for recommending the appointee. Since 1689 the post has been awarded for life. (In the same year the Catholic ...

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