Happy the Man


On 1 December 1663 Dryden married Lady Elizabeth Howard (died 1714). The marriage was at St. Swithin's, London, and the consent of the parents is noted on the license, though Lady Elizabeth was then about twenty-five. She was the object of some scandals, well or ill founded; it was said that Dryden had been bullied into the marriage by her brothers. A small estate in Wiltshire was settled upon them by her father. The lady's intellect and temper were apparently not good; her husband was treated as an inferior by those of her social status.[31] Both Dryden and his wife were warmly attached to their children.[32] They had three sons: Charles (1666–1704), John (1668–1701), and Erasmus Henry (1669–1710).[33] Lady Elizabeth Dryden survived her husband, but went insane soon after his death.[34] Though some have historically claimed to be from the lineage of John Dryden, his three children had no children themselves.[35]

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