Born in Cheapside, London, he was the seventh child and fourth son of Julia Stone and Nicholas Herrick, a prosperous goldsmith. His father died in a fall from a fourth-floor window in November 1592, when Robert was a year old (whether this was suicide remains unclear). The tradition that Herrick received his education at Westminster is based on the words "beloved Westminster" in his poem Tears to Thamesis, but the allusion is to the city, not the school. It is more likely that (like his uncle's children) he attended The Merchant Taylors' School. In 1607 he became apprenticed to his uncle, Sir William Herrick, who was a goldsmith and jeweler to the king. The apprenticeship ended after only six years when Herrick, at age twenty-two, matriculated at St John's College, Cambridge. He later migrated to Trinity Hall graduating in 1617. Robert Herrick became a member of the Sons of Ben, a group centered upon an admiration for the works of Ben Jonson. Herrick wrote at least five poems to Jonson. Herrick was ordained in 1623 and in 1629 became the vicar of Dean Prior in Devonshire.
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