Essayist, playwright, and politician, born in Dublin, Ireland. He studied at Oxford, and joined the army, but gave it up to become a writer. He wrote three successful comedies, and in 1707 became editor of the London Gazette He is best known for the satirical, political, and moral essays which formed much of the content of the new periodicals the Tatler (1709-1711), which he founded. and the Spectator (1711-1712), which he co-founded with Addison. He supported the House of Hanover, and was rewarded by George I with the appointment of supervisor of Drury Lane Theatre, and a knighthood.
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