Richard Corbet

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File:Portrait of Richard Corbet Bishop of Norwich by Sylvester Harding.jpg
Portrait of Bishop Richard Corbet by Sylvester Harding

Richard Corbet (or Corbett) (1582 – 28 July 1635) was an English bishop in the Church of England. He was also a poet of the metaphysical school who, although highly praised in his own lifetime, is relatively obscure today.


The son of a prominent nurseryman in Twickenham,[1] he was educated at Westminster School and Oxford, and entered the Church, in which he obtained many preferments, e.g. James I., in consideration of his “fine fancy and preaching,” made him one of the royal chaplains. In 1620 he became vicar of Stewkley, and in the same year was made dean of Christchurch, Oxford. He later became Bishop of Oxford (1628) and then Bishop of Norwich (1632).[2]

Corbet was noted as a practical joker and considered rather scatter-brained. He was celebrated for his wit, which sometimes classed as buffoonery. Reportedly, he was to give a sermon before James I and was so entertained playing with a ring the King gave him that he forgot the sermon altogether.

He knew both John Donne and Ben Jonson. His poems, which are often mere doggerel, were not published until after his death. They include Journey to France, Iter Boreale, the account of a tour from Oxford to Newark, and the Farewell to the Fairies. He wrote numerous ballads, which he would also sing.

See also


  1. Twickenham', The Environs of London: volume 3: County of Middlesex (1795), pp. 558-604. URL:
  2. Chisholm 1911.

 Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). [ "Corbet, Richard" ] Check |ws link in chapter= value (help). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


  • Kenner, Hugh, ed. Seventeenth Century Poetry. New York: Rinehart Editions, 1964.
  • Corbett, Richard. Poems. J.A.W. Bennett and H. R. Trevor-Roper, eds. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1955.
Church of England titles
Preceded by
John Howson
Bishop of Oxford
Succeeded by
John Bancroft
Preceded by
Francis White
Bishop of Norwich
Succeeded by
Matthew Wren