Henry Fielding
Name: Henry Fielding
Occupation: Writer
Gender: Male
Birth Day: April 22, 1707
Death Date: 8 October 1754(1754-10-08) (aged 47)
Lisbon, Kingdom of Portugal
Age: Aged 47
Birth Place: Sharpham, British
Zodiac Sign: Taurus

Social Accounts

Henry Fielding

Henry Fielding was born on April 22, 1707 in Sharpham, British (47 years old). Henry Fielding is a Writer, zodiac sign: Taurus. Nationality: British. Approx. Net Worth: Undisclosed.

Net Worth 2020

Undisclosed
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Does Henry Fielding Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Henry Fielding died on 8 October 1754(1754-10-08) (aged 47)
Lisbon, Kingdom of Portugal.

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Biography

Biography Timeline

1725

Fielding was born at Sharpham, Somerset, and educated at Eton College, where he established a lifelong friendship with William Pitt the Elder. His mother died when he was 11. A suit for custody was brought by his grandmother against his charming but irresponsible father, Lt Gen. Edmund Fielding. The settlement placed Henry in his grandmother's care, although he continued to see his father in London. In 1725, Henry tried to abduct his cousin, Sarah Andrews, while she was on her way to church. He fled to avoid prosecution. In 1728, he travelled to Leiden to study classics and law at the university. However, lack of money obliged him to return to London and he began writing for the theatre. Some of his work was savagely critical of the government of Prime Minister Sir Robert Walpole.

1734

From 1734 until 1739 he wrote anonymously for the leading Tory periodical, The Craftsman, against the Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole. Fielding's patron was the opposition Whig MP George Lyttelton, a boyhood friend from Eton. Lyttelton followed his leader Lord Cobham in forming a Whig opposition to Walpole's government called the Cobhamites (which included another of Fielding's Eton friends, William Pitt). In The Craftsman, Fielding voiced the opposition attack on bribery and corruption in British politics. Although writing for the opposition to Walpole, which included Tories as well as Whigs, Fielding was "unshakably a Whig" and often praised Whig heroes such as the Duke of Marlborough and Gilbert Burnet.

Fielding dedicated his play Don Quixote in England to the opposition Whig leader Lord Chesterfield. It was published on 17 April 1734, the same day writs were issued for the general election. He dedicated his 1735 play The Universal Gallant to Charles Spencer, 3rd Duke of Marlborough, a political follower of Chesterfield. The other prominent opposition newspaper, Common Sense, founded by Chesterfield and Lyttelton, was named after a character in Fielding's Pasquin (1736). Fielding wrote at least two articles for it in 1737 and 1738.

Fielding married Charlotte Craddock in 1734 at the Church of St Mary in Charlcombe, Somerset. She died in 1744, and he later modelled the heroines of Tom Jones and of Amelia on her. They had five children; their only daughter Henrietta died at the age of 23, having already been "in deep decline" when she married a military engineer, James Gabriel Montresor, some months before. Three years after Charlotte's death, Fielding disregarded public opinion by marrying her former maid Mary Daniel, who was pregnant. Mary bore five children: three daughters who died young, and two sons, William and Allen.

1737

The Theatrical Licensing Act of 1737 is said to be a direct response to his activities in writing for the theatre. Although the play that triggered the act was the unproduced, anonymously authored The Golden Rump, Fielding's dramatic satires had set the tone. Once it was passed, political satire on the stage became virtually impossible. Fielding retired from the theatre and resumed his career in law to support his wife Charlotte Craddock and two children by becoming a barrister, joining the Middle Temple in 1737 and being called to the bar there in 1740.

1741

Fielding took to novel writing in 1741, angered by Samuel Richardson's success with Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded. His first success was an anonymous parody of that: Shamela. This follows the model of Tory satirists of the previous generation, notably Swift and Gay.

1743

Fielding followed this with Joseph Andrews (1742), an original work supposedly dealing with Pamela's brother, Joseph. His purpose, however, was more than parody, for as announced in the preface, he intended a "kind of writing which I do not remember to have seen hitherto attempted in our language." In what Fielding called a "comic epic poem in prouse," he blended two classical traditions: that of the epic, which had been poetic, and that of the drama, but emphasizing the comic rather than the tragic. Another distinction of Joseph Andrews and of the novels to come was the use of everyday reality of character and action as opposed to the fables of the past. While begun as a parody, it developed into an accomplished novel in its own right and is seen as Fielding's debut as a serious novelist. In 1743, he published a novel in the Miscellanies volume III (which was the first volume of the Miscellanies): The Life and Death of Jonathan Wild, the Great, which is sometimes counted as his first, as he almost certainly began it before he wrote Shamela and Joseph Andrews. It is a satire of Walpole equating him and Jonathan Wild, the gang leader and highwayman. He implicitly compares the Whig party in Parliament with a gang of thieves run by Walpole, whose constant desire to be a "Great Man" (a common epithet with Walpole) ought to culminate in the antithesis of greatness: hanging.

1749

Despite this scandal, Fielding's consistent anti-Jacobitism and support for the Church of England led to his being appointed a year later as London's chief magistrate, while his literary career went from strength to strength. Most of his work concerned London's criminal population of thieves, informers, gamblers and prostitutes. Though living in a corrupt and callous society, he became noted for impartial judgements, incorruptibility and compassion for those whom social inequities forced into crime. The income from his office ("the dirtiest money upon earth") dwindled as he refused to take money from the very poor. Joined by his younger half-brother John, he helped found what some call London's first police force, the Bow Street Runners, in 1749.

1751

According to the historian G. M. Trevelyan, the Fieldings were two of the best magistrates in 18th-century London, who did much to enhance judicial reform and improve prison conditions. Fielding's influential pamphlets and enquiries included a proposal for abolishing public hangings. This did not, however, imply opposition to capital punishment as such – as is evident, for example, in his presiding in 1751 over the trial of the notorious criminal James Field, finding him guilty in a robbery and sentencing him to hang. John Fielding, despite being blind by then, succeeded his older brother as chief magistrate, becoming known as the "Blind Beak of Bow Street" for his ability to recognise criminals by their voices alone.

1752

In January 1752 Fielding started a fortnightly, The Covent-Garden Journal, which he published under the pseudonym "Sir Alexander Drawcansir, Knt., Censor of Great Britain" until November of that year. Here Fielding challenged the "armies of Grub Street" and periodical writers of the day in a conflict that became the Paper War of 1752–1753.

1753

Fielding then published Examples of the Interposition of Providence in the Detection and Punishment of Murder (1752), a treatise rejecting deistic and materialistic visions of the world in favour of belief in God's presence and divine judgement, arguing that the murder rate was rising due to neglect of the Christian religion. In 1753 he wrote Proposals for Making an Effectual Provision for the Poor.

1754

Fielding's humanitarian commitment to justice in the 1750s (for instance in support of Elizabeth Canning) coincided with rapid deterioration in his health. Gout, asthma and cirrhosis of the liver left him on crutches, and with other afflictions sent him to Portugal in 1754 to seek a cure, only to die two months later in Lisbon, reportedly in pain and mental distress. His tomb there is in the English Cemetery (Cemitério Inglês), now the graveyard of St. George's Church, Lisbon.

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, Henry Fielding is 315 years, 3 months and 24 days old. Henry Fielding will celebrate 316th birthday on a Saturday 22nd of April 2023.

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