George Wither, an English poet, born at Bent worth, Hampshire, June 11, 1588, died in London, May 2, 1667. He studied at Oxford, and in 1613 entered himself at one of the inns of chancery. For his satire, "Abuses Stript and Whipt" (1613), he was thrown into prison, where he composed his poem " The Shepheard's Hunting," and his "Satyre to the King," which, it is said, procured his release. In 1632 he visited the Netherlands, where he published his lyrical version of the Psalms. In 1639 he served as captain of horse in the expedition of Charles I. against the Scottish Covenanters, and in the civil war raised a troop of horse at his own expense and joined the parliamentary forces. He was captured, and was near being hanged, but Sir John Denham procured his release. He was one of Cromwell's major generals, and kept watch over the royalists of Surrey. From their sequestered estates he obtained a fortune, of which he was stripped at the restoration. The convention parliament in Newgate soon after imprisoned him for publishing a seditious and libellous pamphlet entitled Vox Vulgi. Sir Egerton Brydges devoted considerable portions of the Restituta, Censura Litteraria, and "British Bibliographer" to the republication of Wither's works, but no considerable collection of them has been made.
The list of them in Bliss's edition of Wood's Fasti Oxonienses fills 13 columns. A selection of his poems was published by J. M. Gutch in 1820 (3 vols. 12mo, Bristol), and new editions of his " Hymns and Songs of the Church " were issued at Oxford in 1846 and at London in 1856.