An Hundred Epigrammes
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John Heywood was born in 1497, and became a chorister of the Chapel Royal. He is said to have been educated at Broadgates Hall (Pembroke College), Oxford. From 1521, the king's accounts mention him as player of the virginals, and in 1538, playing an interlude with his children. Heywood composed interludes for performance at court, with his father-in-law the printer and composer John Rastell. Despite his Catholic views, Heywood was retained at the courts of Henry, Edward, Mary, and Elizabeth. In 1564, the Act of Uniformity against Catholics forced him to flee to Belgium. His plays and epigrams often make mocking use of the dialogue form to satirise social and legal abuses, particularly the poor man’s lack of choice, as the selected piece shows.