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Vanbrugh

john, france and provoked

VANBRUGH, van-broo', SIR John, Eng lish architect and dramatist: b. London, 1664; d. 26 March 1726. He was educated in Eng land and in France, entered the English army in 1686 and from 1690 till 1692 was a prisoner in France, being latterly confined in the Bastile. He acquired his knowledge of architecture dur ing his residence in France. His first play, The Relapse or Virtue in Danger' was brought out at Drury Lane in 1697. 'IEsop,' founded on a French original, followed at a short interval and in May of the same year his play of 'The Provoked Wife' was performed. In 1700 he adapted Beaumont and Fletcher's comedy of 'The In 1702 he designed Castle Howard, the seat of the Earl of Carlisle, and produced 'The False Friend) and later 'The Provoked Husband.' He now entered into a speculation to build a great theatre at the west end of London, in which he was his own archi tect. Both plays and operas were produced; but it did not prove a success. He wrote for it the 'Confederacy' and became charged with the erection of Blenheim Palace for the Duke of Marlborough. This work got him into con

siderable pecuniary trouble, as the money sup plies, provided out of the civil list, were latterly stopped and heavy claims were made against him. Ultimately the duchess took the work out of his hands and he had difficulty in getting the money that was justly due. He built many other mansions for the nobility, for which he must have received considerable sums. From 1702 to 1711 he was comptroller of the board of works. In 1714 he was knighted by George I, in the following year appointed comptroller of the royal works and in 1716 architect of Greenwich Hospital. Vanbrugh's plays are ad mirable in dramatic conception as well as in wit, but are stained with the coarse profligacy of his 'day. His architectural works have been praised by many but they can only be looked upon nowadays as the most pronounced ex amples of the heavy English Baroco style. Con sult Ward, 'Sir John Vanbrugh' (1898) ; Dametzi, 'John Vanbrugh's Leben and Werke' (1898).