WOTTON, weit'on. Ste Henry, English diplomat and poet: b. Boughton Malherbc, Kent, 30 March 1568; d. Eton, December 1639. He was educated at Oxford. and having studied civil law under an eminent Italian professor, became proficient in the Italian language. He visited all the principal countries of the Con tinent E599-97, and on his return was secretary to the Earl of Essex. On the fall of that nobleman he went to Florence, where he com posed a treatise, printed after his death, en titled 'The State of Christendom.' The Grand Duke of Tuscany having intercepted some let ters disclosing a plot to take away the life of James, king of Scotland, engaged Wotton to tarry secret intelligence of it to that prince. This service be ably performed in the character "i an Italian, and when James came to the English crown he sent for Wotton, knighted him and in 1604 employed him as an Ambassa dor to the Republic of Venice. As Wotton passed through Augsburg, being desired to write in an album, he wrote in Latin that "an am bassador is a good man, sent to lie abroad for the good of his country.' This innocent sally
was represented as a state maxim sanctioned by the religion of the king of England. James, who thought nothing relative either to king craft or state-craft a subject for wit, was highly displeased; and on his return Wotton had to make humble apology. At length he recovered ;he royal favor, and was restored to his former post at Venice (1616-19). Other missions fol lowed, and in 1624 he was made provost of Eton College. The first-fruits of his leisure were his 'Elements of Architecture.' A col lection of miscellanies was published after his death entitled 'Reliquir Wotionianae.' This cullection includes several poems by Wotton, of which two 'The Character of a Happy Life' and 'On His Mistress, the Queen of Bohemia.' arc among the finest lyrics in the English lan guage. Consult 'Lives' lzaak ‘Vallou Mal) and A. W. Ward 1899) and More, P E, 'Shelburne Essays' ( ifth Series, New York 1908).