301. Elizabeth FORTESCUE (private).
Sir John BEAUMONT of Grace Dieu28 was born about 1583 in Grace-Dieu, Leicester. The deaths of his father (in 1598) and of his elder brother, Sir Henry Beaumont (in 1605), made the poet the head of this brilliant family: the dramatist, Francis Beaumont, was his younger brother. John went to Oxford in February 1597, and entered as a gentleman commoner in Broadgate's Hall, later Pembroke College. He was admitted to the Inner Temple in 1600, but when his brother Henry died he is thought to have returned to Grace-Dieu to manage the family estates.
He began to write verse early, and in 1602, at the age of nineteen, he published anonymously his Metamorphosis of Tobacco, written in very smooth couplets, in which he addressed Michael Drayton as his loving friend. He lived in Leicestershire for many years as a bachelor, before eventually marrying a member of the Fortescue family. They had four sons, the eldest of whom, another John, was considered one of the most athletic men of his time. The younger John Beaumont edited his father's posthumous poems, and wrote an enthusiastic elegy on him, but was killed in 1644 at the Siege of Gloucester. Another of Beaumont's sons, Gervaise, died in childhood, and the circumstances of his death are recorded in one of his father's most touching poems.
Elizabeth FORTESCUE and Sir John BEAUMONT of Grace Dieu had the following children: