Mathew Prior (1664-1721), the celebrated poet and diplomat, was found early in life to have a great aptitude for literature - particularly in the translation of classic works such as Horace and Ovid. In 1683 he accepted a scholarship at St. John's College, Cambridge, obtaining a fellowship in 1688, thus securing a connection with the university which he would keep for the rest of his life. By 1690 he had entered the diplomatic service which frequently took him abroad, and which ultimately led to his entering politics. Through the many offices he held, Prior never stopped writing - particularly poems and essays, often with a distinctly humourous approach.
The present picture is a version of the work in Trinity College, Cambridge