John Milton as a Child

John Milton was born in London on 9 December 1608 at the sign of the Spread Eagle (the family crest) on Bread Street. His father was a scrivener, a minor contract lawyer, disinherited by his family for rejecting their Roman Catholicism. However, the father prospered financially and revealed marked musical talents. He sent his son to the academically distinguished St. Paul's School, which reinforced the child's intense studiousness. Cipriani's etching, "Portrait of John Milton as a Child," was commissioned by Thomas Hollis in 1760, based on a painting by Cornelius Johnson in Hollis's collection.

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