Thomas d'Urfey Biography (Wikipedia)
Thomas D'Urfey (Tom Durfey) (1653 – 26 February 1723) was an English writer and wit. He composed plays, songs, and poetry, in addition to writing jokes. He was an important innovator and contributor in the evolution of the Ballad opera.
D'Urfey was born in Devonshire and began his professional life as a scrivener, but quickly turned to the theatre. In personality, he was considered so affable and amusing that he could make friends with nearly everyone, including such disparate characters as Charles II of England and his brother James II, and in all layers of society.
D'Urfey lived in an age of self-conscious elitism and anti-egalitarianism, a reaction against the "leveling" tendencies of the previous Puritan reign during the Interregnum. D'Urfey participated in the Restoration's dominant atmosphere of social climbing: he claimed to be of French Huguenot descent, though he might not have been; and he added an apostrophe to the plain English name Durfey when he was in his 30s.
He wrote 500 songs, and 32 plays, starting with The Siege of Memphis in 1676. His first play was a failure, but he responded in the following year (1677) with a comedy, Madame Fickle, which proved more successful.
Thomas d'Urfey Tracks