William Congreve (24 January 1670 – 19 January 1729) was an English playwright and poet. Congreve was born in Bardsey, West Yorkshire, England (near Leeds). His parents were William Congreve (1637–1708) and Mary (née Browning; 1636?–1715).
William Congreve wrote some of the most popular English plays of the Restoration period of the late 17th century. Two of Congreve's turns of phrase from The Mourning Bride (1697) have become famous: "Music has charms to soothe a savage breast," and "Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned,"
Congreve never married but was the lover of Henrietta Godolphin, Duchess of Marlborough and was widely believed to have been the father of her daughter, Mary Godolphin, born in 1723. The child was however lovingly raised by the Duchess's husband, Francis Godolphin who never questioned her parentage. Congreve suffered a carriage accident in late September 1728, from which he never recovered; he died in London in January 1729, and was buried in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey.
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