Sons of Ben in English Literature – Meaning & Characteristics


“Sons of Ben”, otherwise known as the “Tribe of Ben” were a group of literary members who belonged to the 17th century. They were ardent admirers of eminent poet and playwright Ben Jonson and emulated him as reflected in their works. However, unlike Jonson, they were followers of the monarch and loyal to him. 

Characteristics of the Sons of Ben:

Jonson’s Dramatic Style:

Because they took inspiration from Ben Jonson and imitated his style, ‘Sons of Ben’ helped with carrying forward Jonson’s famous style of drama, especially his form of comedy. 

Return to Classics:

Again, just as Jonson was taken into classical notions of art and literature, Sons of Ben too rallied for a return to the same– to bring back structure and order and use wit.


This use of wit also extended to playful rivalry and competition with a similar sect such as themselves– “Sons of Shakespeare”. This consequently made way for humorous and witty writing exchanged back and forth between the two groups. 

Sons of Ben Major Poets List and Their Important Works:

John Suckling:

Suckling was one of the prominent members of ‘Sons of Ben’. Also a Cavalier poet, his noted work is his play “Aglaura”, followed by his poem “Song” and play “The Goblins”. 

Richard Lovelace:

Another famous member would be Lovelace. He was a Royalist and Cavalier poet and was best known for his works “To Althea, From Prison” and “To Lucasta, Going to the Warres”.

Thomas Carew: 

Carew was not just a part of the Tribe of Ben and was again a Cavalier poet. His works had classical elements to them. His most noted works are “To My Mistress Sitting By A River’s Side”, “A Rapture”, and “To Saxham”. 


‘Sons of Ben’ was hence a celebrated group of writers. Their contributions left an indelible mark in the history of English Literature.