Richard Adams (6 January 1619 - 13 June 1661) was an English lawyer, remembered as the compiler of an early collection of verse.


Adams was the 2nd son of Sir Thomas Adams, an alderman of London. He was admitted to Catherine Hall, Cambridge, as a fellow-commoner on 28 April 1635.[1]


Among the Harleian MSS. is a thin quarto (No. 3889) lettered on the outside ‘R. Adams. Poems.’ A few short pieces of inferior merit are signed ‘R. Adams,’ or ‘R. A.,’ but most of the poems in the collection are accessible in print. Like so many of the manuscript collections of the 17th century, Harl. MS. 3889 is no doubt a medley of verses by various hands.[1]

Adams certainly cannot be the author of the delightful song, ‘Pan, leave piping, the gods have done feasting’ (sometimes called ‘The Green Gown,’ or ‘The Fetching Home of the May’), for the words of that song were composed, according to the best authority, not later than 1635 (vide Westminster Drollery, ed. Ebsworth, p. 54, Appendix).[1]

The capital verses on "Oliver Routing the Rump, 1653," beginning "Will you heare a strange thing never heard of before?" were originally printed in the Merry Drollery, 1661, p. 53; they reappeared in Wit and Drollery, 1661, p. 260; and in Merry Drollery Compleat, 1670, and again in Loyal Songs, 1731; oddly enough, they are not in the Rump Collection. This song is unsigned in Adams's commonplace book; and judging from the signed verses it is far better than anything he could have written.[1]


  • PD-icon.svg Bullen, Arthur Henry (1885) "Adams, Richard (1619-1661)" in Stephen, Leslie Dictionary of National Biography 1 London: Smith, Elder, p. 100 . Wikisource, Web, July 3, 2016.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Bullen, 100

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PD-icon.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain, the Dictionary of National Biography (edited by Leslie Stephen). London: Smith, Elder, 1885-1900. Original article is at: Adams, Richard (1619-1661)

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