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Tyne and Wear HER(17324): Gateshead, Hillgate, home of Daniel Defoe - Details

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Gateshead, Hillgate, home of Daniel Defoe






Post Medieval


Documentary Evidence

Daniel Defoe, author of 'Robinson Crusoe' and 'Moll Flanders', lived in Gateshead from around 1706 to 1710. His lodgings with bookseller Joseph Button are thought to have been located in Hillgate. Daniel Foe (he added the 'De' later) was born in London around 1660. He was educated in Dorking, Surrey. He was a Presbyterian. He began his working life as a merchant of hosiery, woollen goods and wine. In 1684 he married Mary Tuffley, daughter of a London merchant. They had 8 children. In 1685 Defoe joined the Monmouth Rebellion. After 1688 Defoe became a close ally of William III and a spy. In 1692 he was arrested for debts of £700 and was declared bankrupt. By 1695 he was working as a commissioner of the glass duty, collecting taxes on bottles. In 1696 he ran a tile and brick factory in Essex and lived in Chadwell St. Mary. In 1697 he published 'An Essay upon Projects'. In 1701 he wrote his poem 'The True-Born Englishman'. In 1702 William III died. In 1703 he was arrested and placed in a pillory for 3 days for writing a satrical pamphlet. He was then sent to Newgate Prison. He was released in exchange for becoming an intelligence agent for the Tories. In 1704 he wrote 'The Storm' describing the Great Storm of 1703. In 1709 he published 'The History of the Union of Great Britain'. Defoe was an adviser to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. 'Robinson Crusoe' was published in 1719. He wrote 8 more novels by 1724. 'Moll Flanders' was published in 1722. His final novel was Roxana: The Fortunate Mistress (1724). In the last decade of his life, Defoe wrote various books on personal conduct, the supernatural and travel. 'A tour thro' the whole island of Great Britain' was written between 1724 and 1727. Daniel Defore died in 1731 and is buried in Islington, London.




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