William Congreve

1670 (Bardsey, England) – 1729 (London)

Congreve (the dramatist, not the similarly-named inventor) met Swift when both were students in Dublin, and stayed friends for life. He was Dryden’s protégé as well as friend, and also enjoyed friendships with Voltaire (a great admirer, though surprised at Congreve’s misplaced vanity), Gay (to whom Congreve was unfailingly kind), and the young Pope. Vanbrugh (who like Congreve withdrew relatively young from the theatre) was a fellow-member of Tonson’s Kit-Cat Club, as were Addison and Steele. Montagu as a child was also brought along to the club by her father, and became particularly fond of the notably witty Congreve.