HENRY FIELDING (1707 - 1754)
Henry Fielding was born in 1707 and educated at Eton. He wrote both novels and plays, though Tom Jones is considered his greatest and most ambitious work. He is as much remembered for the fact that, in his capacity as a Man of Law, he founded the Bow Street Runners, precursors of the Metropolitan Police, as for his writing. He also wrote the song The Roast Beef of Old England.
Eventually he went blind, though he continued to work as a magistrate. He was known as the Blind Beak of Bow Street. His health deteriorated, and he left London for Portugal in a vain search for a cure. He died in Lisbon, where he was buried, in 1754.