Nicholas Udall wrote the earliest known English comedy, Ralph Roister Doister, in 1528. Like many writers, his day job was as a teacher. He was arrested in 1541 for having sex with two of his students at Eton. (There were no female students at Eton in the sixteenth century.) Udall’s confession and subsequent imprisonment did not preclude him from becoming headmaster at Westminster after his release. He was also schoolmaster for the royal family for a time. Udall was born in Hampshire and educated at Winchester College and Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He was tutored under the guidance of Thomas Cromwell, who mentions him in a letter to John Creke of 17 August 1523 as 'Maister Woodall' and he appears again in Cromwell's accounts for 1535 as 'Nicholas Woodall Master of Eton'. After graduation from Oxford, he taught at a London grammar school in 1533. He taught Latin at Eton College, of which he was headmaster from about 1534 until 1541, when he was forced to leave after being convicted of offences against his pupils under the Buggery Act 1533. That the pupils in question were not prosecuted suggesting that they were under what was then taken as of the "age of discretion", i.e., 14 years or older. He died in 1556 and was buried in an unmarked grave in the churchyard of St Margaret's, Westminster.
Timeline & Places:
• 1504: born.
• 1510s: attended Winchester College, College St, Winchester SO23 9NA, Regno Unito
• 1510s: attended University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 2JD, Regno Unito
• 1534 to 1541: taught at Eton College, Windsor SL4 6DW, Regno Unito
• December 23, 1556: died. Buried at St Margaret Churchyard Westminster, City of Westminster, Greater London, England, Plot churchyard, unmarked