WYAT, Sin THOMAS (1503-1542), is an important figure historically in English literature, although his poetry does not rank very high in intrinsic value. Ile was undoubtedly the leader, the first in point of time, and the acknowledged master of "the company of courtly makers" who in the reign of Henry VIII., under Italian influence, transformed the character of English poetry. SURREY (q.v.) is usually associated with Wyat in this leadership, and his influence was probably greater, as his verse was superior in fluency, dexterity, and force. But the priority, the actual lead, undoubtedly belongs to Wyat, who was Surrey's senior by fourteen years, and was celebrated by the younger poet with all the homage of an enthusiastic disciple. That there should ever have been any doubt upon the point arises from the fact that their poems were not printed till several years after both were dead, that they were then printed together in the same collection (Tottel's Miscellany, 1557), and that Surrey's name was placed first on the title-page by the publisher, while his poems preceded Wyat's in the .illiscellany. It is to Wyat that the praise rightfully belongs of being the first writer of sonnets in English. He is also our first writer of satires in the classical form. Apart from the question of their services as pioneers of new metres and a new vein of love sentiment, there is a wide difference in character between Surrey and Wyat. Their poetry strongly corroborates the evidence of their portraits by Holbein. Wyat is much less bright and radiant, of a grave, sedate cast, with a vein of humorous melancholy and satiric observation. It is not known for certain that Wyat ever travelled in Italy, but the probability that he did so is strong. Wyat's father, Sir Henry, the owner of Allington castle in Kent, was a prominent figure at the court of Henry VII., and a residence at one of the Italian courts was then a usual part of the education of a young man of rank. Wyat was born in 1503, and we have no record of him between his taking his bachelor's degree at Cambridge at the age of fifteen and his being sworn a member of the privy council at the age of thirty, except that he took part in the tournament at a great feast held by the king at Greenwich in 1525. He was knighted in 1536, and twice sent as ambassador to the emperor, a strong proof of his repute as a statesman and diplomatist. He died in 1542, in the course of a hurried journey to Falmouth to meet and convoy an ambassador from the emperor. Wyat is commonly known as Sir Thomas Wyat the elder, to distinguish him from his son of the same name, who headed an insurrection against Mary in 1554, and paid the penalty of failure.