"imitators as Rowe was of Shakespeare"

Nicholas Rowe (1674 - 1718) was an English dramatist, poet and writer, and Poet Laureate (1715).  He also held a number of public offices, including under-secretary to the principal secretary of state for Scotland, surveyor of customs, clerk of the council to the Prince of Wales, and clerk of the presentations in Chancery.

His first play, The Ambitious Stepmother, was produced in 1700 at Lincoln’s Inn Fields. It was followed in 1701 by Tamerlane, which celebrates William III.  A tragedy, The Fair Penitent, followed in 1703.  The name of one of its characters, Lothario, has been incorporated into the English language, to describe ‘a rake.’  In 1704, Rowe tried his hand at comedy, but with little success.  He returned to tragedy, and wrote several more plays, before his death at the age of 44. 

Rowe was the first modern editor of Shakespeare.  He also wrote a short biography of Shakespeare, entitled, Some Account of the Life &c. of Mr. William Shakespear.