These marks of the royal favour seem to have led May to expect the posts of poetlaureate and city chronologer when they fell vacant on the death of Ben Jonson in 1637, but he was disappointed, and he forsook the court and attached himself to the party of the Parliament.
He wrote the article Drama, and biographies of Ben Jonson and other dramatists; and he became an important contributor to the present work.
He is the subject of tragedies by Ben Jonson and P. Crebillon, and of the Rome sauvee of Voltaire.
The single case of Ben Jonson sufficiently proves this.
At the Mermaid Ben Jonson had such companions as Shakespeare, Raleigh, Beaumont, Fletcher, Carew, Donne, Cotton and Selden, but at the Devil in Fleet Street, where he started the Apollo Club, he was omnipotent.
For the relations between Bacon and Ben Jonson see The Tale of the Shakespeare Epitaphs by Francis Bacon (New York, 1888); for Bacon's poetical gifts see an article in the Fortnightly Review (March 1905).