Ben Jonson, posthumous child descended from Scottish brigands and warlords, grew up in poverty by Thames-side wharves.  Well-versed in Latin and Greek at Westminster School, Jonson got a place at Cambridge but, lacking funds, returned to London where he was apprenticed to his bricklayer stepfather, allegedly quoting Homer as he went about his reluctant work. It was Jonson Shakespeare went drinking with shortly before he died.