Marvell, Andrew (1621-78), satirist, pamphleteer, and poet, was the son of the rector of Winestead, in Yorkshire. He was educated at Hull and at Trinity College. Cambridge. He then spent several years in travelling on the Continent, and in 1650 became tutor to Lord Fairfax's daughter. For a year, in 1657, in spite of his monarchical views, he was Milton's assistant as secretary to Cromwell, and next year entered Parliament as member for Hull. From 1663 to 1665 he was absent from his duties owing to his holding a diplomatic post; but, with the exception of this period, he attended regularly in Parliament, and wrote reports of the debates for his constituents, which are, in the absence of official reports, of considerable historical value. They end only with his death in 1678. Marvell's satires and pamphlets exercised considerable influence on public opinion.
A reward was offered for the discovery of The Growth trf Popery and Arbitrary Power (1677); and The Meltearsal Transposed and Mr. Smirke on the Bivine in Mode, written against an Oxford clergyman, were effective defences of religious toleration. His poems, written before his entrance into public life, are, says Lamb, distinguished by a witty delicacy.