In 1601 John Marston's name was linked with those of Shakespeare, Jonson and Chapman as the ‘best and chiefest of our modern writers'. He came to the College in February 1592, taking his B.A. two years later. He occupied chambers in the Middle Temple 1595-1606, but his career between 1598 and 1610 was as a wit and poet. The death of his father in 1599 gave him independent means, a rarity among literary figures of the period. In 1609 he was ordained and he served as incumbent of Christchurch, Hampshire 1616-1631.
He was probably imprisoned twice for causing offence with his writing. He is known to have worked with Jonson, although the two men also conducted a literary feud in some of their works. Marston is remembered chiefly for his plays The Malcontent and The Dutch Courtesan.