Southerne, Thomas(sŭth`ərn), 1660–1746, English dramatist, b. Ireland. Educated at Trinity College, Dublin, he moved to London where he pursued a career as a writer. He was a friend of Dryden and wrote prologues and epilogues for several of Dryden's plays. Southerne is chiefly remembered for his two sentimental tragedies, The Fatal Marriage (1694) and Oroonoko (1696), both based on novels by Aphra Behn.
See study by J. W. Dodds (1933, repr. 1970).