Allestry, Jacob (DNB00)


ALLESTRY, JACOB (1653–1686), poetical writer, son of James Allestry, a bookseller who lost his property in the great fire, was born in 1653. After being educated at Westminster he proceeded to Christ Church, Oxford, in 1671; was ‘music-reader in 1679 and terræ filius in 1682.’ He had the ‘chief hand,’ according to Anthony à Wood, in composing the ‘Verses and Pastoral’ spoken in Oxford Theatre on 21 May 1681, before James, duke of York, and published in ‘Examen Poeticum,’ 1693. From the same authority we learn that ‘being exceedingly given to the vices of poets his body was so much macerated and spent by juvenile extravagance that he retired to an obscure house in Fish Row, in St. Thomas' parish, in the suburb of Oxon, which was inhabited by a nurse or tender of sick people, where, continuing incognito about seven weeks, he died in a poor condition and of a loathsome disease on Friday, 15 Oct. 1686.’

[Wood's Athenæ Oxonienses, ed. Bliss, iv. 202.]

A. H. B.