Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Ayloffe, John

AYLOFFE, JOHN (d. 1685), satirist, wrote one of the most drastic and powerful satires against the Stuarts, entitled 'Marvell's Ghost.' It was furtively circulated as a broadside, but was included in Nichols's 'Select Collection of Poems '(iii. 186). The editor calls him 'Captain John Ayloffe,' and says he was educated in Trinity College, Cambridge. This is all he knew. It seems certain that he was the John Ayloffe, Esq., who was executed before the gate of the Inner Temple on 30 Oct. 1685 for his participation in the Rye House plot. He went with the Earl of Argyle into Scotland, where he was taken, and made an attempt to destroy himself by inflicting a terrible wound in his belly. At his execution it came out that he was of the Temple: had been a 'clubber at the King's Head Tavern,' and 'a green-ribbon man.' 'Marvell's Ghost' is as burning and passionate in its invective as any of Marvell's own. He appears to have left a relative behind him in a William Ayloffe, author of a poem on the death of Charles II and accession of James II.

[Brit. Museum Broadsides; Hunter MSS. 24, 490; Dryden Miscell.]

A. B. G.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.11
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

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284 i 31 Ayloffe, John: after (iii. 186) insert together with another poem ‘On the Cambridge Commencement, by Captain Aylolfe’ (iii. 188-9)