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

GLANVILL, JOHN (1664?–1735), poet and translator, born at Broad Hinton, Wiltshire, about 1664, was the son of Julius Glanvil of Lincoln's Inn, by his wife, Anne Bagnall of St. Dunstan-in-the-West, London (Chester, London Marriage Licences, ed. Foster, col. 551). His grandfather was Sir John Glanville (1590–1661) [q. v.] He became a commoner of Trinity College, Oxford, in 1678, was elected scholar 10 June 1680, and took the two degrees in arts, B.A. 24 Oct. 1682, M.A. 24 Nov. 1685. In 1683 he stood for a fellowship at All Souls, but on the election falling to Thomas Creech [q. v.] Glanvill was highly affronted, ‘so conceited he was of his own parts.’ He lost all chance of a fellowship at his own college ‘because he would be drunk and swear,’ and was ultimately expelled (Hearne, Remarks and Collections, Oxf. Hist. Soc. i. 265). He therefore entered himself at Lincoln's Inn, and was called to the bar. He died a bachelor and very wealthy 12 June 1735, aged 71, at Catchfrench, in St. Germans, Cornwall, an estate which he had purchased in 1726 (monumental inscription in Parochial History of Cornwall, ii. 42). His will, dated 23 Dec. 1724, was proved with two codicils 16 June 1735 by his nephew and heir, John Glanvill, citizen and apothecary of London (registered in P. C. C. 122, Ducie). He was the author of: 1. ‘Some Odes of Horace imitated with Relation to His Majesty and the Times,’ 4to, London, 1690. 2. ‘Poem … lamenting the Death of her late Sacred Majesty of the Small-pox,’ 4to, London, 1695. 3. ‘A Panegyrick to the King’ [in verse], 4to, London, 1967 [1697]. 4. ‘The Happy Pair,’ a new song [anon.], fol. London [1706?]; other editions 1710? 1750?. 5. ‘Poems, consisting of originals and translations,’ 8vo, London, 1725. 6. ‘Two Letters to Francis Gregor,’ dated Catchfrench, August 1730 and October 1730, printed in Gregor's preface to Sir John Fortescue's ‘De Laudibus legum Angliæ,’ fol. 1737, pp. xxvii–xxxii. He also translated from the Latin Seneca's ‘Agamemnon,’ act i., which, together with ‘A Song,’ is in ‘Miscellany Poems and Translations by Oxford Hands,’ 8vo, London, 1685 (pp. 196–199). In the ‘Annual Miscellany’ for 1694, being pt. iv. of ‘Miscellany Poems,’ &c., 8vo, London, 1694, he has translations from Seneca and Horace. He also translated Fontenelle's ‘A Plurality of Worlds,’ 12mo, London, 1688; other editions, 12mo, London, 1695; 16mo, London, 1702. The best of his poems have been reprinted in vol. iv. of Nichols's ‘Collection.’

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), iv. 689–90; Wood's Fasti Oxon. (Bliss), ii. 383, 396; Boase and Courtney's Bibl. Cornub. i. 176, 111, 1196; Chalmers's Biog. Dict.; Brit. Mus. Cat.; Will of Julius Glanvill, February 1710 (P. C. C. 33, Smith).]

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