Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Ogle, John (1647?-1685?)

OGLE, JOHN (1647?–1685?), gamester and buffoon, commonly known as 'Jack Ogle' or 'Mad Ogle,' the son of respectable and well-to-do parents, was born at Ashburton in Devonshire, and educated at Exeter. He lost his father when young, and, inheriting near 200l. per annum upon coming of age, went up to London, dissipated his estate, and gained notoriety by his duels, his licentious pranks and low humour. His sister, who, like himself, received a good education, became a gentlewoman to the Countess of Inchiquin, and subsequently mistress to the Duke of York. She may have been the Anne Ogle, maid of honour, with whom Pepys had the felicity of dining in 1669, but whom Roscommon, in his 'Faithful Catalogue of Eminent Ninnies,' described as 'lewd Ogle.' Through her influence Ogle obtained a saddle in the first troop of horse-guards during the colonelcy of the Duke of Monmouth (1668-1679). His necessities precluded him from maintaining a horse and other proper equipments of his own, and there were many ludicrous stories of the shifts to which he was reduced in order to appear on parade. Steele, in the 'Tatler ' (No. 132), describing the society of the Trumpet tavern, mentions how on entering the room the company 'were naming a red petticoat and a cloak, by which I knew that the Bencher had been diverting them with a story of Jack Ogle.' The bencher in question, writes Steele, 'the greatest wit of our company next myself, frequented in his youth the ordinaries about Charing Cross, and pretends to have been intimate with Jack Ogle. ... If any modern wit be mentioned, or any town frolic spoken of, he shakes his head at the dulness of the present age, and tells us a story of Jack Ogle.' The town residence of the 'Captain,' as Ogle called himself, was Waterman's Lane, Whitefriars, a well-known hotbed of rascality. According to Theophilus Lucas, he lost by cock-fighting what he gained at the gaming-table or in less creditable fashion. His excesses killed him in or about 1686, in his thirty-ninth year. His name was long a byword for eccentric profligacy, his 'diverting humours' being prefixed to such favourite 'cracks' as the 'Frolicks of Lord Mohun' and 'Charles II and his Three Concubines.' The British Museum possesses a copy of his 'Humours' in a chap-book printed for the Travelling Stationers at Warrington in 1805. His portrait has been engraved.

[Eccentric Magazine, i. 192-6; Lucas's Memoirs of Gamesters, 183-92; Evans's Cat. of Engraved Portraits, p. 254 ; Granger's Biogr. Hist. 1779, iv. 199.]

T. S.