Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Radcliffe, Alexander

649009Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 47 — Radcliffe, Alexander1896George Thorn-Drury

RADCLIFFE, ALEXANDER (fl. 1680), verse-writer, the son and heir of Alexander Radcliffe of Hampstead, Middlesex, was admitted at Gray's Inn on 12 Nov. 1669 (Foster, Gray's Inn Admission Register). He was not called to the bar, but seems to have deserted the legal profession for the army, in which he had attained the rank of captain in 1696. He was a disciple of the Earl of Rochester in verse, and rivalled his master in ribaldry. He published:

  1. ‘Ovid Travestie, a mock Poem on five Epistles of Ovid,’ 16mo, 1673 (Gaisford Library Sale Catalogue). This, the first edition, was ignored when the book was reprinted, 4to, 1680, 1681, 1696 (with additions), and 1705.
  2. ‘Bacchanalia Cœlestia: a Poem, in praise of Punch, compos'd by the Gods and Goddesses in Cabal,’ London, 1680, fol. broadside. Reprinted in the ‘Ramble,’ &c.
  3. ‘The Ramble: an anti-heroick Poem. Together with some Terrestrial Hymns and Carnal Ejaculations,’ London, 1682, 8vo. Part of ‘The Ramble’ had previously appeared in the edition of Rochester's Poems which bears the imprint Antwerp, 1680. Nos. 1 (3rd edit.) and 3 were reissued with a general title, ‘The Works of Capt. Alexander Radcliffe,’ in 1696, 2 pts. (London, 8vo).

[Hunter's Chorus Vatum, Addit. MS. 24490, fol. 247; Nichols's Select Collection of Poems, i. 141, iii. 163.]

G. T. D.