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OGDEN, JAMES (1718–1802), author, born at Manchester in 1718, was a fustian cutter or shearer who in his early manhood travelled on the continent, resided for a year at the Hague or Leyden, and was a witness of the battle of Dettingen (1743). For a time he acted as master of a school in connection with the Manchester Collegiate Church, and in the course of years published a number of volumes of turgid verse, some of which have a local interest, besides an interesting and useful prose description of his native town. His intelligent assistance in the compilation of the 'Description of the Country from Thirty to Forty Miles round Manchester,' 1793, is acknowledged by Dr. John Aikin in the preface to that work. By his fellow-townsmen he was usually styled 'Poet' Ogden, and is so designated in the 'Manchester Directory ' for 1797. He died at Manchester on 13 Aug. 1802, aged 83, and was buried at the collegiate church. The poet's son William (1753–1822), also an author, was an ardent radical reformer, and was imprisoned for sedition in 1817. A petition which he presented to parliament, containing a complaint of the harsh treatment he had experienced in gaol, led to a debate in the House of Commons, in the course of which Canning is alleged, but apparently without good ground, to have described the prisoner as the ‘revered and ruptured Ogden’ (cf. Notes and Queries, 4th ser. iii. 431, May 1869).

James Ogden wrote: 1. ‘The British Lion Rous'd; or, Acts of the British Worthies: a Poem in Nine Books,’ Manchester, 1762, 8vo. 2. ‘An Epistle on Poetical Composition,’ London, 1762. 3. ‘On the Crucifixion and Resurrection: a Poem,’ 1762. 4. ‘A Poem on the Museum at Alkrington, belonging to Ashton Lever,’ 1774. 5. ‘A Description of Manchester,’ 1783 (anon.). This has been several times reprinted in the present century, the last edition, dated 1887, containing a prefatory memoir by Mr. W. E. A. Axon. 6. ‘A Poem, Moral, Philosophical, Religious, in which is considered the Nature of Man, &c.,’ Manchester, 1788 (anon.). 7. ‘The Revolution: an Epic Poem,’ London, 1790. 8. ‘Archery: a Poem,’ 1793. 9. ‘Emanuel; or, Paradise Regained: an Epic Poem,’ Manchester, 1797. 10. ‘A Concise Narrative of all the Actions … during the Present War’ (Nos. 9 and 10 were published in one volume.) 11. ‘Sans Culotte and Jacobine, an Hudibrastic Poem,’ 1800.

[Axon's Memoir, mentioned above; Procter's Literary Reminiscences and Gleanings, 1860; Proceedings of Manchester Literary Club, 1873–1874, p. 67; Raines's Vicars of Rochdale, ii. 288.]

C. W. S.