Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 42.djvu/118

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

especial attention, and, as the result, an elaborate report ‘On the Coal Resources of India’ was presented to the secretary of state for that country. Sixteen memoirs on separate subjects were also published.

Oldham's official labours left him little time for independent authorship, but he communicated one paper (on upper cretaceous rocks in Eastern Bengal) to the ‘Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London,’ and was joint author of another; he also wrote, in conjunction with Professor John Morris [q. v.], a memoir on the fossil flora of the Rajmahal series. Altogether his separate papers number about thirty-four. But the best memorial of his administration and scientific ability will be found in the publications of the Indian Geological Survey. These form four sets: (1) ‘Annual Reports,’ commenced in 1858; (2) ‘Records,’ commenced in 1868; (3) ‘Memoirs’ (on separate districts), commenced in 1859; (4) ‘Palæontologica Indica,’ that is, descriptions and figures of the organic remains obtained during the survey. Oldham's last work in India was to complete the transfer of the library and collection of the Geological Survey from its former quarters to the Imperial Museum of Calcutta. A quarter of a century of arduous labour had so much weakened his health that in 1876 he retired from the survey, and, on his return to England, resided at Rugby, where he died 17 July 1878. He married in 1850 the daughter of William Dixon, esq., of Liverpool, by whom he left a family of five sons and one daughter.

Oldham was elected a member of the Royal Irish Academy in 1842, F.G.S. in 1843, and F.R.S. in 1848; he became a member of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal in 1857, and was four times its president. In 1874 he received the honorary degree of LL.D. from Dublin, and in 1875 the royal medal from the Royal Society, and a gold medal from the Emperor of Austria, after the Vienna exhibition. He was also a member of many societies, British and foreign.

[Obituary notices in Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc. London, 1879, Proc. p. 46, and Geol. Mag. 1878, p. 382, supplemented by information from R. D. Oldham, esq.]

T. G. B.

OLDIS. [See Oldys.]

OLDISWORTH, GILES (1619–1678), royalist divine, was younger son of Robert Oldisworth of Coin Rogers, Gloucestershire, and of Muriel, daughter of Sir Nicholas and sister of Sir Thomas Overbury [q. v.] He was born at Coin Rogers in 1619, and was educated at Westminster School. He was admitted a pensioner at Trinity College, Cambridge, on 17 May 1639; was elected to a scholarship there on 17 April 1610 (Admission Books), and, becoming a 'conscientious churchman,' graduated B.A. probably in 1642 or 1643. Soon after he was deprived of his scholarship on account of his royalist sympathies, and proceeded to Oxford, where, by virtue of a letter written on 29 Jan. 1645-6 in his behalf by the chancellor, the Marquis of Hertford, he was created M.A. on 20 July 1646.

Oldisworth was presented in 1645 by his maternal grandfather, Sir Nicholas Overbury, to the living of Bourton-on-the-Hill, Gloucestershire, where he succeeded his elder brother, Nicholas. He kept on good terms with the parliament, and retained his living during the civil war. But the laudatory tone of the dedication and an address with 'the lively portraiture of Charles the Second, king of Great Britain,' &c., in his 'Stone Rolled Away,' show him to have been an ardent supporter of a constitutional monarchy. He died at Bourton-on-the-Hill on 24 Nov. 1678, and was buried in the chancel of the church on the 27th. His will, dated the day before his death (P. C. C. 73, King), appoints his brother William guardian to his daughter Hester, a minor.

Oldisworth married Margaret Warren, and besides three daughters (two of them named Muriel) who died infants, he had two sons, Giles (b. 1650), a citizen of London in 1678, and Thomas (b. 1659), and two daughters, Mary (b. 1655) and Hester (b. 1661).

He was the author of several separately published sermons and of 'The Stone Rolled Away, and Life more Abundant: an Apologie urging Self-denyal, New Obedience, Faith, and Thankfulness.' Lowndes mentions a quarto edition, 1660, but the earliest now known is London, 1663. Another edition, with the title 'The Holy Royalist, or the Secret Discontents of Church and Kingdom; reduced unto Self-Denial, Moderation, and Thankfulness,' and without the king's portrait, was published in London, 1664. A poem, entitled 'Sir Thomas Overbury's Wife Unvailed,' is ascribed to Oldisworth, with some Latin verses (see Welch, Alumni Westmon. p. 114). He also wrote, under the pseudonym of 'Sketlius,' a manuscript poem (Codices Rawlinsoniaui, C. 422), entitled 'A Westminster Scholar, or the Patterne of Pietie.' It is a narrative, written in five books, in high-flown language, describing members of the families of Oldisworth and Overbury under fictitious names, with some explanatory notes in the margin.

His elder brother, Nicholas, also a Westminster scholar, was author of a volume of