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Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 42.djvu/21

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Ogilby
Ogilby
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master in Gray's Inn Lane. Before long he made himself perfect in the art, and by his obliging behaviour to the pupils acquired money enough from them to buy out the remainder of his time. He now began teaching on his own account, and being soon reputed one of the best masters in the profession, he was selected to dance in the Duke of Buckingham's great masque at court, when he injured himself and became slightly lame. At one time he had for his apprentice John Lacy (d. 1681) [q. v.], afterwards well known as an actor and dramatist. Among his pupils were the sisters of Sir Ralph (afterwards Lord) Hopton at Wytham, Somerset, and at leisure moments he learned of Sir Ralph how to handle the pike and musket. In 1633, when the Earl of Strafford became lord-deputy of Ireland, he took Ogilby into his household to teach his children, and Ogilby, writing an excellent hand, was frequently employed by the earl to transcribe papers for him. Subsequently he became one of Strafford's troop of guard, and wrote some humerous verses entitled 'The Character of a Trooper.' Appointed deputy-master of the revels in Ireland, he built a little theatre in St. Werburgh Street, Dublin, and was much patronised; but upon the outbreak of the civil war in 1641 he lost everything, underwent many hardships, and narrowly escaped being blown up in Rathfurm Castle, near Dublin. To add to his misfortunes, he was shipwrecked in his passage from Ireland, and arrived in London quite destitute. Going on foot to Cambridge, several scholars, attracted by his industry, gave him Latin lessons, and he proceeded to translate Virgil. This translation, and another which he made of Æsop, brought him in some money. About 1654 he learned Greek of David Whitford or Whitfield, at that time usher to James Shirley, the dramatist, who was keeping a school in Whitefriars. In the version of Homer, which he subsequently undertook, he is said, on doubtful authority, to have been assisted by Shirley.

At the Restoration, Ogilby made himself acceptable to Charles II and his court. In 1601 he was entrusted with the sole conduct of the 'poetical part' of the coronation (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1660–1, p. 668). The device which he exhibited over the triumphal arch in Leadenhall Street was much applauded, and is referred to by Dryden in his poem on the coronation (Works, ed. Scott, 1821, ix. 61). In 1662 he obtained the patent for master of the revels in Ireland in competition with Sir William D'Avenant. His old theatre in Dublin having been destroyed in the civil war, he built a new one at the cost of nearly 2,000l. He got into trouble by decoying away to his theatre John Richards, one of D'Avenant's company of actors, who were nominally servants to the Duke of York, and he had to make ample apology (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1661–2, p. 466). On again settling in London Oguby translated and published books until the great fire in 1666, when his house in Whitefriars was destroyed, along with stock to the value of 3,000l. (ib. Dom. 1666, pp. 171–2). Immediately afterwards the corporation appointed Ogilby and his wife's grandson, William Morgan, as 'sworn viewers' or surveyors, to plot out the disputed property in the city. They subsequently surveyed the whole city, and their ground-plan was published in 1677 (Overall, Remembrancia, p. 46 n.) Ogilby was soon enabled to rebuild his house, and to set up a large printing establishment; he was besides invested with the ornamental titles of 'king's cosmographer and geographic printer.' He died on 4 Sept. 1676, and was buried in St. Bride's Church, Fleet Street. Contemporary writers represent him as a man of attractive manners, great sagacity, and untiring energy. According to Aubrey his wife was the daughter of Mr. Fox of Netherhampton, near Wilton, Wiltshire, a servant of Lord Pembroke, by whom he had an only daughter, Mrs. Morgan, mother of the William Morgan who assisted him in his business. But from his will (P.C.C. 124, Bence) it is clear that Ogilby married a widow. Christian (? Knight), and it was her daughter by a former husband who was mother of William Morgan. There was another daughter, Elizabeth Knight. Mrs. Ogilby died in Whitefriars in 1681 (Administration Act Book, P.C.C., dated 16 June 1681).

Ogilby printed many splendid books, mostly in folio; several were illustrated, or, as he expressed it, 'adorned with sculpture,' by Hollar and other eminent engravers. On 25 May 1666 the king, on his petition, issued a proclamation forbidding any one for fifteen years to reprint or 'counterfeit the sculpture in them,' an injunction renewed on 20 March 1667 (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1664–5, p. 384, 1666–7, p. 674). To facilitate the sale of them Ogilby established about 1664, under royal patronage, a lottery in which all the prizes were books of his own editing and printing or publishing. The plague and the great fire of London seriously interfered with the working of this scheme, and he subsequently opened a new 'standing lottery,' the prospectus of which is to be found in the 'Gentleman's Magazine' for 1814 (pt. i. p. 646), wherein he quaintly complains that his subscribers