Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 42.djvu/86

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Okey
Okey
80

the army (Commons' Journals, vii. 797, 805). As one of the commanders of the parliament's guard, he forcibly kept the secluded members out of the house when they tried to take their seats (27 Dec. 1659), and was consequently indicted for assault (Old Parliamentary History, xxii. 31; Prynne, A Copy of the Indictment found by the Grand Jury of Middlesex against Colonel Matthew Alured, Colonel John Okey, and others, 4to, 1660). Two months later Monck deprived him of his regiment and gave it to Colonel Rossiter (Mercurius Politicus, 29 March-5 April 1660). Okey joined Lambert in his attempted rising, and was with him at Daventry, but contrived to escape when Lambert was taken (Kennett, Reg. and Chron. Eccl. and Civil, p. 119). At the Restoration he fled from England, though, it is said, not till he had sought an interview with the king, and unsuccessfully begged for pardon (Hist. MSS. Comm. 5th Rep. p. 207). Capitally excepted from the act of indemnity, he sought a refuge in Germany, and was admitted as a burgess of Ilanau. In 1662 Okey and two other regicides, Barkstead and Corbet, went to Delft in Holland, intending to meet some friends. Okey called himself by the name of Frederick Williamson, and is said to have taken the additional precaution of obtaining from Sir George Downing, the English minister to the United Provinces, an assurance that he had no warrant for his arrest. But Downing's assurances were false, and all three were arrested and shipped off to England. As they had already been attainted by act of parliament, only proof of their identity was required, and the jury at once found a verdict of guilty (16 April). All three were executed on 19 April (Ludlow, ii. 330-4). In Okey's speech on the scaffold he professed that he acted without any malice against the king, and had gained nothing by his death, saying that he was fully satisfied of the justice of the cause for which he had fought, but exhorting his friends to submit peaceably to the existing government (The Speeches, Discourses, and Prayers of Colonel John Barkstead, Colonel John Okey, and Mr. Miles Corbet, together with an Account of the Occasion and Manner of their Taking; Mercurius Publicus, 10-24 March 1662; Pontalis, Jean de Witt, i. 281).

On the ground that Okey had shown 'a sense of his horrid crime,' and recommended submission to the king, Charles II granted his wife, Mary Okey, license to give her husband's remains Christian burial (21 April). Preparations were made to bury him at Stepney, but the order was revoked two days later, on the ground that the relatives intended to turn the funeral into a political demonstration. He was consequently privately interred in the Tower (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1661-2, pp. 344, 346). A portion of his forfeited property was regranted to his widow by the Duke of York (Lysons, Environs of London, ii. 460). His portrait was engraved by P. Stent.

[Authorities mentioned in the article; Noble's Lives of the Regicides, ii. 104; Ludlow's Memoirs, ed. Firth, 1894. The following contemporary tracts may be added to those already named: A Narrative of Colonel Okey, Colonel Barkstead, &c, their Departure out of England, and the Unparalleled Treachery of Sir G. D., 1662; The Speeches and Prayers of John Barkstead, John Okey, &c, with some due and sober Animadversions, 1662; Colonel John Okey's Lamentation, or a Rumper Cashiered (a ballad, 1669).]

C. H. F.


OKEY, SAMUEL (fl. 1765–1780), mezzotint engraver, is first described as Samuel Okey junior, and obtained premiums in 1765 and 1767 from the Society of Arts, the first being for a mezzotint engraving of 'Nancy Reynolds,' copied from that done by C. Phillips, after a picture by Sir J. Reynolds. In 1767 he exhibited at the Incorporated Society of Artists an engraving of 'An Old Man with a Scroll' after Reynolds, and in 1768 'A Mezzotinto after Mr. Cosway.' He produced a few fair engravings in mezzotint, among his earlier works being Mrs. Anderson, after R. E. Pine; Lady Anne Dawson, after Reynolds: Miss Gunning, and 'The Gunnings as Hibernian Sisters;' Nelly O'Brien, after Reynolds; William Powell the actor, after R. Pyle ; 'Miss Green and a Lamb,' after T. Kettle; 'A Burgomaster,' after F. Hals, &c. In 1770 he engraved a print, 'Sweets of Liberty,' after J. Collett; this was published by him and a Mr. Reaks, near Temple Bar. In 1773 their names appear as joint publishers of an engraved portrait by Okey of Thomas Hiscox, and as 'print sellers and stationers on the Parade, Newport, Rhode Island' (U. S.) They published a portrait of Thomas Honyman there in 1774, and one of Samuel Adams in 1775. It is uncertain whether Okey remained in America or returned to England. A print by him, 'A Modern Courtezan,' was published in 1778, but appears to have been executed earlier. Neither his name nor that of Reaks appears in the census of Newport, Rhode Island (U. S.), taken in 1774.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists: Chaloner Smith's British Mezzotinto Portraits; Dodd's manuscript Hist, of English Engravers (Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 33403).]

L. C.