he is said to have advised James to be more sparing of his pardons to highwaymen and cutpurses. His severity towards thieves was proverbial, and it is referred to by Dr. Donne in his poetical epistle to Ben Jonson (1603). According to Aubrey ‘he was a huge, heavie, ugly man.’ His portrait and a chair belonging to him are at Littlecote (Britton, Beauties of Wiltshire, iii. 259). Another, by an unknown hand, is in the National Portrait Gallery, London; and a third (also anonymous) belonged in 1866 to the Duke of Manchester.
Popham was the author of ‘Reports and Cases adjudged in the Time of Queen Elizabeth, written with his own hand in French,’ translated and published posthumously in 1656; but the book is not regarded as an authority. A number of legal opinions expressed by him are preserved in the Lansdowne collection of manuscripts in the British Museum (l. 26–8, 39, 64, 70, lvii. 50, 72, lxi. 78, lxviii. 18). His opinion on Sir Walter Ralegh's case touching the entail of the manor of Sherborne is in Additional MS. 6177, f. 393.
Popham married Amy, daughter and heiress of Robert Games of Castleton in St. Tathan's, Glamorganshire (or by other accounts, Ann, daughter and heiress of Howel ap Adam of Castleton). Her portrait, by an unknown hand, belonged in 1866 to Mr. F. L. Popham. Sir John was succeeded by his son, Sir Francis Popham [q. v.] According to Aubrey, Popham ‘left a vast estate to his son, Sir Francis (I thinke ten thousand pounds per annum); [the latter] lived like a hog, but his son John was a great waster, and dyed in his father's time.’
[Foss's Judges, vi. 179–85; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, ii. 20; Collinson's Hist. of Somerset, ii. 483 iii. 71; Aubrey's Lives of Eminent Men, ii. 492–5; Notes and Queries, 1st ser. viii. 218, 8th ser. x. 110; Somersetshire Archæol. Soc. Proceedings, xi. 40–1; Manning's Speakers of the House of Commons. A number of letters and documents written by or relating to Popham will be found in Harl. MSS. 286, 6995–7; Egerton MSS. 1693 f. 122, 2618 f. 11, 2644 f. 78, 2651 f. 1, 2714 f. 32; Addit. MSS. 5485 f. 212, 5753 f. 250, 5756 f. 106, 6178 ff. 613, 653, 705, 803, 15561 f. 99, 19398 f. 97, 27959 f. 21, 27961 ff. 9, 10, 28223 f. 13, 28607 f. 33, 32092 f. 145, 33271 f. 18b; Lansd. MSS. xlv. 34, lxi. 53, lxviii. 90, lxxvii. 50.]
POPPLE, WILLIAM (1701–1764), dramatist, born in 1701, was the only son of William Popple of St. Margaret's, Westminster, who died in 1722, and was buried at Hampstead, by his wife Anne.
His grandfather, also William Popple (d. 1708), was son of Edmund Popple, sheriff of Hull in 1638, who married Catherine, daughter of the Rev. Andrew Marvell, and sister of Andrew Marvell [q. v.] the poet; he was, accordingly, the nephew of Marvell, under whose guidance he was educated, and with whom he corresponded. He became a London merchant, and in 1676 was residing at Bordeaux, whence, ten years later, he dated a small expository work, entitled ‘A Rational Catechism’ (London, 1687, 12mo). He was appointed secretary to the board of trade in 1696, and became intimate with John Locke (a commissioner of the board from 1696 to 1700), whose ‘Letter on Toleration’ he was the first to translate from the Latin (London, 1689, 8vo and 12mo). Some manuscript translations in his hand are in the British Museum (Add. MS. 8888). He died in 1708, in the parish of St. Clement Danes; his widow Mary was living in Holborn in 1709.
The dramatist entered the cofferer's office about 1730, and in June 1737 was promoted solicitor and clerk of the reports to the commissioners of trade and plantations. He was appointed governor of the Bermudas in March 1745, ‘in the room of his relative, Alured Popple’ (1699–1744), and held that post until shortly before his death at Hampstead on 8 Feb. 1764 (Miscellanea Geneal. et Heraldica, new ser. iii. 364). He was buried on 13 Feb. in Hampstead churchyard, where there is an inscribed stone in his memory.
Some of Popple's juvenile poems were included in the ‘Collection of Miscellaneous Poems’ issued by Richard Savage [q. v.] in 1726. The encouragement of Aaron Hill [q. v.] was largely responsible for his independent production of two comedies, to both of which Hill wrote prologues. The first of these, ‘The Lady's Revenge, or the Rover reclaim'd’ (London and Dublin, 1734, 8vo), was dedicated to the Prince of Wales, and produced on four occasions at Covent Garden in January 1734. ‘Dull in parts, but a pretty good play,’ is Genest's verdict upon it. The second, entitled ‘The Double Deceit, or a Cure for Jealousy’ (London, 1736, 8vo), dedicated to Edward Walpole, was produced on 25 April 1735, also at Covent Garden. It is the better play of the two, and, according to Genest, deserved more success than it met with. About this same time (1735) Popple collaborated with Hill in his ‘Prompter,’ and incurred a share of Pope's resentment, which took the usual shape of a line in the ‘Dunciad:’
Lo P—p—le's brow tremendous to the town.
Warburton elucidates by defining Popple as ‘author of some vile plays and pamphlets.’