Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 46.djvu/157

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


missioners of Berks … against John Pordage,’ &c., 1655, 4to; reprinted in ‘State Trials’ (Cobbett), 1810, v. 539 sq. 4. ‘The Fruitful Wonder … By J. P., Student in Physic,’ &c., 1674, 4to (account of four children at a birth, at Kingston-on-Thames, probably by Pordage). Posthumous were: 5. ‘Theologia Mystica, or the Mystic Divinitie of the Æternal Indivisible … By a Person of Qualitie, J. P., M.D.’ &c., 1683, 8vo (prefaced by Jane Lead, and edited by Dr. Edward Hooker; Francis Lee had a ‘much larger’ treatise of similar title ‘under the Doctor's own hand;’ subjoined, with the second title-page, is ‘A Treatise of Eternal Nature’). 6. ‘Ein gründlich philosophisches Sendschreiben,’ &c., Amsterdam, 1698, 8vo; reprinted (1727) in F. Roth-Scholz's ‘Deutsches Theatrum Chemicum,’ 1728, 8vo, vol. i. 7. ‘Vier Tractätlein,’ &c., Amsterdam, 1704, 8vo. A two-page advertisement in Jane Lead's ‘Fountain of Gardens,’ 1697, 8vo, gives full titles of the following works of Pordage, unpublished in English: 8. ‘Philosophia Mystica,’ &c. 9. ‘The Angelical World,’ &c. 10. ‘The Dark Fire World,’ &c. 11. ‘The Incarnation of Jesus Christ,’ &c. 12. ‘The Spirit of Eternity,’ &c. 13. ‘Sophia,’ &c. 14. ‘Experimental Discoveries,’ &c. The ‘Vita J. Crellii Franci,’ by J. P., M.D., prefixed to Crell's ‘Ethica Aristotelica,’ Cosmopoli (Amsterdam), 1681, 4to, assigned to Pordage, is by Joachim Pastorius, M.D., and was originally published in Dutch, 1663, 4to (see Sand, Bibl. Antitrinit. 1684, p. 149).

[Pordage's Narrative, 1655, and other tracts (most of the Narrative is reprinted in Cobbett's State Trials, vol. v. and in earlier collections); Fowler's Dæmonium Meridianum, 1655–6; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), iii. 1098, iv. 405, 715; Reliquiæ Baxterianæ, 1696, i. 77 sq.; Poiret's Bibliotheca Mysticorum, 1708; Calamy's Account, 1714, p. 96; Granger's Biographical Hist. of England, 1779, iii. 55 sq.; Lysons's Magna Britannia (Berkshire), 1813, p. 246; Walton's Memorial of William Law, 1854, pp. 148, 192, 203, 240; Notes and Queries, 15 Feb. 1862, p. 136; Chester's Registers of St. Dionis Backchurch (Harleian Soc.), 1878, p. 93; Foster's Marriage Licenses, 1887, p. 469; Hist. MSS. Comm. 11th Rep. App. pt. vii. pp. 189, 192; Harleian MS. 1530, f. 34 (pedigree); W. Law's Works, 1892, vi. 201; Pordage's will in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (8 Cottle); information from the rectors of Bradfield and St. Andrew's, Holborn.]

A. G.

PORDAGE, SAMUEL (1633–1691?), poet, eldest son of John Pordage [q. v.] by his first wife, was baptised at St. Dionis Backchurch, London, on 29 Dec. 1633 (Register, published by Harleian Society, 1878). He entered Merchant Taylors' School in 1644, and at the trial of his father ten years later he appears to have been one of the witnesses. In his title-pages he variously described himself as ‘of Lincoln's Inn’ and ‘a student of physick.’ He was at one time chief steward to Philip Herbert, fifth earl of Pembroke [see under Herbert, Philip, fourth Earl], but he chiefly devoted himself to literary work (Cobbett, State Trials, vol. v.). While residing with his father at the parsonage of Bradfield, Berkshire, in 1660 he published a translation from Seneca, with notes, called ‘Troades Englished.’ About the same time he published ‘Poems upon Several Occasions, by S. P., gent.,’ a little volume which included panegyrics upon Charles II and General Monck, but which consisted for the most part of amatory poems, full of conceits, yet containing among them a few graceful touches, after the fashion of Herrick.

In 1661 a volume appeared called ‘Mundorum Explicatio, or the explanation of an Hieroglyphical Figure. … Being a Sacred Poem, written by S. P., Armig.’ This book, which was reissued in 1663, is attributed to Samuel Pordage by Lowndes and others; but its contents are entirely unlike anything else which he wrote. The writer of the unsigned preface to this curious work of over three hundred pages says that the hieroglyphic ‘came into my hands, another being the author;’ and there is a poetical ‘Encomium on J. [Behmen] and his interpreter J. Sparrow, Esq.’ It has been suggested that the real author was Pordage's father, a professed Behmenist. Mr. Crossley argues that there is no proof that the work is by either John or Samuel Pordage. Bishop Kennett, however, writing in 1728, attributed the work to Samuel. Possibly both John and Samuel Pordage had a share in the authorship of this ‘sacred poem.’

In 1661 Samuel Pordage published a folio pamphlet, ‘Heroick Stanzas on his Maiesties Coronation.’ In 1673 his ‘Herod and Mariamne,’ a tragedy, was acted at the Duke's Theatre, and was published anonymously. Elkanah Settle, who signed the dedication to the Duchess of Albemarle, said that the play, which was ‘little indebted to poet or painter,’ did not miss honours, in spite of its disadvantages, thanks to her grace's patronage. The principal parts in this rhymed tragedy, the plot of which was borrowed from Josephus and the romance of ‘Cleopatra,’ were taken by Lee, Smith, and Norris (Genest, Account of the English Stage, i. 171). Langbaine says that the play had been given by Pordage to Settle, to use and form as he pleased. In 1678 appeared ‘The Siege of