Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 46.djvu/185

This page has been validated.

Upper and Middle Classes’ (Central Society of Education, second publication, 1838, 12mo). 3. ‘The Expediency and the Means of elevating the Profession of the Educator in public estimation,’ 1839, 12mo.

[Gent. Mag. 1852 ii. 427–9, 1862 ii. 509; Annual Register, 1852, p. 305; Journal of the Statistical Society, 1853, pp. 97, 98; Athenæum; Waller's Imperial Dictionary, iii. 594; M'Culloch's Literature of Political Economy, pp. 80, 220, 222.]

W. A. S. H.

PORTER, HENRY (fl. 1599), dramatist, is frequently referred to in Henslowe's ‘Diary’ between 16 Dec. 1596 and 26 May 1599. On 30 May 1598 Henslowe paid 4l. to Thomas Dowton and Mr. Porter for the play called ‘Love Prevented.’ On 18 Aug. 1598 Henslowe bought the play called ‘Hot Anger soon Cold,’ by Porter, Chettle, and Jonson. On 22 Dec. 1598 he bought the second part of Porter's ‘Two Angry Women of Abington.’ On 28 Feb. 1599 Porter promised Henslowe all his compositions, whether written alone or in collaboration, for a loan of 40s., being earnest-money for his ‘Two Merry Women of Abington.’ On 4 March 1599 Henslowe paid for ‘The Spencers’ by Porter and Chettle. Many small money advances followed. Francis Meres, in his ‘Palladis Tamia’ (1598), mentions Porter as a leading dramatist. One of Weever's epigrams (1598), addressed ‘ad Henricum Porter,’ describes a man of mature age, but he is probably addressing another Henry Porter who graduated bachelor of music from Christ Church, Oxford, in July 1600, and was father of Walter Porter [q. v.]

Of the five plays mentioned above, the only one extant is ‘The Pleasant Historie of the two Angrie Women of Abington. With the humorous mirth of Dick Coomes and Nicholas Proverbes, two Serving men. As it was lately playde by the Right Honorable the Earle of Nottingham, Lord High Admirall, his servants. By Henry Porter, Gent.,’ London, 1599, 4to. A second edition, in quarto, was issued in the same year. The play has been edited by Alexander Dyce for the Percy Society in 1841, by William Carew Hazlitt, in vol. vii. of Dodsley's ‘Old Plays’ (4th edit. 1874), and by Mr. Havelock Ellis in ‘Nero and other Plays,’ Mermaid Series, 1888. Charles Lamb gave extracts from it among his selections from the ‘Garrick Plays’ (Bohn's edit. 1854, p. 432), and judged it ‘no whit inferior to either the “Comedy of Errors” or the “Taming of the Shrew.” … Its night scenes are peculiarly sprightly and wakeful, the versification unencumbered, and rich with compound epithets.’

[Hunter's Chorus Vatum, ii. 302 (Addit. MS. 24488); Fleay's Biographical Chron. of the English Drama, 1559–1642, ii. 162; Fleay's Hist. of the Stage, p. 107; and editions of Dyce, Hazlitt, and Ellis quoted above.]

R. B.

PORTER, Sir JAMES (1710–1786), diplomatist, was born in Dublin in 1710. His father, whose original name was La Roche, was captain of a troop of horse under James II. His mother was the eldest daughter of Isaye d'Aubus or Daubuz, a French protestant refugee, and sister of the Rev. Charles Daubuz, vicar of Brotherton in the West Riding of Yorkshire. She died on 7 Jan. 1753. On the failure of James II's campaign in Ireland La Roche assumed the name of Porter. After a slight education young Porter was placed in a house of business in the city of London. During his leisure hours he ‘assiduously studied mathematics, and to a moderate knowledge of Latin added a perfect acquaintance with the French and Italian languages’ (Memoir, p. 4). He also joined a debating society, called the ‘Robin Hood,’ where he distinguished himself as a speaker. Through his friend Richard Adams, who afterwards became recorder of the city of London and a baron of the exchequer, Porter was introduced to Lord Carteret, by whom he was employed on several confidential missions in matters connected with continental commerce. While in Germany in 1736 Porter paid a visit to Count Zinzendorff's Moravian settlement near Leipzig, of which he has left an interesting account (Turkey, its History and Progress, vol. i. App. pp. 365–71). In 1741 he was employed at the court of Vienna, and assisted Sir Thomas Robinson (1693–1770) [q. v.] in the negotiations between Austria and Prussia. In the following year he was again sent out to Vienna on a special mission to Maria Theresa (ib. vol. i. App. pp. 406–97). On 22 Sept. 1746 he was appointed ambassador at Constantinople (London Gazette, 1746, No. 8573), where he remained until May 1762. On 7 May 1763 he was appointed minister-plenipotentiary at the court of Brussels (ib. 1763, No. 10310). He was knighted on 21 Sept. following (ib. 1763, No. 10350), having refused, it is said, the offer of a baronetcy. Finding the expenses of his position at Brussels beyond his means, he resigned his post in 1765 and returned to England, where he divided his time between London and Ham, and devoted himself to the cultivation of science and literature. Porter, who was a fellow of the Royal Society, declined to be nominated president in 1768, ‘not feeling himself of sufficient consequence or rich enough to live in such a style as he conceived that the president of such a society should maintain’ (Memoir, p. 11). In the same year he pub-