Cyclopædia of Machine and Hand Tools,’ 1869. 9. ‘A Manual of Machinery and Millwork,’ 1869; 5th edit. 1883. 10. ‘A Memoir of J. Elder,’ 1871. 11. ‘A Mechanical Textbook,’ 1873. 12. ‘Songs and Fables,’ 1874. With Professor J. Eadie and others he was one of the conductors of ‘The Imperial Dictionary of Universal Biography,’ 1857–63, 3 vols., and he was the corresponding and general editor of ‘Shipbuilding, Theoretical and Practical,’ 1866.
[Miscellaneous and Scientific Papers, by W. J. M. Rankine (1880), with a memoir by Professor P. G. Tait, pp. xix–xxxvi, and a portrait; Proceedings of Royal Society, 1873, xxi. 1–4; Proceedings of Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1875, viii. 296–306; Nature, 1878, xvii. 257–8; Glasgow Herald, 26 Dec. 1872, p. 4, 28 Dec. p. 4.]
RANKINS, WILLIAM (fl. 1587), author, published in 1587 a venomous attack on the theatre, resembling the earlier diatribes of Stephen Gosson, Northbrooke, and Philip Stubbes. It was entitled ‘Mirrour of Monsters, wherein is plainly described the manifold vices and spotted enormities that are caused by the infectious sight of Playes,’ &c., London, 1587 (British Museum and Bodleian; cf. Collier, Poetical Decameron, pp. 246–8). Some years later Rankins proved false to his own professions of hostility to the stage by turning playwright. On 3 Oct. 1598, Philip Henslowe, the theatrical manager, paid 3l. for a play by Rankins called ‘Mulmutius Dunwallow,’ which was probably an adaptation of another's work (Henslowe, Diary, p. 135). Subsequently he joined with Richard Hathway in writing for Henslowe a piece called ‘Hannibal and Scipio.’ Thomas Nabbes printed in 1637 a tragedy of the same name, which may have been indebted to the earlier effort. Between January and April 1600–1 Henslowe lent Hathway and Rankins many small sums on account of two pieces, in one of which the jesters Scogan and Skelton were leading characters (ib. pp. 97, 174–5); the other was called ‘The Conquest of Spain by John of Gaunt.’ None of these plays are extant.
There seems little doubt that Rankins was also author of ‘The English Ape, the Italian imitation, the Foote-steppes of Fraunce. Wherein is explained the wilfull blindnesse of subtill mischiefe, the striuing for Starres, the catching of Mooneshine, and the Secrete Sounde of many hollowe heartes. By W. R.,’ London, by Robert Robinson, 1588, 4to (Huth and Bodl. Libr.). In the dedication to Sir Christopher Hatton, the author mentions an earlier work, entitled ‘My Roughcast Conceit of Hell,’ which he had inscribed to the same patron. ‘The English Ape’ is a strenuous denunciation of the Englishman's habit of imitating foreign fashions in dress and the like (Collier, Bibliographical Catalogue, i. 27–8).
Rankins secured a somewhat more stable reputation by publishing, in 1598, ‘Seaven Satyres applyed to the weeke, including the worlds ridiculous follyes. True felicity described in the Phœnix. Maulgre. Whereunto is annexed the wandring Satyre. By W. Rankins, Gent. Imprinted at London by Edw. Allde,’ &c. 1598; ‘dedicated to his noble-minded friend John Salisbury of Llewenni, Esq.’ (Bridgwater Library). ‘True felicity described in the Phœnix’ is a pious poem. The seven satires, which are in seven-line stanzas, are not impressive, and are respectively entitled ‘Contra Lunatistum,’ ‘Contra Martialistam,’ ‘Contra Mercurialistam,’ ‘Contra Jovialistam,’ ‘Contra Venereum,’ ‘Contra Saturnistam,’ ‘Contra Sollistam.’ Meres, in his ‘Palladis Tamia’ (1598), names Rankins with Joseph Hall and John Marston as the three satirists of the age. Prefixed to the ‘Belvedere’ (1600) by John Bodenham are three seven-line stanzas called ‘A Sonnet to the Muse's Garden,’ and signed ‘W. Rankins, Gent.’
[Collier's Bibliographical Catalogue, ii. 227 sq.; Hazlitt's Handbook.]
RANKLEY, ALFRED (1819–1872), painter, was born in 1819. He received his art training in the schools of the Royal Academy, and began to exhibit there in 1841, when he sent a scene from Shakespeare's ‘Macbeth.’ This was followed in 1842 by ‘Palamon and Lavinia,’ exhibited at the Society of British Artists. In 1843 he sent to the Royal Academy a portrait, in 1844 a scene from ‘Othello,’ and in 1845 a subject from Crabbe's poems. Another portrait and ‘Paul and Virginia’ were his contributions to the exhibition of 1846, in which year he sent to the Society of British Artists ‘Edith and the Monks finding the Body of Harold,’ and ‘The Fortune-Teller.’ In 1847 he had at the British Institution ‘Cordelia,’ and at the Royal Academy ‘The Village Church.’ From this time onwards until 1867 he was a regular exhibitor at the academy, always sending one picture, but never more than two. His exhibited works included ‘The Ruined Spendthrift,’ 1848; ‘Love in Humble Life’ and ‘Innocence and Guilt,’ 1849; ‘The Sunday School,’ 1850; ‘The Pharisee and Publican,’ 1851; ‘Dr. Watts visiting some of his Little Friends,’ 1853; ‘The Village School,’ 1856; ‘The Welcome Guest’ and ‘The Lonely Hearth,’ 1857, the latter en-