Ratsey addressed to the leader of an itinerant company of actors who played before him at a country inn. The speaker advises the actor to perform in London, but, as soon as he has secured a competency, to buy ‘some place of lordship in the country,’ and seek dignity and reputation. The actor promises to follow this advice, which is assumed to be an ironical reflection on Shakespeare and the position he had gained at Stratford-on-Avon.
[Collier's Bibliographical Cat. iii. 231–4; Halliwell-Phillipps's Outlines of the Life of Shakespeare, i. 325–6.]
RATTEE, JAMES (1820–1855), wood-carver, was born at Funden Hall, Norfolk, in 1820, and apprenticed to a carpenter and joiner of Norwich, named Ollett. In his leisure he frequented the cathedral and other churches in the city and its neighbourhood, and grew interested in ecclesiastical art. At his request his master taught him carving, and he rapidly showed unusual skill and ability. In 1842 he left Norwich and commenced business as a wood-carver in Sidney Street, Cambridge. The Cambridge Camden Society soon discovered his talent, and took him into their service. From Archdeacon Thorp, Dr. Mill, F. A. Paley, and other members of the society, he received much assistance and patronage, and soon erected extensive workshops, plant, and steam power, on the Hills Road, Cambridge. He was associated with Augustus Welby Pugin [q. v.] in restoring the choir of Jesus College chapel; the designs were made principally by Rattee, and submitted to Pugin before execution. In the choir of Ely Cathedral he carried out the designs of George (afterwards Sir George) Gilbert Scott [q. v.], and the oak screen, stalls, organ-case, and restored tomb of Bishop William de Luda or Louth (d. 1298) were exquisitely wrought. In 1852, when he travelled abroad for his health, he studied the works of Quentin Matsys and other artists. On his return the dean and chapter of Ely entrusted him with the construction of the reredos. This was composed of choice stone and alabaster, enriched with carving and inlaid with gold and gems; it is one of the finest specimens of ecclesiastical art executed in England since the Reformation.
Rattee's work is found in upwards of a thousand churches in all quarters of the world. The most attractive examples of it are in Newfoundland Cathedral; Westminster Abbey; Perth Cathedral; Merton College chapel, Oxford; St. Michael's and St. Sepulchre's, Cambridge; Eton College chapel; Magdalene College chapel, Cambridge; Trumpington church; Newton church; Westley Waterless and Comberton churches; Yeling church, Huntingdonshire; and Sundridge church, Kent. He died at his residence, Hills Road, Cambridge, on 29 March 1855, and was buried in the cemetery in Mill Road.
[Gent. Mag. 1855, p. 539; Ecclesiologist, June 1855, p. 174.]
RATTRAY, SYLVESTER (fl. 1650–1666), medical writer, a native of Angus, was descended from Sir Sylvester Rattray, of Rattray Castle, Perthshire, who was in 1463 one of the ambassadors sent to London to treat with Edward IV, and exerted great influence at the Scottish court.
Sylvester may have been son of a later Sylvester Rattray who had two sons, David and Sylvester. The latter is said to have been ‘bred to the church.’ On the title-page of the second book mentioned below he is, however, credited with a theological degree as well as with that of M.D.
He was author of ‘Aditus novus ad occultas Sympathiæ et Antipathiæ causas inveniendas, per principia philosophiæ naturalis, ex fermentorum artificiosa anatomia hausta, patefactus’ (Glasgow, 1658), dedicated to Johannes Scotus. The ‘Aditus novus’ was reprinted in ‘Theatrum Sympatheticum variorum Authorum de Pulvere Sympathetico’ (Nuremberg, 1662). Rattray's second book, ‘Prognosis medica ad usum Praxeos facili methodo digesta,’ was dedicated to Dr. John Wedderburn (Glasgow, 1666).
In May 1652 Rattray married at Cupar, Fifeshire, ‘Ingells, King-gask's daughter’ (Lamont, Diary, 1810, p. 51).
He had a son Sylvester, a student of medicine at Glasgow in 1680.
[Anderson's Scottish Nation, iii. 738; Rattray's Works; Watts's Bibl. Brit.]
RATTRAY, THOMAS, D.D. (1684–1743), Scottish nonjuring bishop, born in 1684, was the eldest son of James Rattray, the head of an ancient family at Craighall, Perthshire, and was served heir to his father on 13 July 1692. His mother was Elizabeth, daughter of Sir George Hay of Megginch. He was a man of learning and took part as a layman in ecclesiastical controversy. Being in London in 1716, he assisted Nathaniel Spinckes [q. v.] in translating into Greek the proposals for a concordat addressed (18 Aug. 1716) by nonjuring bishops to the patriarchs of the oriental churches. Before the receipt of a reply, which was not despatched till