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Taubman, Matthew (DNB00)


TAUBMAN, MATTHEW (d. 1690?), city poet, seems to have been a keen observer of party politics during the troublous period of the popish plot, and made his first appearance as a rhymester with ‘An Heroic Poem to his Royal Highness the Duke of York on his return from Scotland. With some choice Songs and Medleyes on the Times’ (London, 1682, folio), with the musical notes of most of the songs. The duke is apostrophised affectionately as ‘Old Jemmy’ and ‘Royal Jemmy.’ A similar vein of familiar loyalty marks his second volume called ‘Loyal Poems and Satyrs upon the Times since the beginning of the Salamanca Plot, written by several hands collected by M. Taubman’ (London, 1685, 8vo). The songs in this medley are directed chiefly against plot fabricators, ‘whigs and trimmers.’

Taubman succeeded Thomas Jordan [q. v.] as laureate of the lord mayor's show in 1685, when he produced ‘London's Annual Triumph’ (lord mayor, Sir R. Jeffreys), and received a fee of 10l. for his lucubration (London, 4to; Bodleian and Guildhall libraries). Next year his ‘London's Yearly Jubilee’ graced the inauguration of Sir John Peake (London, 1686, 4to; Brit. Mus.; Guildhall Library). His ‘London's Triumph, or the Goldsmiths Jubilee,’ ushered in Sir John Shorter of that company (London, 1687, 4to; Brit. Mus.; Bodleian, and Guildhall). On this occasion James II dined with the lord mayor, accompanied by Prince George of Denmark and other distinguished personages, including the pope's nuncio. Taubman had some specially obsequious verses for the occasion, pronouncing the loss of the city's charter to be more than compensated by the king's indulgence. ‘London's Anniversary Festival,’ for the mayoralty of Sir John Chapman, embodied the bard's gratitude ‘to the son of the martyr, who restor'd us the charter’ (London, 1688, 4to; Bodleian and Brit. Mus.). Next year, with a versatility worthy of his successor, Elkanah Settle, Taubman adapted his eulogies to the ears of the new sovereigns in ‘London's Great Jubilee’ (London, 1689, 4to; Brit. Mus. and Guildhall). This pageant was revived on 9 Nov. 1761, and it was reprinted in ‘Somers Tracts’ (1751, iii.). Taubman probably died in 1690, in which year there is no trace of the usual festivity. In 1691 the pageant was the work of Settle. Taubman was much inferior to his predecessor, Thomas Jordan, and was probably the least and the dullest of all the city laureates.

The poetaster's son, Nathanael Taubman (d. 1720?), appears to have taken orders and to have served as chaplain in the navy. He accompanied the British squadron to the Mediterranean in 1708–9, and published in 1710 ‘Memoirs of the Fleets in the Mediterranean, wherein an account is given of the reduction of Sardinia, Minorca … to which is annexed a Cursory View of Naples’ (London, 8vo; 2nd ed. 1714). He claimed this as the only ‘modern account’ of the south of Italy in English. In 1710 Taubman was appointed chaplain to the English factory at Leghorn, and on 14 Nov. in this year he obtained the degree of M.A. by decree from Pembroke College, Oxford. At the instance of the inquisition various difficulties were put in the way of the appointment at Leghorn by the Grand Duke of Tuscany, and it was not until October 1711 that Taubman was enabled to proceed to Italy on a five years' term of service (see Lansdowne MSS. 927 ff. 129–47, and 1038 f. 75). Taubman was the second chaplain to hold this jealously regarded post. He succeeded the worthy Basil Kennett [q. v.], and he published a funeral sermon upon his death (London, 1716, 8vo). Taubman, who also printed a volume of very inferior verse called ‘Virtue in Distress’ (London, 1706, 4to) and some minor tracts of no interest, died about 1720.

[Nichols's London Pageants; Fairholt's Lord Mayors' Pageants, 1843, p. 100; Brydges's Censura, vii. 128, and Restituta, ii. 172; Hunter's Chorus Vatum (Add. MS. 24488, f. 21); Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. v. 66; London Gazette, 1 Nov. 1688; Malcolm's Londinium Redivivum, ii. 45–7; Hone's Every-day Book, i. 671; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714; Anderson's Colonial Church, 1856, iii. 86–8; Hazlitt's Collections and Notes, 2nd ser.; Guildhall Library Cat.; Bodleian Library Cat.; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

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