Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Titley, Walter

TITLEY, WALTER (1700–1768), envoy-extraordinary at Copenhagen, born in 1700, was son of Abraham Titley, a Staffordshire man. He was admitted a king's scholar at Westminster in 1714, and was three years later elected to Cambridge. While at Westminster he acted as ‘help’ to Osborn Atterbury, son of Francis Atterbury [q. v.], bishop of Rochester, and was afterwards his tutor. From Trinity College, Cambridge, he graduated B.A. in 1722 and M.A. in 1726. He laid down a regular plan of life, which was approximately carried out. The first thirty years were to be given to study, the next thirty to public business, and after the age of sixty study was to be resumed. Having entered the diplomatic service, he became secretary of the British embassy at Turin. On 3 Jan. 1728–9 he was selected to act as chargé d'affaires at Copenhagen in the absence of Lord Glenorchy, and on 3 Nov. 1730 was named envoy-extraordinary. In 1733 Richard Bentley (1662–1742) [q. v.], master of Trinity, appointed him to the physic-fellowship at that college. Titley resigned his diplomatic position to accept it, but had become so attached to his life at Copenhagen that he was unable to leave it. He accordingly resumed his post, and held it for the remainder of his life. On his application in 1761, the king of Denmark agreed to order the seizure and extradition of deserters from the British army and navy, on condition of a similar service being performed for him in England. Two years later, in 1763, Titley was, on the ground of age and infirmity, granted an assistant. He died at Copenhagen, greatly respected and lamented, in February 1768. He bequeathed 1,000l. each to Westminster school, Trinity College, and the university of Cambridge. Part of the last bequest was to be devoted to buildings.

Titley wrote an ‘Imitation’ in English of the second ode of the third book of Horace, which was much admired by Bentley, who parodied it (Croker, Boswell, iv. 24). Both imitation and parody are printed in Monk's ‘Life of Bentley.’ Some of his Latin verses are contained in ‘Reliquiæ Galeanæ.’ The poem ‘Laterna Megalographica,’ included in Vincent Bourne's ‘Works’ (1772), is also attributed to Titley.

[Welch's Alumni Westmon.; Cole's Athenæ Cantabr. in Brit. Mus. Addit. MS. 5882; Bishop Newton's Life, prefixed to Works, p. 15; Home Office Papers, 1760–5, ed. Redington, pp. 62, 301–2; Monk's Life of Bentley, 2nd ed. ii. 173–4, 309; Pickering's edition of Bourne's Works, pref. p. xi; Chalmers's Biogr. Dict.]

G. Le G. N.