William Chaigneau

Life
1709-1781; b. Ireland; Huguenot descent; service in Flanders; army agent in Ireland; acting for regiments on the Irish establishment; author of History of Jack Connor (1752; rev. edn. 1753), a picaresque work showing the influence of Gil Blas and Tom Jones (1749), and considered disreputable; reputedly refused ‘pecunary indulgence’ from the book-seller; went through two English and four Irish editions; also held to be the author of Harlequin Soldier, adapted from French for the benefit of his friend the actor Tate Wilkinson (Edinburgh 22 Mar 1765). ODNB IF DIW OCIL

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Works
Dublin editions
  • The History of Jack Connor, in Two Volumes (Dublin: Abraham Bradley 1752), 362pp. 12°. [title to 2nd vol. “The history of Jack Connor, now Conyers”];
  • Do., The second edition, corrected, 2 vols. (Dublin; Bradley 1752);
  • Do., The third edition, corrected (Stultus versus Sapientem: In three Letters [signed: T. à Stupidius] to The Fool) (Dublin: printed for Abraham Bradley 1753), 12°;
  • Do. [Fourth Edn., corr. & improved] (Dublin: printed for Hulton Bradley 1766), 12°.
See also: Stultus versus Sapientem: in three letters to the Fool, on subjects the most interesting / by Henry Fielding, Esq. [second edition] ([Dublin]: London printed, Dublin re-printed by E. Bate ... 1749), 23, [1]pp., 12°/16cm. [By Chaigneau not Fielding; the 1st edn. is anonymous. “The Fool” was an essay-series in the Daily Gazetteer, usually attributed to William Horsley. The three letters are signed: Thomas Stupidius.]
 
London editions
  • The History of Jack Connor, 2 vols. (London: W. Johnston: [MDCCLII] 1752), 12° [Ded. signed W.C.];
  • Do., In three letters. The third edition corrected, 2 vols. (London: printed for W. Johnston, at the Golden Ball, in St. Paul's Church-Yard MDCCLIII [1753]), 12° [BL signed copy T. à Stupidius to The Fool.].
 
See also [William Chaigneau, et al.] House of Lords. Arthur Baillie, Esquire, - - appellant. William Chaigneau, John Keogh, Esquires, and Sir Nicholas Lawless, baronet, - respondents. Case of the respondents, William Chaigneau and John Keogh ["To be heard at the bar of the House of Lords, on the [blank] day of [blank] 1779' 7,[1]pp. ; 2°. [NLI]

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Criticism
Bernard Escarbelt, essay on The History of Jack Connor, in Jacqueline Genet, ed., Rural Ireland, Real Ireland? (Gerards Cross: Colin Smythe 1996); Ian Campbell Ross, ‘An Irish Picaresque Novel ... Jack Connor’, Studies LXXI, No. 283 (Autumn 1982), pp.270-79.

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References
Ireland in Fiction, ed. Stephen Brown (Dublin: Maunsel 1919); lists The History of Jack Connor ([1751] 4th ed. 1766), alias Conyers, b.1720, son of a Williamite soldier; though affecting to be on the side of morality, the author describes minutely a long series of scandalous adventures in Dublin, London, Paris, &c.; the intervals are filled with disquisitions on benevolent landlords, &c.; acetious tone throughout; previous edn. contained more objectionable matter; notes Protestant views on priests and popery. ODNB refers to Jack O’Connor [err. sic] and calls it ‘an Irish novel’. FDA remarks, 682-83; extracts from Jack Connor, 688-94. For summary notice see J[ames] C. Cahalan Irish Novel ( p.11).

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British Library holds [1] The History of Jack Connor [dedication signed ‘W. C.’, i.e. William Chaigneau]. The second edition, corrected. (Stultus versus Sapientem. In three letters [signed: T. à Stupidius] to The Fool.) The third edition corrected.. 2 vol. W. Johnston: London, 1753. 12o. 2 vol. Abraham Bradley: Dublin, 1753. 12o. [2] The History of Jack Connor. [By William Chaigneau.]. pp.362. Abraham Bradley: Dublin, 1752. 12o. [3] The History of Jack Connor. [By William Chaigneau]. 2 vol. W. Johnston: London, 1752. 12o.

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Notes
Story-time: There is a trivial story about the Chaigneaus of Abbey St., in J. Fitzgerald Molloy’s Romance of the Irish Stage.

Kith & Kin? J. T. Gilbert, History the City of Dublin (1859; rep. IUP 1972) - App. VI cites ‘Master Henry Chaigneau paintings, “Cattle after Cuyp”, in the Catalogue of the Society of Artists at William Street, 1780.’

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