John Ogilby

Life
1600-1676; opened Dublin’s first theatre in the reign of Charles I at St. Werburgh St; competed successfully with Sir William Davenant for Charles II’s warrant of office of Master of Revels in Dublin, and appt. 28 Feb 1638; estab. Smock Alley off Fishamble Street, 1635; learned Greek. from the ussher at James Shirley’s school and brought the playwright to Royal Theatre, Dublin; succeeded as mgr and patent-holder by John Ashbury; wrote The Merchant of Dublin: Royal Master was performed before Earl of Strafford [Wentworth] but unpublished; suffered eviction from Werburgh St. on fall of Wentworth, May 1641; retreated to Rathfarnham Castle and escaped being blown up, with Sir Adam Loftus and others, 17 Nov. 1641; shipwrecked and survived on return voyage to England; became London publisher, bringing out Royal Folio Bible at the Restoration, and inaugurated British map-printing; Dryden named him as ‘prophet of tautology’ with Heywood and famously wrote ‘Heywood, Shirley, Ogilby there lay/But loads of Shadwell almost choked the way’ in MacFlecknoe; an account of his escape from death at Rathfarnham is given in Aubrey’s Brief Lives. ODNB OCEL FDA OCIL

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Criticism
William Smith Clark, Early Irish Stage (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1955) [infra]; Christopher Morash, A History of Irish Theatre 1601-2000 (Cambridge UP 2002).

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References
Dictionary of National Biography says Ogilby met Shirley when he learned Greek. from Shirley’s ussher (Shirley being a schoolmaster); that he hurt a leg dancing at the Duke of Buckingham’s Masque; that he published the Royal Folio Bible, obtained a warrant supporting it, and met with ecclesiastical criticism for misprinting ‘we’ as ‘ye’; published survey of London with his grandson, and Road Maps of England.

William Smith Clark, Early Irish Stage (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1955) , cites Impostures, licensed 1640; Ogilby in the Restoration, he wrestled the warrant of Charles II for master of Revels from Sir William Davenant ‘to enjoy the authority and office of master of Revells of Ireland during his life [with] no more theatres or Play Houses [to] be permitted in Ourre Citty of Dublin’; and founded Smock Alley (the Royal Theatre) in 1635 off Fishamble Street; during the Commonwealth, he succeeded as a publisher, bringing out a royal folio Bible with great acclaim at the Restoration; put out of business during the Capel administration; succeeded as manager at Smock Alley by Joseph Ashbury who was appointed deputy master of Revells; Ogilby employed Irish and English actors, and enlisted James Shirley to write plays and prologues; the Duke of Ormonde was a patron to him.

Peter Harrington Books (Cat. 2005) offers John Ogilby [trans.] Arnoldus Montanus, America; being the latest and most Accurate Description of the new World .. collected from the most Authentic Authors, Augmented with later Observations, and Adorn'd with maps and sculptures (London: Printed for the Author, 1671) [£30,000.], with note: ‘Ogilby augmented his unacknowledged original for this translation - De dieuwe en Onbekeende Weereid - with supplementary information on New England, New France, Maryland, and Virginia. This copy is bound as often without the Arx California and Virgina maps called for in the directions to the binder but includes the unmentioned map of the Barbados’ [Sabin 50089; Wind 0165].

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