Ogilby, John

Ogilby, John
   Scottish poet born near Edinburgh, and although of little education, through hard work and good fortune on a lottery, he saved enough money to have his father released from debtors' prison. He became a renowned dancing master in London and, in 1633, the Earl of Strafford (lord-deputy of Ireland) employed him to teach his children and to transcribe his papers. During the Civil War he became destitute and was patronized by some students at Cambridge University, from whom he learned Latin. There he produced a rhyming version Aesop's Fables (1581). He also learned Greek and translated Homer's Iliad (1660). Tragedy struck again in the Great Fire of London of 1666, when he lost everything. He turned his hand to producing maps and atlases, for which his name has endured. He wrote two heroic poems, "The Ephesian Matron" and "The Roman Slave," and an epic poem in twelve books, Carolies, in honor of Charles I. He died in London and was buried in St. Bride's Church, Fleet Street. Three of his poems: "The Character of a Trooper," "To His Worthy Friend the Author," "To My Much Honoured and Learned Friend, Mr. James Shirley."
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Dramatic Works and Poems of James Shirley, Volume I. Alexander Dyce and William Gifford, ed. Russell and Russell, 1966. The Oxford Book of Classical Verse in Translation. Adrian Poole and Jeremy Maule, eds. 1995.

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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