Oldham, John

(1653-1683)
   Born at Shipton-Moyne, near Tetbury in Gloucestershire, to a clergyman father, he graduated B.A. from St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, in 1674. He satirizes his years between 1675 and 1678 as under-master (usher) at Archbishop Whitgift's free school at Croydon, Surrey, in his poem "GrammarBridewell." He was then tutor to several influential families. He died of smallpox at Lord Kingston's seat, Holme-Pierrepoint, near Nottingham. The Earl of Rochester (see Rochester, John Wilmot) befriended Oldham, who wrote "A Pastoral, in Imitation of the Greek of Moschus; Bewailing The Death of the Earl of Rochester." Oldham is credited with being the pioneer of the imitation of classical satire in English. Some of his publications: Upon the Marriage of the Prince of Orange, 1677. Upon the Author of a Play Call'd Sodom, 1680. Satires Upon the Jesuits, 1681. The Works, 1684. A Pastoral, 1696. Some of his poems: "A Quiet Soul," "Advice to a Painter," "Character of a certain Ugly Old Priest," "Fragment of Petronius, Paraphras'd," "On the Death of King Charles I," "The Careless Good Fellow," "The Parting," "The Praise of Homer," "Upon the Works of Ben Jonson."
   Sources: Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite DVD, 2006. English Poetry: Author Search. Chadwyck-Healey Ltd., 1995 (http://www.lib.utexas.edu:8080/search/epoetry/author.html). English Poetry: A Poetic Record, from Chaucer to Yeats. David Hopkins, ed. Routledge, 1990. 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 Oxford Book of English Verse, 1250-1918. Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. New edition, revised and enlarged, Oxford University Press, 1939. The Oxford Book of Satirical Verse. Geoffrey Grigson, ed. Oxford University Press, 1980. The Oxford Book of Seventeenth Century Verse. H.J.C. Grierson and G. Bullough, eds. Oxford University Press, 1934. The Oxford Book of Verse in English Translation. Charles Tomlinson, ed. Oxford University Press, 1980. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000. The Poems of John Oldham. Harold F. Brooks, ed. Clarendon Press, 1987.

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

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  • Oldham, John — ▪ British poet born Aug. 9, 1653, Shipton Moyne, Gloucestershire, Eng. died Dec. 9, 1683, Holm Pierrepont, near Nottingham       pioneer of the imitation of classical satire in English.       Oldham was the son of a scholarly vicar who was… …   Universalium

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