See also:English satirist, son of a Presbyterian
See also:minister, was
See also:born at
See also:Shipton Moyne, near Tetbury,
See also:Gloucestershire, on the 9th of
See also:August 1653 . He graduated from St Edmund
See also:Oxford, in 1674, and was for three years an
See also:usher in a school at
See also:Croydon . Some of his verses attracted the
See also:attention of the
See also:town, and the
See also:earl of Rochester, with
See also:Sedley and other wits, came down to see him . The visit did not affect his career apparently, for he stayed at Croy-don until 1681, when he became tutor to the grandsons of Sir
See also:Edward Thurland, near
See also:Reigate . Meanwhile he had tried, he says, to conquer his inclination for the unprofitable
See also:trade of
See also:poetry, but in the panic caused by the revelations of Titus
See also:Oates, he found an opportunity for the exercise of his
See also:gift for rough satire . Garnet's Ghost was published as a
See also:broadside in 1679, but the other Satires on the
See also:Jesuits, although written at the same
See also:time, were not printed until 1681 . The success of these dramatic and unsparing invectives apparently gave Oldham hope that he might become
See also:independent of teaching . But his undoubted services to the
See also:Country Party brought no
See also:reward from its leaders . He became tutor to the son of Sir
See also:Hickes, and was eventually glad to accept the patronage of William
See also:Pierrepont, earl of
See also:Kingston, whose kindly offer of a chaplaincy he had refused earlier . He died at Holme-Pierrepoint, near Nottingham, on the 9th of
See also:December 1683, of smallpox . Oldham took Juvenal for his
See also:model, and in breadth of treatment and power of invective surpassed his English predecessors . He was
See also:original in the dramatic setting provided for his satires .
See also:Thomas Garnet, who suffered for supposed implication in the
See also:Gunpowder Plot,
See also:rose from the dead to encourage the Jesuits in the first satire, and in the third
See also:Loyola is represented as dictating his wishes to his disciples from his
See also:bed . Old-
See also:ham wrote other satires, notably one " addressed to a friend about to leave the university," which contains a well-known description of the state of
See also:slavery of the private
See also:chaplain, and another " dissuading from poetry," describing the ingratitude shown to Edmund Spenser, whose ghost is the
See also:speaker, to
See also:Butler and to Abraham
See also:Cowley . Oldham's
See also:verse is rugged, and his rhymes often defective, but he met with a generous appreciation from
See also:Dryden, whose own satiric bent was perhaps influenced by his efforts . He says (" To the Memory of Mr Oldham,"
See also:Works, ed .
See also:Scott, vol. xi. p . 99) " For sure our souls were near allied, and thine
See also:Cast in the same poetic
See also:mould with mine." The real wit and rigour of Oldham's satirical poetry are undeniable, while its faults—its frenzied extravagance and lack of metrical polish—might, as Dryden suggests, have been cured with time, for Oldham was only
See also:thirty when he died . The best edition of his works is The Compositions in Prase and Verse of Mr
See also:John Oldham . . . (1770), with memoir and explanatory notes by Edward
See also:Thompson .
THOMAS OLDHAM (1816–1878)
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