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WILLIAM OLDYS (1696-1761)

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Originally appearing in Volume V20, Page 75 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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WILLIAM OLDYS (1696-1761), English antiquary and b!blio- and Levant, and is characterized by its tall shrubby habit and grapher, natural son of Dr William Oldys, chancellor of Lincoln, its thick lance-shaped opposite leaves, which exude a milky was born on the 14th of July 1696, probably in London. His juice when punctured. The flowers are borne in terminal father had also held the office of advocate of the admiralty, but clusters, and are like those of the common periwinkle ( Vinca), but lost it in 1693 because he would not prosecute as traitors and are of a rose colour, rarely white, and the throat or upper edge pirates the sailors who had served against England under of the tube of the corolla is occupied by outgrowths in the James II. William Oldys, the younger, lost part of his small form of lobed and fringed petal-like scales. The hairy anthers patrimony in the South Sea Bubble, and in 1724 went to York- adhere to the thickened stigma. The fruit or seed-vessel consists shire, spending the greater part of the next six years as the of two long pods, which, bursting along one edge, liberate a guest of the earl of Malton. On his return to London he found number of seeds, each of which has a tuft of silky hairs like thistle that his landlord had disposed of the books and papers left down at the upper end. in his charge. Among these was an annotated copy of Gerard The genus belongs to Langbaine's Dramatick Poets. The book came into the hands of the natural order Thomas Coxeter (1689-1747), and subsequently into Theophilus Apocynaceae, a family Cibber's possession, and furnished the basis of the Lives of that, as is usual where the Poets (1753) published with Cibber's name on the title page, the juice has a milky though most of it was written by Robert Shiels. In 1731 Oldys appearance, is marked sold his collections to Edward Harley, second earl of Oxford, by its poisonous pro-who appointed him his literary secretary in 1738. Three years perties. Cases are re-later his patron died, and from that time he worked for the corded by Lindley of booksellers. His habits were irregular, and in 1751 his debts children poisoned by drove him to the Fleet prison. After two years' imprisonment the flowers. The same he was released through the kindness of friends who paid his author also narrates how debts, and in April 1755 he was appointed Norroy king-at-arms in the course of thePeninby the duke of Norfolk. He died on the 15th of April 1761. sular War some French Oldys's chief works are: The British Librarian, a review of scarce soldiers died in conseand valuable books in print and in manuscript (1737–1738) ; the quence of employing Harleian Miscellany (1744-1746), a collection of tracts and pamphlets skewers made from Nerium Oleander. in the earl of Oxford's library, undertaken in conjunction with Dr Johnson; twenty-two articles contributed to the Biographic freshly-cut twigs of oleander for roasting their meat. The Britannica (1747-1760) ; an edition of Raleigh's History of the World, oleander was known to the Greeks under three names, viz. with a Life of the author (1736) ; Life of Charles Cotton prefixed to rhododendron, nerion and rhododaphne, and is well described Sir John awkins's edition (176o) of the Compleat Angler. In 1727 by Pliny (xvi. 20), who mentions its rose like flowers and Oldys began to annotate another Langbaine to replace the one he had lost. This valuable book, with a MS. collection of notes by poisonous qualities, at the same time stating that it was Oldys on various bibliographical subjects, is preserved in the British considered serviceable as a remedy against snake-bite. The Museum. name is supposed to be a corruption of lorandrum, lauridendrum
End of Article: WILLIAM OLDYS (1696-1761)
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