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John Ogilby

Born: 1600
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: 4-Sep-1676
Location of death: London, England
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Publisher, Author

Nationality: England
Executive summary: Royal Cosmographer, printer

British printer and writer, born in or near Edinburgh in November 1600. His father was a prisoner within the rules of King's Bench, but by speculation the son found money to apprentice himself to a dancing master and to obtain his father's release. He accompanied Thomas Wentworth, earl of Strafford, when he went to Ireland as lord deputy, and became tutor to his children. Strafford made him deputy-master of the revels, and he built a little theater in St. Werburgh Street, Dublin, which was very successful. The outbreak of the Civil War ruined his fortunes, and in 1646 he returned to England. Finding his way to Cambridge, he learned Latin from kindly scholars who had been impressed by his industry. He then ventured to translate Virgil into English verse (1649-50), which brought him a considerable sum of money. The success of this attempt encouraged Ogilby to learn Greek from David Whitford, who was usher in the school kept by James Shirley the dramatist. Homer his Iliads translated.. appeared in 1660, and in 1665 Homer his Odysses translated... Anthony Wood asserts that in these undertakings he had the assistance of Shirley. At the Restoration Ogilby received a commission for the "poetical part" of the coronation. His property was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666, but he rebuilt his house in Whitefriars, and set up a printing press, from which he issued many magnificent books, the most important of which were a series of atlases, with engravings and maps by Wenzel Hollar and others. He styled himself "His Majesty's Cosmographer and Geographic Printer." He died in London on the 4th of September 1676. Ogilby also translated the fables of Aesop, and wrote three epic poems. His bulky output was ridiculed by John Dryden in MacFlecknoe and by Alexander Pope in the Dunciad.

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