Audley, Hugh (DNB00)

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AUDLEY, HUGH (d. 1662), notorious moneylender, amassed a large fortune in the first half of the seventeenth century by frugal living and hard dealings. In 1605 he possessed only 200l., and died in November 1662 worth 400,000l. He held a very lucrative post in the court of wards, and is said to have lost not less than 100,000l. by the dis-establishment of the court at the time of the civil wars. At his elbow he usually had some devotional book, especially when he expected clients, and he was very regular in his attendance at church. The expensive habits of the clergy caused him some anxiety, and he would often sigh for the simplicity of living that prevailed in the days of his youth. He was always willing to advance money to improvident young gallants ; he was, indeed, a most heartless bloodsucker. Occasionally he met with checks and reverses, but his indomitable energy bore him through everything. In the lofty language of his biographer, he lived 'a life of intricacies and misteries, wherein he walked as in a maze, and went on as in a labyrinth with the clue of a resolved mind, which made plaine to him all the rough passages he met with ; he, with a round and solid mind, fashioned his own fate, fixed and unmoveable in the great tumults and stir of business, the hard rocke in the middest of the waves.' He is the subject of an article in D'Israeli's 'Curiosities of Literature.'

[The Way to be Rich according to the Practice of the Great Audley, 1662.]

A. H. B.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.11
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

Page Col. Line  
249 i 5f.e. Audley, Hugh: after money-lender insert admitted student of Inner Temple Nov. 1603, and called to the bar 1611
ii 27  after of Literature’ insert Audley Street in west London, which runs through lands owned by him, was named after him.