D'Oyly, Samuel (DNB00)

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D'OYLY, SAMUEL (d. 1748), translator, was the son of Charles D'Oyly of Westminster, who was the fourth and youngest son of Sir William D'Oyly, bart., of Shottisham, Norfolk. He was generally thought to have been a supposititious child; it is certainly remarkable that in the account of D'Oyly of Shottisham, which he drew up for Thomas Wotton in 1729, he mentions the father he claimed, but omits to notice either himself or his mother (Addit. MS. 24120, ff. 264–269). He was, however, acknowledged when a boy by the D'Oyly family. Admitted on the foundation of Westminster in 1697, he entered Trinity College, Cambridge, as a pensioner 5 June 1700, took his B.A. degree in 1703, and proceeded M.A. in 1707. He became a fellow of his college, but did not take orders immediately. On the death of his cousin, Lady Astley, in August 1700, he had succeeded by right to the family manor of Cosford Hall in the parish of Whatfield, Suffolk; his claim, however, was resisted by Thomas Manning, the mortgagee, who afterwards challenged him to prove his legitimacy. An amicable arrangement was come to in 1707. Soon after this D'Oyly was ordained. In November 1710 he was presented by Sprat, bishop of Rochester, to the vicarage of St. Nicholas, Rochester, which he held until his death. He published ‘Christian Eloquence in Theory and Practice. Made English from the French original’ (of Blaise Gisbert), pp. 435, 8vo, London, 1718. He also joined his neighbour, the Rev. John Colston, F.R.S., vicar of Chalk, in a translation, ‘with remarks,’ of Calmet's ‘Dictionnaire de la Bible,’ which appeared in three handsome folio volumes, London, 1732. D'Oyly died at Rochester in the beginning of May 1748, aged about sixty-eight, leaving no issue by his wife Frances, and was buried near the west door of the cathedral without any inscription to his memory (Hasted, Kent, fol. edit., ii. 51). His will, dated 18 Jan. 1745, was proved 16 May 1748 (Reg. in P. C. C. 145, Strahan). His widow, Frances, to whom he was certainly married before 1732, survived him many years, and lived at Rochester till her death in 1780. Her will, bearing date 12 April 1774, was proved 30 May 1780 (Reg. in P. C. C. 249, Collins). Therein she requests burial beside her husband in Rochester Cathedral. D'Oyly is represented as a man of taste and learning. Archbishop Herring, when dean of Rochester, became acquainted with him through his friend William Duncombe (brother of D'Oyly's sister-in-law), and in his letters to that gentleman alludes to Mr. D'Oyly's society as very agreeable, and speaks of his death with regret (Letters from Archbishop Herring to W. Duncombe, pp. 32, 113–114). There is also mention of him in Atterbury's ‘Correspondence’ (ed. 1789–98, ii. 128). His library was bought by John Whiston, a bookseller in Fleet Street. In person he was so corpulent that in 1741 he was unable to do his duty as chaplain to the army, then in Flanders, as no horse could carry him (Nichols, Literary Anecdotes, i. 145).

[Bayley's Account of the House of D'Oyly, pp. 160–2; Welch's Alumni Westmon. (1852), pp. 233, 237, 533; Chester's Registers of Westminster Abbey, p. 289 n.; authorities cited.]

G. G.