Darcy, Abraham (DNB00)

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Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 14
Darcy, Abraham

by Sidney Lee
The ODNB has the surname as Darcie.

DARCY or DARCIE, ABRAHAM (fl. 1625), author, calls himself in his work on the Howard family ‘Abraham de Ville Adrecie, alias Darcie.’ According to the inscription on his portrait by Delaram, he was the son of Peter Darcie, and a native of Geneva. Fuller, speaking of his translation of Camden, says that he knew no Latin. He seems to have been attached to the households of the Duke of Lennox, of the Earl of Derby, and of the Howard family. He wrote: 1. ‘The Honour of Ladies; or a True Description of their Noble Perfections (a prose treatise),’ London, T. Snodham, 1622. Only one copy of this work is believed to be known, and that is in the British Museum. 2. ‘The Originall of Idolatries; or the Birth of Heresies. With the true source and lively anatomy of the Sacrifice of the Masse,’ translated by Darcy from the French. The original is attributed by the translator to Isaac Casaubon, but the French version has no name on the title-page, and Casaubon does not appear to be the author. 3. ‘Frances, Duchesse Dowager of Richmond and Lenox, &c., her Funerall Teares. Or Larmes Funebres … Françoise, Duchesse Dowagere de Richmond … pour la Mort … de son cher Espoux,’ in both French and English, together with an account of the Duke of Lennox's funeral in English; ‘Funerall Complaints,’ in French and English verse; ‘Funerall Consolations,’ in English verse alone; ‘An Exhortation to Forsake the World,’ in verse, and a homily on ‘The World's Contempt’ [London, 1624]. ‘A Monumentall Pyramide,’ published by Darcy in 1624, is another version of his elegy on the Duke of Richmond. 4. A translation (1625) of Camden's ‘Annals’ (1558–88), from the French of P. de Belligent, dedicated to James I. Elaborately engraved titlepages appear in all copies, and in some Delaram's valuable portrait of Darcy is printed on the last page. A second part, published in 1629, completes Camden's book; it was translated by T. Browne, and is usually bound up with Darcy's work. In a copy at the British Museum are two portraits of Darcy. Darcy is also credited with the following books, which are not in the British Museum:—‘Elegy on James and Charles, sons of Thomas Eger- ton, lord Ellesmere’ (Bridgwater Library); ‘Honour's True Arbour, or the Princely Nobility of the Howards,’ 1625; ‘Theatre de la Gloire et Noblesse d'Albion contenant la genealogie de la Famille de Stanley,’ n.d.; and (with Thomas St. Leger, M.A.) ‘Honour and Virtue's Monument in memory of Elizabeth, Countess of Huntingdon, daughter of Ferdinando, Earl of Derby,’ 1633.

[Hunter's Chorus Vatum, in Addit. MS. 24488, ff. 517–18; Brit. Mus. Cat.; Fuller's Worthies, p. 94; Huth Libr. Cat.; Hazlitt's Handbook.]

S. L. L.