Mogridge, George (DNB00)

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MOGRIDGE, GEORGE (1787–1854), miscellaneous writer, was born on 17 Feb. 1787, at Ashted, near Birmingham. His father, Mathias, a canal agent, was grandson of the Rev. Anthony Mogridge (fl. 1750) of Hartley, Worcestershire, who is said to have written a book called ' The Conscience's Recorder,' and was descended from a John Mogridge, who in 1530 founded an almshouse at Exeter. George, after attending a school at Boarcote, was apprenticed to a japanner in Birmingham, and spent his leisure in reading Chaucer, Spenser, and Ossian. He subsequently entered into partnership with his elder brother in the japan trade at Birmingham, and wrote in the provincial journals under the pseudonym 'Jeremy Jaunt,' articles urging structural improvements in the town of Birmingham and the abolition of the slave trade. Failing in business, Mogridge took to writing for a livelihood. He died on 2 Nov. 1854 at Hastings, and was buried there in the All Saints' burial-ground.

Mogridge married, first, Elizabeth Bloomer (d. 1822?), by whom he had two sons and a daughter; by his second wife, Mary, he had one son. A portrait, drawn by A. Stanesby and engraved by D. J. Pound, is prefixed to 'George Mogridge: his Life, Character, and Writings,' by the Rev. C. Williams; another to the 'Memoir' of him published by the Tract Society. Mogridge's publications amount to nearly two hundred, and consist principally of tales and religious books for children, religious tracts and ballads. Several appeared under the various pseudonyms: 'Uncle Adam,' 'Old Alan Gray,' 'Ephraim Holding,' 'Uncle Newbury,' and 'Aunt Newbury.' Forty-four appeared under his best-known pseudonym of 'Old Humphrey,' and a series of 'Tales' under that of 'Peter Parley.' The assumption of the last name by Mogridge was naturally objected to by the American writer, Samuel Griswold Goodrich, who was the first to adopt it (Recollections, ii. 553-4; cf. also Martin, William, 1801-1867). Of his religious ballads 'Thomas Brown' was the most popular. Besides these works Mogridge published nearly fifty under his own name, the principal of which are:

  1. 'The Juvenile Culprits,' 1829, 12mo.
  2. 'The Juvenile Moralists,' 1829, 12mo.
  3. 'The Churchyard Lyrist,' 1832, 12mo.
  4. 'The Encourager,' 1835, 16mo.
  5. 'A Ramble in the Woods,' 1840 (?), 16mo.
  6. 'Soldiers and Sailors,' 1842, 8vo.
  7. 'The Old Sea Captain,' 1842, 16mo.
  8. 'Footprints of Popery,' 1843, 12mo.
  9. 'The Indians of North America,' 1843, 16mo.
  10. 'The Country,' 1844, 12mo.
  11. 'Learning to Think,' 1844 (?), 12mo.
  12. 'Old Anthony's Hints to Young People,' 1844 (?), 18mo.
  13. 'Points and Pickings of Information about China,' 1844, 8vo.
  14. 'Learning to Feel,' 1845 (?), 12mo.
  15. 'Rural Pickings,' 1846, 8vo.
  16. 'Learning to Act,' 1846 (?), 12mo.
  17. 'Helps for Every Hour,' 1846, 12mo.
  18. 'Calls of Usefulness,' 1846, 12mo.
  19. 'Wanderings in the Isle of Wight,' 1846, 16mo.
  20. 'Loiterings among the Lakes of Cumberland and Westmoreland,' 1849, 16mo.
  21. 'Things that have Wings,' 1851, 16mo.
  22. 'Peter and Patty,' 1852, 16mo.
  23. 'Aunt Rose and her Nieces,' 1852, 16mo.
  24. 'Learning to Converse,' 1854, 18mo.

His second wife, Mary, wrote 'Domestic Addresses,' and edited several of her husband's works.

[Brit. Mus. Cat.; Allibone's Diet, of English Lit. s. v. ' Humphrey, Old; ' Williams's G-eorge Mogridge, his Life, Character, and Writings; Memoir published by the Tract Society; Gent. Mag. 1854, ii. 645; Goodrich's Recollections, ii. 553-4.]

A. F. P.