Oglethorpe, Theophilus (DNB00)

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OGLETHORPE, Sir THEOPHILUS (1650–1702), brigadier-general, belonged to an ancient family settled at Oglethorpe, a hamlet in Bramham parish, in the West Riding of Yorkshire His father, Sutton Oglethorpe (baptised at Bramham in 1612), was fined by the parliament 20,000l. and had his estates sequestered and given to general William Fairfax [q.v.]. who sold them to the Ringley family. He married Frances, daughter of John Matthews (Mathew ?) and granddaughter of Archbishop Tobie Mathew [q.v.] and had two sons: Sutton, who was created M.A. by the university of Oxford on 28 Sept. l663, became a royal page, student of Gray's Inn, 1657, and, it is said, stud-master to Charles II; and Theophilus, who, baptised 14 Sept. 1650, entered the army soon after the Restoration as a private gentleman in one of King Charles's newly raised troops of lifeguards (Macaulay, Hist. of England, i, 297). Oglethorpe belonged to the Duke of York's troop, distinguished by its green facings and standand. His name appears as lieutenant-colonel of the king's regiment of dragoons 19 Feb. 1678 (D'Alton, p. 209). It was disbanded, and he returned temporarily to his troop of lifeguards. He was lieutenant-colonel of the royal dragoons 11 June 1679, and commanded the advance-guard of the Duke of Monmouth's army at the defeat of the Scottish covenanters at Bothwell Bridge on 22 June. On 11 Aug. 1679 he was guidon and major of the Duke of York's troop, of which Monmouth was colonel; held the same position 30 April 1680 (ib. p. 273), and became lieutenant and lieutenant-colonel 1 Nov. 1680 (ib. pp. 277, 313). He routed two troops of rebel horse at Keynsham at the time of Monmouth's rebellion, and led a charge of the lifeguards at the battle of Sedgemoor. He was made a brigadier-general and principal equerry to James II, and on 25 Oct. 1685 was made colonel of the Holland regiment, or Buffs. He purchased the manor of Westbrook, Godalming, in 1688. He took the field as a brigadier-general of James's army, and after the king's fight, not choosing to serve against one from whom he had received many favours, he was deprived of his military emoluments, and his regiment given to Marlborough's brother, General Charles Churchill [q.v.] A warrant was issued against him as a Jacobite in 1692, and he went to France (Luttrell); but in 1698 he took the oaths to King William, and sat in parliament for Haslemere, Surrey, from that time until his death on 10 April 1702. He was buried in the church of St. James, Westminster, where his widow put up a monument to him with a Latin inscription and a wrong date of death.

Oglethorpe married Eleanor, daughter of Richard Wall of Tipperary, 'of a considerable family in Ireland.' Swift mentions her often in the 'Journal to Stella,' and emphasises her cunning; she introduced Swift to the Duchess of Hamilton (Works, vol. ii. passim), She died 19 June 1782, having borne seven children to Oglethorpe. Of these the eldest son, Lewis (1681-1704), succeeded his father as member for Haslemere. Evelyn mentions him as fighting a duel with Sir Richard Onslow. He died at the Hague of a wound received in Marlborough's attack on the heights of Schellenberg, just before Blenheim. The second, Theophilus (1682-1720?), also sat for Haslemere after his brother. He was aide-de-camp to the Duke of Ormonde, and afterwards joined the Jacobite court of St. Germains, where he died some time between 1717 and 1720. The third was General James Edward Oglethorpe [q.v.]; the fourth, Sutton, died young. Of the daughters, Anne, the eldest, was a resident at St. Germains, and, it is said, a mistress of the Old Pretender ('her Oglethorpian majesty' of Esmond), prior to her return to England without a pass in 1704. The fact of her return being unauthorised enabled Godolphin and Harley to obtain information from her respecting the Jacobite correspondence. According to Boyer (Annals of Anne, 1735, p. 127), her wit and beauty gained the hearts of the ministers, and some maintained that Godolphin's jealousy of the secretary in their relations with the lady was the source of the breach between the two. Anne was subsequently arraigned at the Queen's Bench on a charge of 'perverting a young gentlewoman to the Romish faith,' but was discharged by the queen's order 14 June 1707 (Luttrell, vi. 182). She retired to France, and is said to have been made a Jacobite countess. She and her youngest sister died unmarried. Two others married, one the Marquis de Maziera in Picardy, the other the Marquis de Bellegarde.

Some years after the death of Sir Theophilus a crazy sort of pamphlet appeared without a printer's name (1707), purporting to relate the hearsay of a Mistress Frances Shaftoe, a serving-woman, according to James Francis Edward, better known as the Chevalier St. George or the Old Pretender.

[Manning and Bray's Surrey, vol. i. (pedigree, p. 614, and account of manor of Westbrook); Nichols's Lit. Anecd. ii. 17; Dalton's English Army Lists, 1660-85, pp. 209, 240, 254, 255, 273, 277, 313; Cannon's Hist. Rec. Brit. Army, 3rd Buffs; Macaulay's Hist.of England, vol. i.; Luttrell's Brief Historical Relation of State Affairs.]

H. M. C.