Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 16.djvu/103
[Naval Chronicle, xviii. 1, with a portrait; Ralfe's Naval Biography, ii. 283; Gent. Mag. (1817), vol. lxxxvii. pt. ii. pp. 275, 372; Foster's Baronetage.]
distance of time, it is impossible to decide with any certainty, we may believe that he was a good, energetic, and skilful officer, and that, as a man, his character would have stood higher had he been much better or much worse; had he had the sweetness of temper which everybody loves, or the crabbedness of will which everybody fears.
DUCKWORTH, RICHARD (fl. 1695), campanologist, a native of Leicestershire, is probably identical with the Richard Duckworth mentioned, under date 4 May 1648, in the ‘Register of Visitors of Oxford University appointed by the Long parliament in 1647’ as one of the ‘submitting’ undergraduates of New Inn Hall (p. 38), and with the Richard Ducker who, according to the same authority, was a member and perhaps scholar of Brasenose College about the same time (ib. p. 483). He matriculated at New Inn Hall in 1649, graduated B.A. in 1651, and proceeded M.A. in 1653. He is said to have been ‘afterwards of University College’ (ib. p. 569). Wood tells us that he was ‘put in fellow of Brazen-nose college from New Inn Hall by the visitors, took the degrees in arts and holy orders, and preached for some time near Oxon.,’ and that afterwards ‘he was created B.D., and on the death of Dan. Greenwood became rector of Steeple Aston in Oxfordshire in 1679.’ He adds that, ‘the parishioners and he disagreeing, he left that place, and in 1692 or thereabouts became principal of St. Alban's Hall,’ and that he published the following works: 1. ‘Tintinnalogie, or the Art of Ringing,’ &c., London, 1671, 8vo. 2. ‘Instructions for Hanging of Bells, with all things belonging thereunto.’[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, iv. 794.]
DUCROW, ANDREW (1793–1842), equestrian performer, was born at the Nag's Head, 102 High Street, Southwark, Surrey, on 10 Oct. 1793. His father, Peter Ducrow, was born at Bruges in Belgium, and was by profession a ‘strong man;’ he could lift from the ground and hold between his teeth a table with four or five of his children on it. Lying upon his back he could with his hands and feet support a platform upon which stood eighteen grenadiers. He came to England in 1793, and gave performances in the ring at Astley's Amphitheatre, where he was known as the ‘Flemish Hercules.’ The son at three years of age was set to learn his father's business, and then proceeded to vaulting, tumbling, dancing on the slack and tight rope, balancing, riding, fencing, and boxing. His master in tight-rope dancing was the well-known harlequin and dancer, Richer. At the age of seven he was sufficiently accomplished to take part in a fête given at Frogmore in the presence of George III. From the strictness of his early training, under his father, he acquired the courage which so distinguished his after career. In 1808 he was chief equestrian and rope-dancer at Astley's, enjoying a salary of 10l. a week. Five years later his father took the Royal Circus in St. George's Fields (the site of the present Surrey Theatre), Blackfriars Road, and here he first won applause as a pantomimist as Florio, the dumb boy, in the ‘Forest of Bondy, or the Dog of Montargis.’ On the close of the Royal Circus and the bankruptcy of Peter Ducrow, Andrew returned to Astley's and took to acting upon horseback. His bold riding, personal graces, and masterly gesticulation attracted great attention. On the death of the father in 1814 the charge of the widow and family fell to the son. Accompanied by his brothers and sisters, and taking with him his famous trick horse, Jack, he joined Blondell's Cirque Olympique and made his appearance at Ghent. Subsequently he visited the chief towns of France. His success was almost unprecedented, and soon brought him to Franconi's Circus at Paris, where he secured unbounded popularity. He left Paris, accompanied by his brother, John Ducrow, who was clown to the ring, and his family, including his sister, who was afterwards known to fame as Mrs. W. D. Broadfoot, and travelled through France, meeting everywhere with extraordinary favour. At his benefit at Lyons he was presented with a gold medal by the Duchesse d'Angoulême. On 5 Nov. 1823, accompanied by his horses, he took part in Planché's drama ‘Cortez, or the Conquest of Mexico,’ at Covent Garden Theatre, but the piece was not a great success (Genest, English Stage, ix. 248–50). In the following season he was engaged for a part in the ‘Enchanted Courser, or the Sultan of Kurdistan,’ produced at Drury Lane on 28 Oct. 1824 (Genest, ix. 282). He next reappeared at Astley's, and soon becoming proprietor of the theatre in conjunction with Mr. William West, commenced a long career of prosperity. He was patronised by William IV, who fitted up an arena in the pavilion at Brighton in 1832 that Ducrow might there perform his feats of horsemanship and give his impersonations of antique statues which he was accustomed to introduce in his scene of Raphael's dream, to the accompaniment of William Callcott's music. In 1833, under Alfred Bunn's management, he pro-