Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Dartiquenave, Charles

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DARTIQUENAVE, CHARLES (1664–1737), epicure and humorist, whose name was pronounced and commonly written as Darteneuf, has been frequently called a natural son of Charles II. His face indicated a foreign and probably a French origin, but it bore no resemblance to his reputed father, and the biographers who have accepted the tradition of his royal paternity have suggested that his mother was a Frenchwoman. A more likely supposition is that he was the élève of a refugee French family, whose name he assumed, or, as is the opinion of Noble, that he was connected with John James Dartiquenave, who was buried at Fulham 25 Sept. 1709. The pleasures of the table and of convivial society proved an irresistible attraction for him throughout his life, and he became in general estimation the bon-vivant of his day. Though his friends were not limited to one political party, he himself espoused the whig cause with great warmth, and received the reward of his constancy. Among the treasury papers in the Record Office (vol. iii. No. 10) is a copy of an indenture whereby Dartiquenave and another acquired ‘the office of keeper of Hampton Park, Bushey Park, and the Mansion House of Hampton Court during the lifetime of the Duchess of Cleveland,’ but this was obtained by purchase. Political merits gave him from 1706 to 1726 the post of paymaster of the royal works, and his salary in 1709 was at the rate of 6s. 6d. a day, but in 1717 he pleaded for an addition of 200l. per annum, and the lords of the treasury sanctioned the increase from Michaelmas 1717 (Calendars of Treasury Papers, 1708–19). He was gazetted surveyor-general of the king's gardens in June 1726, and in March 1731 it was understood that he should be promoted to be surveyor of his majesty's private roads. It has often been erroneously stated that Dartiquenave was actually appointed to the surveyorship of George II's private roads. But the latter office was conferred on 15 May 1731 on Richard Arundel, M.P. for Knaresborough, who held the post till his appointment as master of the mint in 1737, when Thomas Ripley [q. v.] became surveyor of roads. Dartiquenave lived as became his position, about the court, in the outquarters of St. James's Palace, but on his death (19 Oct. 1737) he was buried on 26 Oct. in the church of Albury in Hertfordshire, where a slab in the church was placed to his memory. His wife was Mary Scroggs, daughter of John Scroggs of Albury parish. She was born in 1684, buried at Albury 31 Aug. 1756, and became coheiress to the manor of Patmere in Albury. Her sister Judith, who married John Lance, sold her moiety to Dartiquenave, so that he ultimately acquired the entire estate. Dartiquenave's son was a captain in the guards, and his grandson sold the property in 1775. Swift and Dartiquenave were staunch friends, and by themselves or in the company of such jovial spirits as St. John and Parnell, they dined or drank punch. ‘My friend Dartineuf,’ says Swift in his ‘Journal to Stella,’ ‘is the greatest punner of this town next myself,’ and in another passage of the same .journal Swift dubs his friend ‘the man that knows everything and that everybody knows; that knows where a knot of rabble are going on a holiday and when they were there last.’ Pope in his imitations of Horace, ‘Satire I.,’ allows to each mortal his pleasure, and asserts that none deny

Scarsdale his bottle, Darty his ham-pie,

and in ‘Satires’ (II. ii) he mentions ‘Darty’ as a culinary judge. Lord Lyttelton, in his ‘Dialogues of the Dead’ (dialogue xix.), made Apicius and Dartiquenave represent the epicures of ancient and modern history. Dr. Johnson recorded (in 1776) that when this book came out Dodsley the publisher remarked to him, ‘I knew Dartineuf well, for I was once his footman.’ Tradition has assigned to Dartiquenave some contributions to the ‘Tatler,’ e.g. a letter in No. 252, ‘On the Pleasure of Modern Drinking.’ A thin folio volume of twenty-three pages, containing his school exercises in Latin and Greek verse, was printed in 1681, with an address to Charles II and a dedication to Lord Halifax. Dartiquenave was at that time at school in Oxenden Street, Haymarket. As an authority in social life and a friend to the whigs, he was a member of the Kit-Cat club, and his portrait was painted by Kneller, and engraved between Nos. 40 and 41, by John Faber, junior, in the collections of the Kit-Cat portraits published in 1735. The engraving was reproduced in the volume of ‘Kit-Cat Club Portraits,’ 1821, and a medallion print from it was prefixed to Nichols's edition of the ‘Tatler,’ vol. vi. Kneller's portrait of Dartiquenave is usually considered one of the best in the set, as showing strong individuality of character.

[Gent. Mag. i. 127, 175, vii. 638; Tatler, Nichols's ed. vi. 291–4 (1786); Kit-Cat Club (1821), pp. 223–4; Noble's Granger, iii. 185–7; Boswell's Johnson (ed. 1835), vi. 77; Swift's Works (ed. 1883), ii. 29, 112, 133, 184–5, 204, iii. 16, 87, 138; Quarterly Rev. xxvi. 437 (1822); J. C. Smith's Mezzotint Portraits (1878), i. 383; Cussans's Hertfordshire, sub. ‘Albury,’ pp. 162–8; Clutterbuck's Hertfordshire, iii. 336.]

W. P. C.