Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Wolley, Richard

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WOLLEY or WOOLLEY, RICHARD (fl. 1667–1694), miscellaneous writer, born in Essex, was admitted to Queens' College, Cambridge, on 6 Dec. 1663, where he graduated B.A. on 10 Jan. 1667 and M.A. in 1671. He served in London as a curate, and was employed by the well-known bookseller John Dunton [q. v.] as a hack-writer. In 1691 he translated ‘L'État de la France,’ a list of the nobility and high officials of France, with an account of their privileges and duties, under the title of ‘Galliæ Notitia; or the Present State of France’ (London, 12mo). He also edited for Dunton the ‘Compleat Library; or News for the Ingenious,’ which appeared monthly between May 1692 and April 1694, and ‘took the private minutes’ from which ‘The Secret History of Whitehall’ was composed by David Jones (fl. 1676–1720) [q. v.] The fact that he did not himself write ‘The Secret History’ renders it probable that he died some time before it was published in 1697, perhaps about the date at which the ‘Compleat Library’ ceased to appear. Dunton describes Wolley as ‘an universal scholar,’ and adds that ‘he performed to a nicety’ all the work entrusted to him.

[Information kindly given by the president of Queens' College, Cambridge; Wolley's Works; Dunton's Life and Errors, 1818, i. 163.]

E. I. C.