Elliot, Adam (DNB00)

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ELLIOT, ADAM (d. 1700), traveller, was, according to his 'Narrative of my Travails, Captivity, and Escape from Saile, in the Kingdom of Fez,' a member of Caius College, Cambridge, from 1664 to 1668, when he took his B.A. degree. This much is certain about him (Cantabrigienses Graduati, p. 129), and the charge subsequently brought against him by his fellow-collegian, Titus Oates, of having been compelled to quit the university in consequence of his debauched living, was evidently false. But the rest of his career is obscure. According to his own account, he travelled about the continent for the next two years, and was returning to England in June 1670, when he was taken captive by the Moors and sold as a slave. His description of his captivity and escape is thrilling, but not necessarily true in every detail. In November Elliot reached England, and for the next two years was a private tutor. In December 1672 he was ordained priest by the Bishop of London. He was then chaplain to Lord Grey of Werke, after which he officiated in Dublin, until in 1679 he was summoned to England as witness in a lawsuit arising out of Lord Grey of Werke's will. He was about to return to Ireland when he was apprehended on the evidence of Gates, who accused him of being a Jesuit priest, and an apostate to Mahomedanism. Elliot gained his discharge without being brought to trial, but was reapprehended in Dublin for abusing Oates, and fined 200l. In 1682 he brought an action against Oates for defamation of character, and gained 20l. damages. Elliot's 'Apologia pro Vitâ Suâ' was published in the same year; it is sarcastically entitled 'A Modest Vindication of Titus Oates the Salamanca Doctor from Perjury,' and contains the 'Narrative' mentioned above, Oates's depositions, and an account of the trial between him and Elliot. It is evidently more ingenious than veracious, and the 'Narrative' was amusingly burlesqued by Bartholomew Lane, a partisan of Oates, in 'A Vindication of Dr. Titus Oates from two Scurrilous Libels' (1683).

[The Modest Vindication montioned above.]

L. C. S.