Oudart, Nicholas (DNB00)

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OUDART, NICHOLAS (d. 1681), Latin secretary to Charles II, was born at Mechlin in Brabant. It is conjectured by Wood (Fasti, i. 492) that he was the son or nephew of Nicholas Oudart of Brussels, an official of Mechlin who died in 1608. He was brought to England by Sir Henry Wotton, 'who afterwards trusted him with his domestic affairs' (Wood, loc. cit.) He was created M.A. at Oxford on 13 Aug. 1636, and was incorporated at Cambridge in 1638. He afterwards studied medicine and was created M.B. at Oxford on 31 Jan. 1642 (Wood, Fasti, ii. 34). In 1640 he was at the Hague as secretary to Sir William Boswell, ambassador to the States (cf. Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1640–1, p. 93). In 1641 he became assistant secretary to Sir Edward Nicholas [q. v.], secretary of state. In August 1647 he was acting as amanuensis to Charles I (Nicholas Corresp. in Evelyn's Diary, ed. Bray, iv. 183); he attended the king in the conferences with the parliamentary commissioners at Newport, Isle of Wight (Warwick, Memoires, i. 322, ed. 1703), and wrote the king's despatch to Prince Charles (ib. p. 325). A copy of the Εἰκὼν Βασιλική was said to be in the handwriting of Oudart (cf. Nichols, Lit. Anecdotes, i. 525, and see under Gauden, John).

Oudart appears to have remained in Nicholas's service (cf. Nicholas Correspondence, op. cit. iv. 194) till about 1651, when he became secretary to Princess Mary of Orange (Cal. Clarendon Papers, ii. 152, 451, &c.) He held this office till the princess's death in 1661 (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1661–2, pp. 84, 312), and was executor under her will, in which she bears testimony to his abilities and fidelity. Sir Edward Nicholas declared (about 1655) that Oudart's preferments made him 'more conceited than ever,' and that he was 'little esteemed' abroad (ib. 1655, p. 384). After his return to England, Oudart was admitted gentleman of the privy chamber on 18 Nov. 1662 (ib. 1665–6, p. 303), and on 13 July 1666 became Latin secretary to Charles II (ib. p. 530), in succession to Sir Richard Fanshawe, with a salary of 80l. He held this office till his death. From about January 1662–3 he was connected with the wine license office, Westminster (ib. 1663-4, p. 23}, and in 1665 (?) petitioned for a grant of 600l. a year for eight years on account of a loss of 8,000l. incurred through that office (ib. 1665–6, p. 159). In February 1666 a warrant was ordered for the payment to Sir George Downing and his secretary Oudart of their expenses during their imprisonment in Holland (ib. pp. 244-64). Oudart was a friend of John Evelyn (Diary, 2 Sept. 1064).

Oudart died in Little Dean's Yard, Westminster, and was buried in the west cloister of Westminster Abbey on 21 Dec. 1681. His will, dated 5 March 1671–2, was proved on 13 July 1682 by his widow Eva, daughter of John Francois Tortarolis. She was a rich and handsome gentlewoman of Leyden whom Oudart married about 1655 (ib. 1655, pp. 375, 384). Three daughters were the issue of the marriage, viz. Barbara, married at the Temple Church, London, on 29 Oct. 1677, to William Foster; Amelia Isabella, married in 1689 to Bartholomew Van Sittert; and Dorothy.

[Cal. State Papers, Dom. Ser. 1640–67; Cal. Clarendon Papers; Wood's Fasti Oxon. ed. Bliss, i. 491, 492, ii. 34; Evelyn's Diary and Nicholas Correspondence in vol. iv. ed. Bray; Chester's Registers of Westminster Abbey, p. 204; Fosters Alumni Oxon.; Warwick's Memoires.]

W. W.