tankards. Here Ashby imbibed a taste for engraving. On the termination of his apprenticeship he removed to London, where, following the bent of his inclination for writing-engraving, he entered into an engagement with Mr. Jefferies, geographer, of Charing Cross, his principal employment being to engrave titles for maps and charts. Subsequently his services were secured by Mr. Spilsbury, writing-engraver, of Russell Court, Drury Lane, to whose business he eventually succeeded, and whose widow he married. Ashby was much employed by provincial, colonial, and foreign bankers, to engrave notes and bills, in the execution of which he displayed rare skill and ingenuity. Some able penmen also gave scope to his higher qualifications as an engraver of specimens of calligraphy. Among the works for which he engraved the plates are Hodgkin's ‘Calligraphia Græca,’ 1794; Milns' ‘Penman's Repository,’ 1795; Hodgkin's ‘Specimens of Greek Penmanship,’ 1804; Genery's ‘Geographical and Commercial Copies,’ 1805; Langford's ‘Beauties of Penmanship,’ 1825 (?); and some of the plates in Tomkins's ‘Beauties of Writing,’ 1809. In his later years Mr. Ashby lived in retirement at Exning, Suffolk, where he died Aug. 31, 1818.
[MS. Addit. 19095 f. 102, 19170 f. 4; Gent. Mag. lxxxviii. 283-285; Europ. Mag. lxxiv. 207, 208; Annual Biog. v. 306, 307.]
ASHBY, Sir JOHN (d. 1693), admiral, a native of Lowestoft, and presumably a follower of Sir Thomas Allin, was, in 1665, appointed lieutenant of the Adventure, and in October 1668 captain of the Deptford ketch. From that time onward he seems to have served without intermission, and in September 1688 was appointed to the Defiance, a third-rate vessel. The revolution made no change in his position, and, still in command of the Defiance, he led the van of the fleet in the battle of Bantry Bay [see Herbert, Arthur], 1 May 1689. For his good service on this occasion Captain Ashby was knighted, and presented by the king with a gold watch set with diamonds. In July he was made rear-admiral of the blue, and the following year he was vice-admiral of the red, in the fleet under Lord Torrington off Beachy Head on 30 June. After Torrington's disgrace the command of the fleet was assigned to a committee of three—Richard Haddock, Killigrew, and Ashby—who hoisted their joint flag on board the Royal Sovereign, and, together with a body of land forces under the Earl of Marlborough, reduced Cork and Kinsale. In 1691 the command was given to Admiral Russell, with whom Sir John Ashby servd as vice-admiral of the red, and the next year as admiral of the blue; in that rank he commanded the rear of the fleet at Barfleur on 19 May, and, by taking timely advantage of a slight shift of wind, placed the French in such a position that they would be forced either to surrender or fly. They scattered and fled; some to La Hogue, where they were burnt by Russell; some to Cherbourg, where they were burnt by Delavall; and many through the Race of Alderney, where none of the English pilots would venture to take the pursuing ships under Ashby. They thus got safely into St. Malo, where they were blockaded through the rest of the summer. In England there was a strong feeling that more might have been done, and on 19 Nov. Sir John Ashby was called to the bar of the House of Commons to render an account of his conduct; but with his own, and Russell's further explanation, the house expressed itself satisfied (Parl. Hist.). The following year, 1693, the command was again put in commission, in which, however, Ashby had no part. When the fleet sailed, he remained at Portsmouth, possibly on account of his health, for on 12 July he died. He was buried in the first instance at Portsmouth; but his body was afterwards removed to Lowestoft, where there is a mural monument to his memory.
[Charnock's Biographia Navalis, i. 302; Brit. Mus. MSS. Add. 19098, p. 418.]
ASHBY, RICHARD (1614–1680), a Jesuit, whose real name was Thimelby, was the fifth son of Richard Thimelby, Esq., of Irnham, Lincolnshire, by his wife Mary, daughter of Edward Brookesby, Esq., grand-daughter of Lord Vaux of Harrowden. He was born in Lincolnshire in 1614, entered the Society of Jesus in 1632, and was professed of the four vows in 1646. After having taught philosophy and theology at Liège for sixteen years, he was sent on the English mission about 1648, and laboured chiefly in his native county. He was rector of the house for novices at Watten, near St. Omer, from 1666 till 1672, when he was appointed rector of St. Omer's College. His death occurred at St. Omer on 7 Jan. (or September) 1680.
Father Ashby was the author of: 1. 'Purgatory Surveyed, or a particular account of the happy, yet thrice unhappy, state of the souls there; also of the singular charity and ways to relieve them. And of the devotion of all ages for the souls departed, with twelve excellent means to prevent purgatory and the resolution of many curious and important points,' Paris, 1663, 8vo; reprinted, with a preface, by Father W. H. Anderdon, London,