Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 42.djvu/120

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pretended, were ‘taken verbatim by Michael Oldsworth.’ Under like conditions appeared next year Pembroke's ‘Speech at his Admittance to the House of Commons,’ his ‘Speech to Noll Cromwell, lord deputy of Ireland,’ 20 July 1049, 'A Thaknsgiving [sic] for the Recovery of . . . Pembroke,’ and his 'Speech . . . in the House of Commons upon passing an Act for a Day of Thankgiving or Co. Jone's Victory over the Irish’ (1649). In the last Pembroke is made to say, ‘I love my man, Michael Oldsworth, because he is my mouth, and prays for me.’ In one of the many satires, entitled ‘The Last Will and Testament of the Earl of Pembroke, also his Elegy . . . by Michael Oldsworth’ (Nodnol, 1650), the earl is represented as ordering Oldisworth, his ‘chaplain, to preach his funeral sermon,’ and to receive twenty nobles for telling ‘the people all my good deeds and crying up my nobility.’ In another lampnoon, bearing the same title, and attributed to Samuel Butler, author of ‘Hudibras,’ Pembroke charges his eldest son to ‘follow the advice of Michael Oldworth’ (cf. Lodge, Portraits, iv. 314). At a later date Oldsworth was described as ‘Pembrochian Oldsworth that made the Earl, his master's, wise speeches’ (England's Confusion, 1659).

Pembroke died in 1650, and Oldisworth was one of his executors (cf. Cal. Committee for Compounding, pp. 1532-4, 1931). He succeeded his master as keeper of Windsor Great Park. On 25 June 1651 he was appointed a commissioner to inquire into a rebellion in South Wales (Col. State Papers, 1651, p. 266), and he was continued in his post at the prerogative office by the council of state after the dissolution of the Long parliament in October 1653 (ib. 1653, p. 217). He seems to have died a year later.

Oldisworth was regarded as possessing some literary accomplishment. He was one of the eighty-four persons nominated to form the order of Essentials in Edmund Bolton's project of a national academy in 1617. Herrick, addressing a poem to him in ‘Hesperides,’ described him as ‘the most accomplished gentleman, M. Michael Oulsworth,' and foretold with barely pardonable exaggeration immortality for his fame (Herrick, Works, ed. Pollard. ii.159).

Oldisworth married, in 1617, Susan (b. 1599). daughter of Thomas Poyntz, who was then dead, by his wife Jane, whose second hushand was one Dickerie, or Doctwra of Lutun, Bedfordshire (Chester, Marriage Licenses, p. 994).

Foster's Alumni Oxon.; Wood's Fasti Oxon. ed. Bliss, i. 313,334, 356; Hoare's Wiltshire, vi. 390, 479.]

S. L.

OLDISWORTH, WILLIAM (1680–1734), miscellaneous writer, son of the Rev. William Oldisworth, vicar of Itchen-Stoke, Hampshire, and prebendary of Middleton, alias Longparish, in Winchester, matriculated at Hart Hall, Oxford, on 4 April 1698, when aged 18. He left the university without taking a degree, and probably, like his friend Edmond Smith, with a greater reputation for wit than for steadiness of character. According to Rawlinson, he ‘served an uncle, a Justice of the Peace in Hampshire, as his clerk,’ and about 1706 he drifted to London, where he became a hack-writer for the booksellers. His chief success arose through his connection with the tory paper the ‘Examiner,’ of which he edited vols. ii. iii., iv., and v., and nineteen numbers of vol. vi., when the queen's death put an end to it. Swift asserted that he had never exchanged a syllable with Oldisworth, nor even seen him above twice, and that in mixed company (Scott, Life of Swift,, p. 134); and in the ‘Journal to Stella,’ 12 March 1712–13, wrote that ‘the chancellor of the exchequer sent the author of the “Examiner” [i.e. Oldisworth] twenty guineas. He is an ingenious fellow, but the most confounded vain coxcomb in the world; so that I dare not let him see me, nor am acquainted with him.’ Through attachment to the Stuarts, Oldisworth was present at the battle of Preston, and, according to the ‘Weekly Pacquet’ of 17 Jan. 1715–16, was killed with his sword in hand, being determined not to live any longer. This rumour was incorrect; for he survived the defeat, and resumed his life in London, but with less good fortune. Hearne wrote to Rawlinson, on 28 Aug. 1734, to inquire whether Oldisworth was dead, and on 11 Nov. states that he ‘dyed above four months since.’ But this appears to have been an error, as the exact date is given as 15 Sept. 1734. Rawlinson mentions Carshalton in Surrey as the place of death, though a letter to him from Alderman John Barber says that ‘for many years before he dy'd, Oldisworth liv'd upon the Charity of his friends. He had several sums of me … and, poor man, ran into debt with every Body that would trust him; and at last would get into an Alehouse or Tavern Kitchin, and entertain all Comers and Goers with his Learning and Criticisms. He at last was sent to the King's Bench Prison for Debt, where he dy'd. And Mr. …, the non-juring Parson, that was corrector to Mr. Bowyer's Press, came and told me he was dead, and I gave him a Guinea to buy a coffin. This is all I know of that unhappy Man, who had