Motteux, Peter Antony

, a native of France, was born in 1660, at Rouen, in Normandy, where also he received his education, on the revocation of the edict of Nantz he came over to England, and lived at first with his godfather and relation, Paul Dominique, esq. but afterwards grew a considerable trader himself, kept a large East-India warehouse in Leadenhall-street, and had a good place in the foreign post-office. During his residence in this kingdom, he acquired a great knowledge of the English language, and not only published a good translation of “Don Quixote,” but also wrote several “Songs,” “Prologues,” “Epilogues,” &c. dedicated a poem “On Tea,” to the Spectator, and, what was still more extraordinary, became a successful dramatic writer in the language of a country of which he was not a native. The respective titles of his numerous pieces of that kind may be seen in the “Biographia Dramatica.” Although married to a very beautiful woman, his morals were licentious, and he was one day found dead in a brothel in the parish of St. Clement Danes, not without suspicion of having been murdered; though other accounts state that he was in some measure accessary to his death. This happened Feb. 19, 1717-18, which, being his birth-day, exactly completed his fifty-eighth year. His body was interred in his parish-church, that of St. Andrew Undershaft, in the city of London. 2

2

Biog. Dram. Gibber’s Lives. BritUh Essayists, Pref. to the Spectator, vol. VI.