Ormerod, Oliver

, a polemical writer of the time of James I. was descended paternally from a Lancashire family, which assumed the name of an estate in that county, in the reign of Henry III. of which it still continues the possession. His grandfather, John Ormerod, a younger brother of this house, married a Lancashire lady of the name of Whitaker, who from the contiguity of the estate of Ormerod and Holme, was most probably of the family of the Whitakers of the latter place. It is not unlikely that this relationship to the learned divinity-professor of Cambridge, might influence the subject of this article in his choice of his university, and in his theological studies.

He was admitted of Emmanuel college, Cambridge, June 6, 1596, and in 1605 published, while a resident there, a small quarto entitled “The Picture of a Puritan, or a relation of the opinions, qualities, and practices of the Anabaptists in Germanic, and of the Puritans in England.” In this work he traces the affinities of the sects, and defends the protestant establishment of Elizabeth, in a series of dialogues, written with all the quaintness of the day, but uniformly displaying a vigorous understanding, and occasionally rising into a strain of 'considerable loftifiess. The work is replete with classical allusions, and his notes exhibit a deep knowledge of the fathers, schoolmen, and other abstruse writers.

The next year he published “The Picture of a Papist,” in the same style, deducing the superstitions of the Romish church from the rites of paganism. In this work he denies himself to be the author of a book called “The double Pp. or the picture of a traiterous Jesuit:” as also of some other things, which the papists had fathered upon him*. The work is dedicated to Robert earl of Salisbury, chancellor of the university, and both were reprinted together in 1606, 8vo.

His labours were rewarded by the valuable rectory of HuntspilT in Somersetshire: where he continued resident, at the visitation of that county by the proxies of Camden in 1623. In this place he died, in 1626, leaving issue one son Richard, born in 1619, and three daughters, by his wife Johanna, daughter of Richard Hinckson, esq.


He adds, “Were I worthy to give myne advice to those that are in authority, those that did publish any such phantastical books hereafter, as the double Pp is, should have for their pains, either a single Greek Π, or at the least nigrun theta!

| of Goham in Kent, who survived him to 1638. Their wills are extant in the Prerogative office in London. 1

Obligingly communicated by a descendant, who gives the following authorities: Whitaker’s “Whalley,” Visit. Somerset. 1623, and Ormerod pedigree in Coll. Arm. Cole’s Adtnissions.—Cole Mss. vol. L. and ms Athenæ Cantab, in the British Museum.