Holyday, Barten

, an ingenious and learned English divine, was the son of a taylor in Oxford, and born in the parish of All Saints there about 1593. He was entered early of Christ-church in the time of Dr. Ravis, his relation and patron, by whom he was chosen student; and in 1615 he took orders. He was before noticed for his skill in poetry and oratory, and now distinguished himself so much by his eloquence and popularity as a preacher, that he had two benefices conferred on him in the diocese of Oxford. In 1618 he went as chaplain to sir Francis Stewart, when he accompanied the count Gundamore to Spain, in which journey Holyday exhibited such agreeable conversationtalents, that the count was greatly pleased with him. Afterwards he became chaplain to the king, aud was promoted to the archdeaconry of Oxford before 1626. In 1642 he was made a doctor of divinity by mandamus at Oxford; near which place he sheltered himself during the time of the rebellion. When the royal party declined, he so far sided with the prevailing powers, as to undergo the examination of the triers, in order to be inducted into the rectory of Chilton in Berkshire; for he had lost his livings, and the profits of his archdeaconry, and could not well bear poverty and distress. This drew upon him much censure from his own party; some of whom, however, says Wood, commended him, since he had thus made provision for a second wife he had lately married. After the Restoration he quitted this living, and returned to Iffley near Oxford, to live on his archdeaconry; and had he not acted a temporizing part, it was said he might have been raised to much higher promotion. His poetry, however, got him a name in those days, and he stood fair for preferment. His philosophy also, discovered in his book “De Anima,” and his well-languaged sermons, says Wood, speak him eminent in his generation, and shew him to have traced the rough parts of learning, as well as the pleasant paths of poetry. He died at Iffley, Oct. 2, 1661, and was buried at Christ-church.

His works consist of twenty sermons, published at different times. “Technogamia, or the Marriage of Arts, a comedy,1630*. “Philosophise polito-barbarae


Wood tells us that this piece had hall been publicly acted in Christ-church in the year 1617, but with no very great applause; but that the wits of

| specimen, in quo de anima & ejus habitibus intellectualibus qiuBstiones aliquot libris duobus illustrantur,” 1633, 4to. “Survey of the World, in ten books, a poem,1661, 8vo. But the work he is known for now is his “Translation of the Satires of Juvenal and Persius;” for though his poetry is but indifferent, his translation is allowed to be faithful, and his notes good. The second edition of his “Persius” was published in 1616; and the fourth at the end of the “Satires of Juvenal illustrated, with notes and sculptures,1673, folio. Dryden, in the dedication of his “Translation of Juvenal and Persius,” makes the following critique upon our author’s performance: “If/' says he,” rendering the exact sense of these authors, almost line for line, had been our business, Barten Holyday had done it already to our hands; and by the help of his learned notes and illustrations, not only Juvenal and Persius, but (what is yet more obscure) his own verses might be understood.“Speaking, a little further on, of close and literal translation, he adds, that” Holyday, who made this way his choice, seized the meaning of Juvenal, but the poetry has always escaped him.“In his account of Holyday’s writings, Wood has omitted an instructive and entertaining little work entitled” Comes jucundus in via," which he published anonymously in 1658. In the latter part of the second address to the reader, there is a quaint allusion to his name. 1

Ath. Ox. vol. II. Wood’s Life, 8vo. 1772. Lloyds memoirs, fol. Malone’s Dryden, vol. IV. p. 186. 218.