Oldisworth, William

, a writer well known in the reigns of queen Anne and George I. but of whom little is remembered, unless the titles of some few of his literary productions. One of his names took the degree of M. A. at Hart-hall, Oxford, in 1670. He was one of the original authors of “The Examiner,” and continued to write in that paper as long as it was kept up. He published, “A Vindication of the Bishop of Exeter” (Dr. Blackall), against Mr. Hoadly. 2. A volume called “State Tracts” and another called “State and Miscellany Poems, by the author of the Examiner,1715, 8vo. He translated, 3. The “Odes, Epodes, and Carmen Seculare, of Horace;” wrote, 4. The “Life of Edmund Smith,” prefixed to his works, 1719; and, 5. “Timothy and Philatheus, in which the principles and projects of a late whimsical book, entitled The Rights of the Christian Church, &c. are fairly stated and answered in their kind, &c. By | a Layman,” 1709, 1710, 3 vols. 8vo. This is the work to which Pope makes Lintot the bookseller allude, in their pleasant dialogue on a journey to Oxford, and which perhaps may also convey one of Pope’s delicate sneers at Oldisworth’s poetry .*


I’ll say that for OMisworth (though I lot by his Timothys) he translates an ode of Horace the quickest of any man in the kingdom.” Bowles’s edition of Pope, vol. VII. p. 372.

He also published a translation of “The Accomplished Senator,” from the Latin of Gozliski, bishop of Posnia, 1733, 4to. In the preface to this work he defends his own character as a writer for the prerogative and the ministry, and boldly asserts his independence, while he admits that he wrote under the earl of Oxford. He insinuates that some things have been published under his name, in which he had no hand, and probably the above-mentioned “State and Miscellany Poems” were of that number. His attachment to the Stuart family occasioned a report that he was killed at the battle of Preston in 1715; but it is certain that he survived this engagement many years, and died Sept. 15, 1734. 1

Nichols’s Bowyer.