William Tooke.

A new and general biographical dictionary; containing an historical and critical account of the lives and writings of the most eminent persons in every nation; particularly the British and Irish; from the earliest accounts of time to the present period .. (Volume 9) online

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Online LibraryWilliam TookeA new and general biographical dictionary; containing an historical and critical account of the lives and writings of the most eminent persons in every nation; particularly the British and Irish; from the earliest accounts of time to the present period .. (Volume 9) → online text (page 2 of 48)
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fmith in "The Biitifn Magazine," and publilhed a great
number of tranilations from the French, to none of which,
however was his name prefixed. Mr. Jones was a very
modeft and amiable man, and greatly refpeifted by all who
knew him. He died in 1786.

JONES (JOHN), a dramatic writer in the reign of Charles
I. He published a play called, '* Adrafta, or the Woman's

JONES (JOHN), we know but little of this old medical
snd chirurgical wri;er. Dr. Aikin informs us, that he was
either born in Wales, or was of Welch extraction : that he
iiiidied at both our univerfities ; that he took a medical degree at
Cambridge, and that he pracViled with great reputation at
Bath, in Nottinghamfhire, and Derbylhire. He mentions
curing a perfon at Louth in 1562, and the date of his laft
publication is 1579.

His principal piecesare^ "The Dial .of Agues, 1556 ;" The
Benefitof the antientBathesof Buckilone, 1572;" ** TheBathes
of Bath's ayde, 1572;" <; A brief, excellent, and profitable
Difcourfe of the natural Beginning of all growing and living
Tnings, &c. 1574;" perhaps this is taken from " Galen's
Four Books of Elements," which he tranflated and printed
the fame year, or is the fame book with another title; *' The
Art and Science of preferving the Body and Soul in Health,
&c. 4to. 1579."

JONES (SIR WILLIAM), one of the judges of the
King's Bench ip the reign, of James I. and Charles I. He was



the author of " Reports of Cafes in the King's Cenrh and
Common Pleas.' 7

JONES (Sir THOMAS), one of the judges of the King's
Bench in the reign of Charles II. He was alfo an author of
reports; and an anecdote is told of him in " Rerefby's Me-
moirs" worth recording. On king James's vain a -.tempt to
aflert the difpenfmg power, he laid to Jones, that he fhould
have twelve judges of his own opinion : to which Jones re-
plied, " Twelvejudges you may poffibly find, Sir, but hardly
twelve lawyers."

JONES (RICHARD), the ingenious author of u Gemma
fGambricum," which. Wood fays, " contained, in Welch, with
admirably brevity, all the books and chapters of the Bible,"
Ox. 1652. He was admitted of Jefus-college, Oxford, 1621.
Died in Ireland, time unknown.

JON IN (GILBERT), a jefuit, born in $596, and died in
1638 ; he was a poet of fome eminence. He wrote both greek
and latin odes, which are diftinguimed by eafe and elegance.
His works were publifhed in fix volumes, o&avo, at Lyons.

JONSIUS (JOHN), a learned and judicious writer in the
i yth century, was a native of Holftein, and cultivated polite
learning at Francfort on the Maine, but died, 1659, m l ^ e
flower of his age. We have a latin treatife of his in good
efleem, " De fcriptoribus hiftoriae philofophiae," of which the
belt edition is that of Jena, 1716, 4-to.

JON SON (BENJAMIN), a celebrated Engiiili poet, was
of Scotch extraction by his grandfather, who was originally of
Anandale in that kingdom, but removed to Carlifle in the
reign of Henry VIII. under whom he enjoyed fome poft.
The father of our poet was a furferer under queen Mary,
probably on account of religion : he was not only imprifoncd,
but loft his ettate : he afterwards took orders, and was fettled
at Weftminfter, where he died in 1574, about a month be-
fore the birth cf his fon Benjamin. Our poet wns firft put to
a private fchool, and afterwards removed to Weftminfter,
where the famous Camden was his mafter. While he was
here, his mother, having remarried with a bricklayer, took
him home, and obliged him to work at his ftepfather's buii-
nefs. Upon this, he refolved to go abroad j and, for a fub-
fifience, lifted hirr.felf a foldier, in which character beins;
carried to the Engliih army in the Netherlands, hediftinguifhed
liimfelf by killing and defpoiiing one of the enemy in the view
of both ansies. Poets have been feldom memorable for their
military achievements : no wonder, therefore, that Jonfon
hath touched this incident of his life with fome elation of
heart, in an epigram addrefied "To true Soldiers."


J O N S O N. ii

After his return home, he refumcd his former fiudics ; and,
as is laid, went to Sr. John's college, Cambridge. It is cer-
tain he gave ieveral books to that library, which have his
name in them ; but his continuance there was Apparently
fhort, in proportion to his finances, which would not fupply
the decent conveniences of a learned eaie. In this exigence
he turned his thoughts uoon the play-houfes ; his inclination
and genius lay to c mpolitions for the (rage ; and he had the
example of Shakfpeare, who had taken the lame courie, in the
like difficulties, with fuccefs. The play-houfe he entered into
was an obfcure one, in the fkirts of the town, and called The
Curtain. Here, like Shakfpeare too, he made but a poor
figure : his attempts, as an aftor, could neither provide a fup-
port, nor recommend him to a (hare in any of the companies
or theatres, which in that age were numerous in London. On
the contrary, his inabilities this way became a topic of fatire
to his adverfaries : he was reproached with leaving his former
occupation of mortar-treader to turn aclor ; and we are in-
formed, that he performed the part of Zuliman at Paris-
garden, with ambling by a play-waggon in the high- -A ay, and
taking mad Jeronymo's part, to get a fervice among the
mimics; that in this fervice he would have continued, but
was cafhiered [E]. While he was thus a retainer to the fcage,
he had the ill-luck to be engaged in a duel with a brother
actor; in the rencounter he was wounded in the arm, but
killed his opponent, who had challenged him. He was com-
mitted to prifon for this offence, and, during his confinement,
vifited by a popifh prieil ; who, taking the advantage of his
melancholy, made him a convert to the church of Rome, in
which he continued for 12 years. When > or by what means,
he obtained his difcharge from prifon is uncertain ; but, his
fpirits returning with his liberty, he entered foon after into

He was now about 24, when we are to date the rife c f his
reputation as a dramatic writer. It is true, he had made fome
attempts that way from his firft entrance into the play-houfe,
but without fuccefs. Fie had written a play or two, which
had been absolutely condemned, and was now offering another
to the flage, which had been rejected, if Shakfpeare had not
happened luckily upon it, and found fomething lo well in it
as to bring it upon his own ilage. This encouragement was
the more kind as this play was even condemned by Jonfon

[E] Decker's " Satyromaftix." and ridiculed by Slukfpeare, Fletcher,
The play above-mentioned is intituled, and even Jonfon himielf in feveral of his
l< The Spanifh Tragedy; or, Jcro;. piay. Paris-garden is the Bear-garden,
f mo is mad again." It was as much fo called then from the perfon's name
admired by the popoUce as defp ifed who kept it,


iz J O N S O 1ST.

himfelf, in his riper years : and it is none of the lead com-
mendations cf that generous, humane, good-natured, barcf,
that he afterwards continued to recommend our young poet
and his productions to the public ; and even did not difdain to
lend his hand in finifhing fome of them ; and played a part in
all as lono: as he continued on the fta^e.

Tbe firft piay Jonfon printed, was th* comedy, intituled,
".Every Man in his Humour ;" after which he produced a
play regularly every year for feme years fuccedively : and irt
1600 he made his court, in a noble manner, to queen Eliza-
beth, whom he complimented under the allegorical perfon^e
of the goddefs Cynthia, in his " Cynthia's Revels," which
was acled that year by the children of the queen's chapel [F].
Re feems to have been a competitor for the poetic crown at this
time ; fmce, in his next piece, " The Poetafter," which was
reprefented by the lame performers in 1601, he ridicules his
rival Decker, under the. character of Orifpinus. He was
taxed alfo with particular reflections in it on fome profeiTors of
the law, and fome military men, who were well known at
that time. The popular clamours againfl him upon this occa-
fion ran very high ; and to thefe he replied, in vindication of
hirnfelf, by an apologetical dialogue, which was once fpok^n
upon the ftage, and which he annexed, on the publication of
his works, to the end of this play : but Decker was bent upon
revenge, and refolved, if prfiible, to conquer Jonfon at his
own weapons. In this fpirit he wrote a play immediately
after, intituled, " Satyromaftix, or, The untrufnng the hu-
mourous Poet 5" in which Jonfon is introduced under the
character of Horace Junior. The enemies of Jonfon induftri-
ouily gave out, that all he wrote was produced with extreme
labour, and that he was not lefs than a year about every play.
This objection, had it been true, was really no di (grace to
him ; the beft authors know by experience, that what appears
to be the moft natural and eafy writing is frequently the effect
of iludy and the clofeft application. But their defi^n was to
irifinuate, that Jonfon had no parts and a poor imagination :
to which he retorted in the prologue to his " Volpone, or,
The Fox;" and thence we learn, that the whole play was
fin i (bed by him in five weeks.

About this time be joined with Chapman and Marfton,
two other contemporary playwrights, in a comedy, called,
** Eaftward-Hoe," wherein they were accufed of reflecting

fp] Thtjfe children or chorifters man ; which, fays the epitaph, he did

vied with the moft celebrated players of fo exadlly, that the deftinies thought

that time. Jonfon wrote an epitaph him one, and by their tears conferred

upon one of them, called, Sal Pavy, to his fate. Epigram cxx. in jonfo.^.'s

famous far ailing the part cf aa old VVoiks.


J O N S O N. 13

on the Scots : in confequence of which, they were all three
commicted to prifon, and were even in danger of lofnig their
cars and notes. However, upon fubrmflion, they received
a pardon ; and Jon fon was fo rejoiced at his dilcharge, that
he gave an entertainment to his friends, among whom wcri
Cnmden and Selden. In the midft of the entertainment,
his mother, more an ancient Roman than a Briton, dranlc
to him, and (hewed him a paper of poifon, which (lie intended
to have jj^iven him in his liquor, after having taken a potion ot
it herfelf, if the lentence for his punifhment had paired [G],
As queen Elizabeth had encouraged the tafle of mafques,
wherein (lie much delighted, fo, in the reigns of James and
Charles, the exhibition of mafqucs became a principal diverfion
of the court. The queens to both thefe princes, not being
natives of England, could not, perhaps, at firft fo readily
imderftand the language ; fo that the mulic, dancing, and
decorations, of a mafque, were to them a higher entertain-
ment than what they could receive from any other dramatic
cempoiiiion ; and their pleafure was increafed, as they, after
the example of queen .Elizabeth, condefcencled to take a pa: :
themfelves in the performance. Herein Jonfon was the chief
faclor for the court : moil of thefe rnafques and entertain-
ments were written by him \ and there feidom palled a year,
in which he did not furnifa one or two of this kind. March
1603, he compofed a part of the device, intended to entertain
king James as he palled through the city from the Tower to
his coronation in Weihninfter-abbey ; and in June the. fame
year, a patticular entertainment of his was performed at
Althorp in Northamptonmi/e, the feat of lord Spencer, for
the diverfion of the queen and prince, who refted there fains
days, as they came nrfi into the kingdom. In 1604, there
was a private entertainment for the king and queen on May-
clay morning, at Sir William Cornwallis's houfe at High-
gate ; and of this likevvife Jonfon was the author. His fir It
mafque, which he called, " Of Blacknefs," was performed at
court on the Twelfth-night in 1605; and this mafque, as all
the other?, was exhibited with the utmoft magnificence and
fp lend or, which the luxuriant elegance of a court could
iupply. In the fccnical decoration of thefe feve:ai entertain-
ments, Jonfon had Inigo Jones for an afibciate ; and the
neceffary devices for each feem to have b_cn deii-ined and
ordered by Jones, with his ufual delicacy and grandeur of
tafte. The {hows and pageants, for indeed they were no

[G] The Scots, at thi. c time, crowd- muft Lave been a pcpv lar topic, wh'cH
ing tne courtj gwe ufKnce co levernl was aj.-pareiuly i!,e r otive for unt'er-
geniim;nj to rvl.cuis Ui^m taking this play.


14 J O N S O N.

better, had another quality, which made them particularly
rt limed by the court : they were performed with the incenfe
of the moft fervile and abject adulation : Jonfon faw how very
palatable this tribute was to king James, and provided it with
no fparin hand.

However, thcfe lighter efforts were only the recreations of
his Mule, which in 1610 produced his " Alchymiit." This,
though feemingly the freeft from perfonal allufions, yet could
not fecure him the general applaufcs of the people. A con-
temporary author, and friend to Jonfon, hath told us, that,
on fbme account or other, they exprefled a delight either to
the poet or his play. The fcribblers of the age nad then, as
at prefent, a loud and numerous party at their call ; and
they were conftantly let loofe on Jonfon, whenever he brought
a new play upon the ft age. But their cenfure was his fame ;
whilft he was loved and refpecied by genius, art, and can-
dour, and could number among his friends the firft men
of his times ; as Shakefpeare, Beaumont, Fletcher, Donne,
Camden, Selden, &c. In 1613, Jonfon made the tour of
France, and, among others, was admitted to an interview
and converfation w-th cardinal Perron. Their difcourie, we
u;ay imagine, chiefly turned upon literary f objects : the car-
dinal fhewec! him his tranflation of Virgil ; and Jonfon, with
his ufual opennefs and freedom, told him it was a bad one.

bout this time there broke out a quarrel between him and
Inigo Jones, whom he therefore made the fubject of his ri-
dicule, in the character of Sir Lantern Leather-head, in
his comedy of " Bartholomew Fair," acted in 1614.

In 1617, the falary of poet-laureat was fettled upon him
for life by king James ; and he published his works in one
volume, folio, the fame year [H]. He was now fet at the
head of the poetic band, and invited to the imiverfity of Ox-
ford by feveral members, particularly Dr. Corbet of Chrift-
church. Ben refided in that college during his abode in the


Hniveriity, aud, as the doctor was a celebrated wit and poet
himfdt, the time mull have been agreeably fpent by Jonion,
efpt-cially as it was crowned by a very ample and honourable
testimony of his merit; for he was created, in a full convo-
cation, M. A. July 16 1 9. Honours indeed now crowded upon
him. On the death of Daniel, October following, he t\:c-
cieced to the vacant laurel : which however was no mo;e

[H] The title of "Works," which "work."

our author gave to hi* plays ai.d poems, To which the following anfwer was re-

vvas immediately c.\\ ped at; ai;d the turned in ]o< jbn' e hehnlf :

fo''!(H\in epigram came foic' i : The author's tVieud ihus for the au~
" Y \~i\y tell me, Ben, whtie does the " thor i";>.ys;

" myf^fry lurk. ? " Ben's plays are work?, when others
otiiers call a play, y< u call a " works are pi -yt."


J O N S O N. 15

than his juft due*, as well as the reward of his merit , inaf-
much as lie had uiu hailed the laureates province for many
years, although Daniel wanted not for parts, and was ho-
noured with the good opinion of the queen. But we have
already intimated, what might be jonfon's peculiar merit
with kin James; and king Charles's generality in encou-
raging this, as well as every other art, is celebrated by all
hiitorians. Accordingly our laureat felt the fweets of it.
The Liureat's pay was originally a penfion of 100 marks per
annum; but, in 1630, Jonfon prefented a petition to king
Charles, to make thofe marks as many pounds : and this pe-
tition was granted. At the latter end of this year, he went
on foot into Scotland, to vifit Drummond of Hawthornden ;
with whom he had kept a correfpondence fome years. He
had lately received from him fome curious materials refpeft-
ing the hiftory and geography of Scotland, in compliance
with Jon ton's rcquefc, who had formed a dtfign of writing
upon that fubjedt : and it was apparently to inform him-
ieif in fome farther particulars upon the fpot, that he had un-
dertaken this journey. However that be, it is certain, he
psiTed fome months with his ingenious friend, much to his
Satisfaction, opening his heart, and communicating his
thoughts to him. Among other things, he gave him an ac-
count of his family, and feveral particu'ars relating to his
life: nor was he lefs communicative of his fentiments with
regard to th/" authors and poets of his own time. Drummond
committed the heads of their converfation to writing ; and
they are inferted in a folio edition of his works, printed at
Edinburgh. Jonfon celebrated the adventures of this jour-
ney in a particular poem ; which, being accidentally burnt
about two ( r three years afterwards, he lamented the lofs of
in another poem, called " An Execration upon Vulcan."

Jonfon's office, as poet laureat, obliged him to provide
the Chriftrnas diverfion of a mafque ; and accordingly, in
his works, we have a feries of thtfe and other entertainments
of alike kind, moft of which were prefented at court from
161510 1625. In this laft year was exhibited his comedy
called *- The Staple of News ;" and, thence to 1630, the
writing of mafques was his chief employment, Jn that
year his comedy, intituled, "The New Inn, or the Light
Heart," was brought upon the ftage, but hi (Ted out ot the
houfe on its fir ft appearance. Jonfon had recourfe to his
pride on this occafion, and threatened, by way of revenge,
to leave the fla^e, in an ode addreiled to himfelf : the " New

O *

Inn," with the ode annexed, b.'ing printed in 1631, a very
ievere reply was written foon alter by Owen F.eltharn, in

6 vtrfe,

16 J O N S O N.

verfe, and in the fame meafure with Jonfon's ode [i]. He
was at that time ill, and lived in an obfcure neceffitous con-
dition; and there is a printed ilory, which tells us, " that
the king, who heard of it, tent him a benevolence of iol.
and that Jonfon, when he received the money, returned the
following anfwer : His majeftv hath fent me icl. becaufe I am

O J 4

old and poor, and live in an alley ; go and tell him that his
foul lives in an alley [K]." The bluntneis of Jonfon's temper
might give occafion for fuch a fiery, and there is an expreflion
no? unlike it occurring in his works; but the fact is otherwife.
It is true, that he was poor and ill; but the king relieved him
with a bounty of looi. which lie hath expreljly acknowledged
by an epigram, written that very year, and on that particular
occafion. Jonfon continued for fome time in this low Hate,
notwithftanding the king's farther munificence in the large
addition to his faiary this year, already mentioned : and, in
1631, iolicited the lord-treafurer for relief in a fhort poem,
which he called "An Epulle Mendicant;" where he com-
plains, that he had laboured under ficknefs and want for five
years. But he difcovers greater affliction for the emptinefs
of his purfe than the diibrder of his perfon ; and the fuccefs
he had met with in that article encouraged him to employ his
Mufe afterwards in feveral lefs direct, but not lefs underilood
nor lefs effectual, applications of the adulatory kind, with the
the fame view. There is good reafon alfo to believe, that he
had a peniion from the city, from feveral of the mobility and
gentry, and particularly from Mr. Sutton, the founder of the
Charter-houfe ; yet, with all thefe helps, his finances were
continually in diibrder and deficient, and that defect made
him a beggar.

In thefe circumstances, notwithiiandinp; the ill fucc^fs of


his laft-mentioned play, he took the field again. There are
two comedies fubfequent in point of time to the 4< New Inn,' 1
but both without a date. Of thefe the " Tale of a Tub"
was probably his lad performance, and is undoubtedly one
of ihoic later compofitions, which Dryden hath called his
dotages; but yet they are the dotages of Jonfon. Hie male-
volence of criticifm, which had marked him for its prey in
his younger years, could no: be perfuaded to teverence his
age, but purfued him as long as he could hold a pen. Alexan-

[i] Owen Fcltham was a wri er of touched by Sir John Suckling, in his

note in that age, author of a book " Seffion of the Poets." See his

which tud its djy of fame, intituleJ, Fragmenta aurea, &c. p. 7, edit. 1748,

u Refolves." That he was a friend vo.

to Jonfon's real merit, appears by his [K] Gibber's Lives of the P^et 5 ,

vcifes in ' Jonf.mius Virbius." But arid Mnollett's Hifiory of Ecglaud, Vol.

Ben's foibles in this particular, as we'd 111. p. 3^.6,
as his general merit, are


der Gill, a poetafler of t ; ie tim^s, attacked him with a brutal
fury, on account of his tc Magnetic Lady ." but Gili [L] was
a bad man, as well as a wretched poet ; and Jpnfon, with fhc
advantage in both tbefe points, tevenged himfclf by a fhortbut
cutting reply. His lafl maique \vas perfonatecl July 30,
1634, and the only piece we have with a date afterwards, is
his New Year's Odt: for 16^5. He died of a palfey, Aug. 6,
1637, in his 63d year ; and was interred in Weftminfter-abbey.
Over his grave is a common pavement ftone, given, fays
Wood, by Jack Your., of Great Milton, in Oxfordfhire,
afterwards knighted by Charles II. and on it are engraven thefe


Tn the beginning of 1638, elegies on his death were pub-
lifhed, under the title of " Jonfonius Vifbius ; or, The
Memory of Ben Jonfon revived, by the Friends of the Mufes ;"
in which collection arc poems by lord Falkland, lord Buck-
hnrft, Sir John Beaumont, Sir Thomas Hawkins, Mr.
Wailer, Mayne, Cartwright, Waryng, the author of " Effi-
gies Amoris," and others: and, in 1640, the volume of
plays and poems, which he publifhcd him {'.-if, wss icprinted ;
to which was added another voiume in folio, containing the
reft of his plays, mafques, and entertainments, with . a
61 Translation of Horace's Ait of Poetry," his " Eng
Grammar," and the " Difcoveries." In 1716, his works
came out in 6 vols, 8vo"; and another edition was printed in
1756, in 7 vols. 8vo, with notes and additions by tne editor
Mr. WhalLy. Our poet was married, and had fome children,
particularly a fon and a daughter, both celebrated by him in
epitaphs at their death : fo that he left no iff as, but thofe of
his brain.

JONSTON (JOHN), a learned Polifli naturalift and phy-
fician, was born at Sambter in Great Poland, 1603. He
travelled all over Europe, and was efteemed every where by
the learned. He afterwards bougnt the eilate of Zicbeudorf in
the duchy" of Lignitz in Silefia, where he died in 1675;
having publifhed (i A Natural Hiftory of Birds, Fiflic-,
Quadrupeds, Infects, Serpents, and Dragons," in 1653,
folio: as alfo a piece upon the Hebrew and -k

in 16605 *' A Thaumatography" in 1661 ; and lome poems.
JORDAN (Sir JOSEPH), a bmifh admiral, who great 1 . y
diftinguifhed himfelf at the famous battle of Solebay. -It was
owing entirely to his exertions that the Engiifii on that c!..y
got the vidory. He lived in the time ot Charles tue

[L] There is feme account of both father and fon in Ath. Oxon.


18 J O R D A N O.

JORDAN (CHARLES STEPHEN), a perfon diftinguifhed

more by his connexions than by his works, was born at

Ber'in in 1700, and difcovered early a tafte for letters. After

having exerciled the miniftry, he was advanced to feveral pofts

of profit and honour, and became at length vice-prefident of

the Academy of Sciences at Berlin; where he died in 1745.

The king of Pruffia loved him moft affectionately, and

erected a maufoleum over him. He alfo honoured him with the

following Eloge : <c Jordan," fays he, " was born with parts,

lively, penetrating, yet capable of application; his memory

raft," and retentive ; his judgement fure, his imagination

brilliant; always governed by reafon, yet without ftiffnefs in

his morals; op-n in cor.verfation, full of politenefs and bene-

volence ; cheriming truth, and difguifing it ; humane, gene-

rous, ready to ferve ; a good citizen ; faithful to his friends,

his mafter, and his country." He was the author of feveral

works which, our voucher feems to think, do not give us fo

Online LibraryWilliam TookeA new and general biographical dictionary; containing an historical and critical account of the lives and writings of the most eminent persons in every nation; particularly the British and Irish; from the earliest accounts of time to the present period .. (Volume 9) → online text (page 2 of 48)