Though Ogilvy was one of the worst poets of his time, he was without a rival in point of industry. This virtue alone, if he had had no other merit, would entitle him to some respect. He began to study at an age when men usually think of leaving off all literary pursuits; and quickly made an astonishing progress. He could scarce construe Virgil, when he entered upon a translation of that poet; and he was no less eager to translate Homer, though he was far from being a competent master of English or Greek. That he had no success in these great attempts is not to be admired; the attempts themselves are matter of admiration. I shall pass over his "Esop's Fables," and several other folios which he published, to mention his "Carolies," an heroic poem, in twelve books, in honour of Charles I. on which he had been long labouring. This, which he tells us, he had "resolved to be the pride, divertisement, business, and sole comfort of his age," was burnt in the fire of London. His fortune was reduced, by that conflagration, to 5 1. only; but he, in a few years, retrieved his loss, by undertaking and finishing several voluminous works. His last and greatest undertaking was his "Atlas," which was alone a sufficient task for a man's life. Three or four volumes, in folio, have been published of this work, which he did not live to finish. It is well known that he was employed by Charles II. to take a survey of the roads of the kingdom; and I have been informed, that the posts were regulated according to that survey. Ob. 4 Sept. 1676.
---A Biographical History of England. J. Granger, 1775.
OGILBY, JOHN (1600-1676) author and printer; in early life taught dancing; employed by Strafford in Ireland, where he became deputy-master, and afterwards master of the revels; entrusted with 'poetical part' of Charles II's coronation, 1661; his house and booksellers' stock destroyed in fire of Loudon, 1666; afterwards set up large printing establishment and became 'king's cosmographer'; published verse translations of Virgil, AEsop's 'Fables,' and Homer, with plates by Hollar, and printed an edition of the bible (Cambridge, 1660), a folio Virgil, 'Entertainment of Charles II,' and many geographical works. He was ridiculed by Dryden and Pope, but utilised by the latter.
---Dictionary of National Biography: Index and Epitome. S. Lee, 1906.
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.