1893 text

Francis Osborne, an English writer of considerable abilities and popularity, was the author of “Advice to a Son,” in two parts, Oxford, 1656-8, 8vo. He died in 1659. He is the same person mentioned as “My Father Osborne,” October 19th, 1661. — B.

This text comes from a footnote on a diary entry in the 1893 edition edited by Henry B. Wheatley.

3 Annotations

First Reading

Paul Miller  •  Link

Author of 'Advice To A Son,' 1656; master of Horse to William Herbert, third Earl of Pembroke; afterwards in office of lord treasurer's remembrancer, and employed under commonwealth at Oxford; friend of Hobbes; his 'Advice' ridiculed by John Haydon, but one of the most popular contemporary works; published also 'Traditional Memoirs of the Reigns of Queen Elizabeth and King James I,' 1658, and other works, first collected 1673. "Francis Osborne's chief publication was his 'Advice to a Son,' in two parts, of which the first was published in 1656, 'printed for H. Hath, printer to the university for Thomas Robinson,' and the second in 1658. The first part, which was divided into five sections, headed respectively 'Studies,' 'Love and Marriage,' 'Travel,' 'Government,' and 'Religion,' appeared without any author's name; it at once became popular, and after it had passed through five editions within two years Osborne declared himself the author. In 1658 the second part of marked inferiority to the first appeared, and he dedicated it under his own name to Draper, at the same time issuing a new edition of the first part, with his name on the title-page. Like the superior production of Lord Chesterfield, Osborne's book combined in apophthegmatic form some sound sense and perspicuous observation with much that was obvious and commonplace. The warnings against women with which he plied his son form the most interesting passages. The book's misogynic character was ridiculed by John Heydon in his 'Advice to a Daughter, in opposition to Advice to a Son,' 1658, and Heydon's venture produced a defence of Osborne, 'Advice to Balaam's Ass,' by Thomas Pecke, whom Heydon castigated in a second edition of his 'Advice to a Daughter,' 1659. In Osborne's day his 'Advice to a Son' found its most enthusiastic admirers among the young scholars at Oxford. 'The godly ministers,' moreover, soon detected 'principles of atheism' in its vague references to religion, and denounced its evil influence both on students and on country gentlemen. On 27 July 1658 the vice-chancellor, Dr. John Conant, accordingly summoned the Oxford booksellers before him, and bade them sell no more copies of Osborne's book; but this direction caused the 'Advice,' according to Wood, to 'sell the better'

vincent  •  Link

A sentence of Osborne's via a tract on Bacon [St. Albans]"...As I have been told his first or foulest Copys required no great Labour to render them competent for the nicest judgments. A high perfection, attainable only by use, and treating with every man in his respective profession, and what he was most vers'd in..."
a snippet from http://www.hiddenmysteries.com/fr…

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

OSBORNE (Francis), an English writer of uncommon abilities, was born about 1588. He was descended from an ancient family, who had been long seated at Chicksand, near Shefford in Bedfordshire, where his grandfather, and father, Sir John Osborne, did both enjoy a quiet, happy, and plentiful fortune; but, these being puritanically inclined, Francis, who was a younger son, was bred carefully in those principles at home, without the advantage of either school or university. As soon as he became of years to make his fortune, he frequented the court; and, being taken into the service of the Pembroke family, became master of the horse to William earl of Pembroke. Upon the breaking out of the civil wars, he sided with the parliament, and had public employments conferred upon him by them, as also by Cromwell afterwards; and having married a sister of one of Oliver's colonels, he procured his son John a fellowship in All-Souls college, Oxford, by the favour of the parliamentary visitors of that university, in 1648. After this he resided there himself, purposely to have an eye over his son; and also to print some books of his own composition. Accordingly, among others, he published there his "Advice to a son," the first part in 1656; which going through five editions within two years, he added a second, 1658, in 8vo. Though this was not liked so well as the first, yet both were eagerly bought and admired at Oxford, especially by the young students; which being observed by the godly ministers, as Wood calls them, they presented a public complaint against the said books, as instilling atheistical principles into the minds of the youth, and proposed to have them publicly burnt. This did not take effect; yet an order passed the 27th of July, 1658, forbidding all booksellers, or any other persons, to sell them: which however, as is commonly the case, made them sell the better. But our author did not long survive this order, being arrested by death Feb. the 11th following, aged about 70.
---A New and general biographical dictionary. 1784.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.