Dudley Loftus

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Loftus, Dudley, writer and publicist, son of Sir Adam Loftus, was born at his father's castle (built by his great-grandfather Archbishop Loftus) at Rathfarnham, near Dublin, about 1618. He took his degree of B.A. at Trinity College, and finished his studies at Oxford, being incorporated Bachelor of Arts in 1639. Returning to Ireland after the breaking out of the War of 1641, he for a time held command at Rathfarnham, and defended Dublin from the incursions of the Irish of the Wick low mountains. He was afterwards made a Master in Chancery, Vicar-General of Ireland, and a Judge of the Prerogative Court. Ware says: "His greatest excellence lay in the knowledge of the tongues, so that by the time he was twenty years of age he was able to translate as many languages into English.

Yet, notwithstanding his learning, he was accounted an improvident and unwise person, and his many levities and want of conduct gave the world too much reason to think so. They gave occasion to a very satyrical reflection made by a great but free-spoken prelate, who was well acquainted with him, viz.: 'That he never knew so much learning in the keeping of a fool.' "His mind became much impaired with years; when seventy-six he married a second wife, and died the following year, June 1695. He was buried in St. Patrick's Cathedral. Part of his large collection of books is now in Marsh's Library. Both Harris's Ware and Wood's Athenae Oxonienses give a list of his writings, some thirty in number. The most important were in Latin — many being commentaries on the Scriptures and philosophical works translated from Syriac into Latin.

Sources

14a. Athenae Oxonienses: Anthony A. Wood, edited by Philip Bliss. 4 vols. London, 1813-'20.

37a. Biographical Dictionary—American Biography: Francis S. Drake. Boston, 1876.

110. Dublin, History of the City: John T. Gilbert. 3 vols. Dublin, 1854-'9.

339. Ware, Sir James, Works: Walter Harris. 2 vols. Dublin, 1764.

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