The themes John Oldham wrote about


John Oldham was an English satirical poet and translator.

Life and Work

Oldham was born in Shipton Moyne, Gloucestershire, the son of John Oldham, a non-conformist minister, and grandson of John Oldham the staunch anti-papist rector of Shipton Moyne and before that of Long Newton in Wiltshire. He was educated first at Tetbury grammar school, then at St. Edmund Hall at the University of Oxford, where the Principal was Thomas Tully, an ex-headmaster from Oldham's school at Tetbury. Tully was "a person of severe morals, puritanically inclined and a struict Calvinist.

Oldham received a B. A. degree in May 1674. He became an usher at the Whitgift School in Croydon, Surrey (now in Greater London), a position that was poorly paid, monotonous and left little time for him to compose poetry; his discontent at the time was expressed in these lines from one of his satires - "To a friend about to leave University":

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