Barten Holyday

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Barten Holyday or Holiday (1593–1661) was a clergyman, author and poet.[1] He earned a Doctor of Divinity degree, and entered the clergy in 1615; he was appointed archdeacon of Oxford by King Charles I in 1626. Technogamia was his only play. In 1618, the year it was produced, Holyday served as Sir Francis Stewart's chaplain on Stewart's embassy to Spain. Holyday translated the Odes of Horace and works of Juvenal and Persius, and wrote A Survey of the World, in Verse (1661), plus sermons and miscellaneous works.[2] He was summed up by one commentator as "a good scholar, a shrewd critic, and a fair wit."[3] His translations show strong fidelity to their originals, and have often been considered the best of his works. Samuel Johnson said in Idler 69 that his translations were those of "only a scholar and a critick" not a poet.

He was subject of a derisory poem called ‘Whoop Holiday’, published in 1625 by Peter Heylin [4]


  1. ^ F. D. A. Burns, ‘Holyday , Barten (1593–1661)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
  2. ^ Alexander Chalmers, ed., The General Biographical Dictionary, London, J. Nichols & Son, et al., 1814; Vol. 18, pp. 95-6.
  3. ^ Adolphus William Ward, A History of English Drama to the Death of Queen Anne, London, Macmillan, 1899; Vol. 3, pp. 176-8.
  4. ^ Anthony Milton, ‘Heylyn, Peter (1599–1662)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004