Ponsonby Ogle

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Ponsonby Ogle
Born 8 December 1855
Bishopsteignton, Newton Abbot, Devon, England
Died 17 December 1902
Milan, Italy
Nationality British
Occupation Writer, journalist and editor

Ponsonby Dugmore Ogle (8 December 1855 – 17 December 1902) was a British writer and journalist, and for a time was editor of The Globe newspaper in London. Later in life he was mistakenly reputed to own a large baronial estate in Massachusetts.


Ogle was born into a well-known English family[1] in Bishopsteignton, near Newton Abbot, Devon, England,[2] on 8 December 1855.[3] He was the second son of Rev. William Reynolds Ogle, Vicar of Bishopsteignton,[3] and had American ancestry on his mother's side.[4] He was educated at Winchester College from 1869, then New College, Oxford from 1876 to 1879, graduating with a BA degree.[3] He worked as private secretary to the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1881.[3]

The Globe was the oldest of the London evening newspapers, having been founded in 1803, and in 1871 Captain George C. H. Armstrong (1836–1907) became editor.[5] Ogle took over the role from him in 1886,[3] and was editor until Mr Algernon Locker took control in 1891.[5] During his editorship, Ogle published four short articles by the young Walter Shaw Sparrow, who was later to become a popular and prolific writer.[6]

On 9 July 1891 he married Miss Kate Angeline Rand (1862–1950)[7] of Minneapolis, Minnesota,[8] the second daughter of Alonzo Cooper Rand. They spent some time in Minneapolis during October 1891[9][10] then stayed with friends in New Haven, Connecticut, returning to Minneapolis in mid-December.[11] Ogle was among those injured in a serious railroad accident at Lima, Ohio on Wednesday 16 December,[8] when a derailment of his train at speed caused four fatalities and numerous injuries, with Ogle suffering cuts to the head.[12]

Ogle and his wife visited America again in 1897, visiting Coronado, California in January[13] and San Francisco at the beginning of March.[14] They sailed from San Francisco to Hawaii on 4 March and spent some time there.[15]

During their life together, they made a number of visits to the United States, and during one visit Ogle bought a farm in The Berkshires, Massachusetts. Described as a "plain, every-day New England farm", it consisted of about two hundred acres[1] and in 1903, after his death, it was valued at $30,000 in the inventory filed in the Probate Court.[16] However, his purchase became the subject of a story printed by a country editor, and soon Ogle gained a totally unfounded reputation as proprietor of five thousand acres, on which, it was said, he was going to create a traditional English country estate.[1] Some reports exaggerated his wealth even further: an Irish newspaper claimed he had bought twenty thousand acres, "to be laid out after the style of an English park, with a game preserve and other features".[17] Try as he might, Ogle was unable to explode this myth and dispel his widespread fame as the owner of a baronial estate, fame that preceded him wherever he went.[1]

After what would turn out to be his final visit to the United States in 1902, he and his wife sailed for Liverpool, England on 19 November 1902 on the steamer RMS Oceanic.[18] He died of pneumonia on 17 December 1902 in Milan, Italy, at the age of 47.[1] In March the following year his widow returned to the United States and to her family.[19] She lived into her late eighties and died in 1950; her gravestone in Lakewood Cemetery, Minneapolis stands next to his.[7][20]


Ogle wrote many pieces for The Globe, and also a number of poems. An anthology of his poetry and prose was published in 1908:

This book is still in print.[21]

In the introduction to the book the editor writes of "the peculiar charm of [Ogle's] personality" and his "gallant bearing, his keen, yet kindly wit, his whimsical humor, [and] his unfailing loyalty to old associates and old associations". He continues, "He deliberately chose to explore the byways of life rather than to plod the beaten track; of the average man's ambition he had none – but, then, he was not the average man … he was something much more than that."[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Ponsonby Ogle is dead – He's the Man Whose Modest Farm Swelled Into a Baronial Estate". The New York Sun. 20 December 1902. ISSN 1940-7831. LCCN sn83030272. OCLC 9406339. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  2. ^ "UK Census Online". ukcensusonline.com. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Winchester College; Wainewright, John Bannerman (1907). Winchester College, 1836-1906 : a register. Winchester : P. and G. Wells. p. 240. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Ponsonby Ogle (1908). E. G. B., ed. Selections from the writings of Ponsonby Ogle (PDF). New York: Brentano's. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Wikisource-logo.svg Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Newspapers". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 
  6. ^ Walter Shaw Sparrow (1925). Memories of life and art through sixty years. John Lane. Retrieved 9 October 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Kate Angeline Rand Ogle (1862 - 1950)". findagrave.com. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "Minneapolis Globules". St. Paul Daily Globe. Minnesota. 18 December 1891. p. 3. ISSN 2168-0116. LCCN sn90059522. OCLC 1775208. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  9. ^ "Personal Points". St. Paul Daily Globe. Minnesota. 14 October 1891. p. 3. ISSN 2168-0116. LCCN sn90059522. OCLC 1775208. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  10. ^ "Social Minneapolis". St. Paul Daily Globe. Minnesota. 25 October 1891. p. 10. ISSN 2168-0116. LCCN sn90059522. OCLC 1775208. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  11. ^ "Purely Personal". St. Paul Daily Globe. Minnesota. 6 December 1891. p. 10. ISSN 2168-0116. LCCN sn90059522. OCLC 1775208. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  12. ^ "Death on the Rail". The New York Times. 17 December 1891. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  13. ^ "Coronado". Los Angeles Herald. 22 January 1897. p. 7. LCCN sn85042461. OCLC 701817584. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  14. ^ "Personal". San Francisco Call. San Francisco. 2 March 1897. p. 6. ISSN 1941-0719. LCCN sn85066387. OCLC 13146227. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  15. ^ "China comes in Six Days". The Hawaiian Star. Honolulu. 10 March 1897. ISSN 2165-915X. LCCN sn82015415. OCLC 8807837. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  16. ^ "Notes of the Lenox Season". New-York Tribune. 23 July 1903. p. 8. ISSN 1941-0646. LCCN sn83030214. OCLC 9405688. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  17. ^ "Market News". Freeman's Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser. Dublin, Ireland. 17 January 1899. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  18. ^ "Transatlantic Travellers". New-York Tribune. 20 November 1902. p. 9. ISSN 1941-0646. LCCN sn83030214. OCLC 9405688. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  19. ^ "Personal and Social". The Minneapolis Journal. Minneapolis, Minn. 16 March 1903. p. 8. ISSN 2151-3953. LCCN sn83045366. OCLC 1757631. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  20. ^ "Ponsonby Dugmore Ogle (1856 - 1902)". findagrave.com. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  21. ^ Selections from the Writings of Ponsonby Ogle. Lightning Source UK Ltd. 27 September 2011. ISBN 978-1246889550. Retrieved 24 October 2012.