DAVIES, JOHN (1625 - 1693), 'of Kidwelly,' translator

Name: John Davies
Date of birth: 1625
Date of death: 1693
Parent: William Davies
Gender: Male
Occupation: translator
Area of activity: Literature and Writing; Scholarship and Languages
Author: William Llewelyn Davies

Born at Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire, the son of William Davies, 'yeoman,' on 25 May 1625 according to Anthony Wood - but Sidney Lee in D.N.B. suggests 1627 as being the more likely year because Davies described himself as 19 years of age in the year 1646. He entered Jesus College, Oxford, 16 May 1641, but, because of the Civil War, migrated to Cambridge, matriculating as of S. John's College, 14 May 1646. He afterwards travelled in France, learnt the language well, and after returning to London (c. 1652) devoted himself to the task of translating books on behalf of booksellers.

These translations, nearly all of works in French, are numerous - the D.N.B. lists over thirty of them, the British Museum catalogue over thirty, whilst the National Library of Wales has at least twelve. In date they range from 1654 (Treatise against the Principles of Descartes) to 1680 (Blondell's Pindar and Horace compared) or even later. Letters by him are prefixed to works by his friend John Hall of Durham, poet, whom he first met at Cambridge. He is sometimes credited with the authorship of A History of the Civil Wars of Great Britain and Ireland, 1661; he seems to have edited Enchiridion, 1686, the work of his friend Henry Turberville.


Published date: 1959

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