- John Pory
name = John Pory
birthdate = 1572
deathdate = Death year and age|1636|1572
occupation = Government administrator, traveller,
nationality = English
period = 1600–1636
Exploration, geography, travel
John Donne, John Milton, Ben Jonson, William Shakespeare
John Pory (1572–1636) was an English government administrator, traveller, and author of the Jacobean and Caroline eras; [cite book|last=Powell|first=William Stevens|title=John Pory, 1572–1636 : The Life and Letters of a Man of Many Parts|location=Chapel Hill, N.C.|publisher=
University of North Carolina Press|year=1977|isbn=0807812714|id=ISBN 0807812706] he is widely considered to have been the first news correspondent in English-language journalism.
Life and work
Pory was educated at
Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge; he earned his Bachelors degree in 1592 and his Masters in 1595. He was elected a member of Parliament from the borough of Bridgewater in 1605, and served until 1610. In 1607 Pory travelled through France and the Low Countries, and was involved in a plan to introduce silkwormbreeding to England. He spent the years 1611–1616 travelling through Europe, to Italy and as far as Constantinople, where he was the secretary of English ambassador Sir Paul Pindar; for a portion of 1617 he served as the secretary to the English ambassador to Savoy, Sir Isaac Wake. Late in 1619, Pory travelled to the new English colony in Virginiaas secretary to the governor, Sir George Yeardley. Pory spent the years 1619–1621 and 1623–1624 in Virginia; he served as the first Speaker of the Virginia Assembly, and explored Chesapeake Bayby boat in 1620. He returned to England and settled in London in 1624. Pory had accumulated a widespread acquaintance with influential people in a range of positions and locations, and maintained a vigorous letter-writing correspondence with them over the later years of his life. [citation|last=Lee|first=Sidney (ed.)|authorlink=Sidney Lee|title=Dictionary of National Biography|location=Oxford|publisher= Oxford University Press|volume=16|pages=201–202.] Contemporaries described him as being addicted to both gossip and alcohol.
Ealy in his career, around 1597, Pory became an associate and protégé of the geographer and author
Richard Hakluyt; Hakluyt later termed Pory his "very honest, industrious, and learned friend." Pory was also a friend of Sir Robert Cotton, William Camden, Sir Dudley Carleton, and other members their circles. It was at Hakluyt's urging that Pory engaged in his first literary effort, a translation of a geographic work by Leo Africanusthat was published as "A Geographical Historie of Africa" (1600). [cite book|last=Leo|first=Joannes, Africanus|authorlink=Leo Africanus|coauthors=John Pory (trans. & comp.)|title=A Geographical Historie of Africa, Written in Arabicke and Italian. ... Before which... is Prefixed a Generall Description of Africa, and... a Particular Treatise of All the... Lands... Undescribed by J. Leo... Translated and Collected by J. Pory|location=London|publisher=George Bishop|year=1600 Reprinted as cite book|last=Leo|first=Johannes, Africanus|authorlink=Leo Africanus|coauthors=Robert Brown (ed.)|title=The History and Description of Africa, and of the Notable Things therein Contained / Done into English in the Year 1600, by John Pory; and now Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Dr Robert Brown (Works Issued by the Hakluyt Society; no. 92)|location=London|publisher=Printed for the Hakluyt Society|year=1896 3 vols.] Pory also produced significant documents about the Jamestown colony in Virginia [cite book|last=Tyler|first=Lyon Gardiner|title=Narratives of Early Virginia, 1606–1625|location=New York, N.Y.|publisher= Charles Scribner's Sons|year=1907|pages=279–287, 351–355] and the Plymouth Colonyin Massachusetts.
In London from the early 1620s on, Pory was associated with
Nathaniel Butterin his efforts to create news periodicals for the English public. [citation|last=Baron|first=Sabrina A.|chapter=The Guises of Dissemination in Early Seventeenth-Century England : News in Manuscript and Print|editor-last=Dooley|editor-first=Brendan|editor2-last=Baron|editor2-first=Sabrina|title=The Politics of Information in Early Modern Europe|location=London|publisher= Routledge|year=2001|pages=41–56|isbn=0415203104.] Headquartered at Butter's shop at the sign of the Pied Bull, Pory was a "correspondent" in the literal sense, who maintained exchanges of letters with the wide variety of prominent people he had met and cultivated in his earlier public career. Other similarly-situated men of his generation, like John Chamberlain, played comparable roles in such correspondences and exchanges of news; Pory was atypical and perhaps unique in that he channelled his knowledge and contacts into commercial news ventures, Butter's early newspapers. Pory also ran his own manuscript news service, charging patrons for regular news reports; Viscount Scudamore paid Pory £20 for an annual subscription of weekly bulletins for the year 1632. [cite book|last=Raymond|first=Joad (ed.)|title=News, Newspapers, and Society in Early Modern Britain|location=London|publisher=Frank Cass Publishers|year=1999|id=ISBN 0714649449 (hbk.)|isbn=0714680036 (pbk.)|page=41]
In some respects, Pory was the first to do what many modern public figures do, moving among official posts, journalism, and positions in the private sector.
Influences and connections
Modern scholars who have studied Pory's published works and his correspondence have unearthed a range of linkages with important figures of his era, like
John Donne[cite book|last=Bald|first=R. C. (Robert Cecil)|coauthors=completed & ed. by W. (Wesley) Milgate|title=John Donne : A Life|location=Oxford|publisher=Clarendon Press|year=1970|isbn=0198116845] and John Milton. [cite book|last=Durham|first=Charles W.|coauthors=Kristin A. Pruitt (eds.)|title=All in All : Unity, Diversity, and the Miltonic Perspective|location=Selinsgrove, Pa.|publisher=Susquenhanna University Press|year=1999|isbn=1575910160|page=218] Shakespeare may have borrowed from Pory's book on Africa for his " Othello"; [citation|last=Whitney|first=L.|contribution=Did Shakespeare Know Leo Africanus?|title=Papers of the Modern Language Association|volume=37|year=1922|pages=470–488. For the text apparently relied on by Shakespeare from Pory's book, see cite web|last=Mabillard|first=Amanda|title=Sources for "Othello"|url=http://www.shakespeare-online.com/sources/othellosources.html|publisher=Shakespeare Online|date= 2000-03-19|accessdate=2007-10-12] Ben Jonsonused it for " The Masque of Blackness". Pory's extant correspondence provides researchers with a wealth of detail about London and Court society in the period. He describes, among other things, the last hours of Sir Walter Raleigh, and brawls between nobles at the Blackfriars Theatre.
* Reprinted as cite book|last=Pory|first=John|coauthors=Emmanuel Altham & Isaack de Rasières|title=Three Visitors to Early Plymouth : Letters about the Pilgrim Settlement in New England during its First Seven Years|location=Bedford, Mass.|publisher=Applewood Books|year=1997|isbn=1557094632 (pbk.)
* [http://www.lib.umich.edu/tcp/eebo/Featured/Africanus.html Information on John Pory's edition of Leo Africanus's "A Geographical Historie of Africa" (1600) from Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership]
* [http://www.americanjourneys.org/aj-081/summary/index.asp Letter from John Pory to Sir Dudley Carleton, English ambassador to the Netherlands (1619), published in the "Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society", 4th ser., IX (1871), from American Journeys]
* [http://www.mayflowerhistory.com/PrimarySources/JohnPoryLetters.pdf Text of letters from John Pory to the Treasurer of the Virginia Company of London (January 1622/1623) and to the Governor of Virginia (autumn 1622), from MayflowerHistory.com]
* [http://books.google.com/books?id=_0cNAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA237&dq=John+Pory#PPA237,M1 Letter from John Pory to Joseph Mead upon the first removal of the Queen's French attendants (5 July 1626), from H. E. (Henry Ellis) (1824). "Original Letters, Illustrative of English History; including Numerous Royal Letters from Autographs in the British Museum, and One or Two Other Collections". London: Harding, Triphook and Lepard, vol. 3, 237–244. 3 vols. Reproduced at Google Books]
NAME = Pory, John
ALTERNATIVE NAMES =
SHORT DESCRIPTION = English government administrator, traveller and
DATE OF BIRTH = 1572
PLACE OF BIRTH =
DATE OF DEATH = 1636
PLACE OF DEATH =
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