The Country Journal or The Craftsman Collection
Creator: The Country Journal or The Craftsman
Title: The Country Journal or The Craftsman Collection
Abstract: The collection contains a four-page excerpt of a political journal, including remarks on the most recent session of Parliament, Lady Eleanor Oglethorpe’s obituary, foreign affairs, elections in specific counties, and ads for recently published works and medicines.
Quantity: 0.5 linear feet
Processed By: Kayla Brantley
This collection contains four pages of an excerpt from a 1732 edition of The Country Journal or The Craftsman, which includes a column of commentary on the most recent session of Parliament. The obituary for Lady Eleanor (Ellen) Oglethorpe is also included, praising her character, involvement in matters of the court, and ability to settle down after the revolution led by her husband.
The Country Journal or The Craftsman was an anti-Walpole political journal established in 1726 by Henty St. John, Viscount of Bolingbroke, and William Pulteney in order to force political leader Walpole to step down from Parliament. Contributors to the journal wrote under the pseudonym “Caleb D’Anvers of Gray’s Inn, Esq.”. There were occasional contributions from “opposition wits” such as Arbuthnot, Swift, and Gay. In 1741, Thomas Cooke took on the role of the editor of The Country Journal, and while the paper continued under the same name, it no longer focused on the same agenda of unseating Walpole, who had been run out of office in 1742. Arthur Murphy took over around 1749 towards the end of the paper’s run, assuming the persona of “Joseph D’Anvers, Esq.”. The change of persona was officially announced in the October 28, 1752, edition of The Craftsman and informed the public of the death of Caleb D’Anvers who desired for his nephew “Joseph” to continue the journal. Murphy transformed the paper from a partisan political work into a forum for discussion of manners and literature. What had started out as an esteemed political paper and had dwindled over time into a common country journal was brought back to fame by Murphy who transformed it into an amusing and instructive publication that included criticism of theatrical affairs and satirical observations about contemporary topics. Murphy also changed the name of the journal to The Gray’s-Inn Journal and change the periodical’s editorial persona to “Charles Ranger, Esq.”, continuing the connection to the original “Caleb D’Anvers of Gray’s Inn.”
The obituary of Lady Eleanor Oglethorpe, mother of General and Founder of the Colony of Georgia James Edward Oglethorpe, is included in this issue of The Craftsman. Lady Eleanor was born in 1662 to Richard Wall (Du-Vall) of Rathkenny. She served at the court of Queen Anne where she enjoyed great influence, especially regarding potential suitors. Lady Eleanor moved into Anne’s palace and met Theophilus Oglethorpe, a young military leader who also lived in the palace. A romance developed, and the two were married in 1680. Both were loyal to King James II, and on the night that James left England he entrusted Lady Eleanor with his royal seal and asked her to deliver it to the Archbishop of Canterbury. When the Archbishop refused to accept the seal Lady Eleanor travelled to France to return the seal to James. Lady Eleanor’s husband Theophilus led a number of Jacobian causes, but after time he made peace with the monarch and became a highly-esteemed and upstanding citizen. Lady Eleanor remained a Jacobite and even raised her daughters, who lived in France in the pseudo-court of James, to be activists. Lady Eleanor remained a close confidante (maybe even a spy) for James, and she even travelled to Ireland, a hot-bed for Jacobian cause, where she was arrested for possessing traitorous papers detailing plans for usurping Charles II. Lady Eleanor only changed her allegiance when she saw a decline in those loyal to the Jacobian cause and realized that by changing her political alliance she could regain lost power and wealth for her family. She had ten sons and daughters, and outlived her husband by thirty years. She died in 1732, and her youngest son James Edward became the sole proprietor for the family estate. Lady Eleanor died one day before the charter for the Georgia Colony, settled by her son James Edward, was finalized.
Oglethorpe, Eleanor, 1662-1732
The Country Journal or The Craftsman
Please cite The Country Journal or The Craftsman Collection, MF 66, Archives, Philip Weltner Library, Oglethorpe University, Atlanta, Georgia. Permission to publish from this collection must be approved in writing by the Director of the Library, Oglethorpe University.