Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Otway, Thomas (1651-85), an English tragedian, was born in Sussex, where his father was Rector of Woolbeding. He was educated at Winchester and Oxford, and came to London to try his fortune as an actor. Here he met with failure, and turned his attention to play-writing. In 1675 appeared Alcibiades, and in 1676 his Don Carlos proved a success. The Earl of Plymouth, son of Charles II., patronised him, and obtained him a commission as cornet. He went to Flanders, but soon returned to poverty in England, and again wrote for the stage. Besides adapting from Racine and Moliere, he produced in 1680 The Orphan and in 1682 Venice Preserved, these being the pieces on which his reputation chiefly rests. He also wrote comedies, which share the coarseness and libertinism of the age. His writing is forcible and sympathetic. He died in poverty.