James Shirley, an English dramatist, born in London about 1594, died Oct. 29, 1666. He graduated at Catharine hall, Cambridge, took orders, and was appointed to a living in Hertfordshire, which he soon resigned, having become a Roman Catholic. After teaching a few years in the grammar school of St. Albans, he settled about 1625 in London as a writer for the stage. He had produced 33 plays when parliament in 1642 prohibited theatrical performances. He fought in the civil wars under the earl of Newcastle, and afterward resumed teaching. The great fire of London drove him and his wife into the suburbs, where from exposure they died on the same day and were buried in the same grave. He published five grammatical treatises, assisted in the composition of several plays published by his patron Newcastle, and wrote the notes for Ogilby's translations of Virgil and Homer. His "Traitor," partly recast by Sheil, was produced at Covent Garden theatre in 1819, under the title of "Evadne, or the Statue." The only collection of his works is that of Gifford and Dyce (6 vols. 8vo, London, 1833).