1690 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Bp. John Hacket

Anthony Wood, Athenae Oxonienses (1690-91; 1721) 2:1147-49.



Born therefore he was in the Strand near Exeter House, in the Parish of St. Martin in the Fields, within the Liberty of Westminster, on the first day of Sept. 34 Elizab. Dom. 1592. His Father was Andrew Hacket of Putferin in Scotland, a senior Burgess of the City of Westminster, and afterwards of the Robes to Prince Henry, who, being a zealous Protestant, took great care to breed up this his only Son to that Religion. When he was very young therefore, he put him to the College School at Westminster, and his Master Mr. Ireland finding in him a great Propensity to Learning, was very kind to him, as also was Dr. Lanc. Andrews the Dean of the Church there, who, in the necessary Absence of the Master, being accustomed to come into the School, and examine the Boys, took this Youth into his particular Favour, and continued it to him, as long as the Bishop lived. Being made ripe for the University, he was in the Year 1608 (with the pious Mr. George Herbert) elected to go to Trinity Coll. in Camb. by the Favour of Dr. Thom. Nevill Master of that Coll. (who told his Father, when he addressed to him about his Son, that he should go to Cambridge, or else he would carry him upon his Back) and being there entred, he was put under the Tuition of Dr. Edw. Simson, Author of Chronicon ab exordio mundi, &c. Soon after he was so much noted for his painful Studies, sober Life, and great Proficiency in Learning, that he was elected Fellow of that House as soon as he was, by the Rules thereof, fit for the same. Afterwards he grew into that credit, that he he had many Pupils put to his charge, and those of the best Families in England, and then betaking himself to the Study of Divinity, he took holy Orders in 1618, from the Hands of Dr. John King Bishop of London, who had a great affection for him, and expressed the same on divers Occasions; but above all others Dr. John Williams Bishop of Linc. observing his great Learning, and Knowledge in the Tongues, chose him his Chaplain immediately after the Great Seal was committed to his charge, an. 1621. Two Years he spent in that Bishop's Service before his time was come to commence Bach. of Div. and then beg'd Leave to go to Cambridge to keep the Act, an. 1623, which he performed according to Expectation; and then returning to Court to his Master, he prefer'd him to be Chaplain to King James I. before whom he preaching several times to that learned Prince's good liking, he was the next Year, by the Recommendations of his Master, presented to the Church of St. Andrew in Holbourn near London, (then within his Majesty's disposal by reason of the minority of Thomas Earl of Southampton) and suddenly after he was, by the same means, made Parson of Cheame in Surrey, fallen likewise into his Majesty's Gift, by the Promotion of Dr. Rich. Senhouse to the Bishoprick of Carlisle: which two Livings he held till the most execrable Rebellion broke out in 1642, and was constantly Resident upon one of them. In 1628 he commenced Doct. of Div. at Cambridge, where he preached a Sermon highly applauded by the learned Auditory of that time: and returning to Holbourn and his duty there, he became very famous for excellent Preaching, and decent Order in his charge. In 1631 his old Master the Bishop of Lincoln gave him the Archdeaconry of Bedford, void by the Death or Resignation of Nich. Eland, an. 1629. To which charge he usually went once a Year (commonly after Easter) and exhorted the Clergy thereof to keep strictly the Orders of the Church. Afterwards finding his Church of St. Andrew in Holbourn much in decay, he eagerly solicited his great Friends and Acquaintance to contribute to its Re-edification, or at least Repair, and about the Year 1639 he had obtained divers thousands of Pounds for that purpose; but the unparallel'd Rebellion following soon after, the Members of the Long Parliament (mostly a prevalent Party of Presbyterians) did seize on that, and all the Money collected for the Repair of Saint Paul's Cathedral in London, to carry on their Rebellion against their King. In the beginning of the Civil War, he was named one of the Committee, with divers eminent Bishops and Pastors, to consider of what was amiss in the English Liturgy and Church-Government, and to rectify the same, in hopes by that means to expel the Cloud then appearing over the Church; but the Lords and Commons dash'd that good Intent, by passing a Bill for taking away the Government of the Church by Bishops: yet before the passing thereof, the Clergy being allowed Liberty to speak for themselves, they all with one consent made the said Dr. Hacket their Mouth to speak their Sense of the Matter; which being the next Day perform'd with general Applause of all, except those that nothing could please; it did for the present put a stop to that Bill; yet soon after by a new Question it past, without a second hearing of the learned Doctor. Afterwards, being silenced by them at St. Andrew's in Holbourn, he retired to Cheame, where he also used the Liturgy till forbidden by Parliament. Afterwards he suffered by Imprisonment by the Army under Robert Earl of Essex, when they went to fight against their King, and being released, he retired to Cheame, which he kept during the times of Usurpation. After his Majesty's Restoration, the Bishoprick of Gloucester was offer'd to him, but he refusing it, the then Lord-Chancellor made Advantage of it, and cause it to be conferr'd on Dr. Nicholson. Afterwards being made Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, as I have before told you, as also in the Fasti, an. 1616, he repaired to Lichfield in the Spring time, anno 1662, and finding the Cathedral there quite ruined in the time of the most wicked Rebellion, he set himself to the Rebuilding thereof, and finished the same in about eight Years time, making it far more beautiful than it was before, with the Expence of 20000, a thousand of which he had of the Chapter, and the rest was of his charge, and of his procuring from Benefactors. On Christmas Eve in 1660 the said Cathedral was dedicated by him with the usual Ceremonies required in such a Matter, and in feasting three several Parties of Men for three days. he also laid out 1000 in repairing the House of his Residence there, that of his Predecessors having been destroyed in the time of the said Rebellion, and did much to endeavour to settle a pious and laborious Clergy in his Diocese, by his own Example of constant Preaching. This worthy Bishop died on the 28th of October 1670, and was buried in his own Cathedral, where is a very noble and conspicuous Monument over his Grave, erected by his Son Sir Andrew Hacket of Moxhull in Warwickshire, sometime one of the Masters in Chancery. After his death were A Century of Sermons, that had been preached by the said Bishop, published, with his Life written at large, set before them, by Thomas Plume, D. D. of Cambridge, afterwards Archdeacon of Rochester.