1815 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Robert Herrick

Philip Bliss, Athenae Oxonienses (1815) 3:251-52.



Wood has enrolled Heyrick among our Oxford writers without his usual accuracy, as that poet was in no way, that I can find, connected with this university. There was, it is true, a Robert Heyrick, the son of a knight, and born in London, matriculated of St. John's college, in his 17th year, October 13, 1615, but no such name occurs at All Souls, where a "Roger" Heyrick "in artibus baccalaureus, de comitatu Middlesexiae et dioces. London. consanguineus fundatoris," was admitted fellow in 1628.

Heyrick on the contrary was a Cambridge man. He entered about the year 1615 at St. John's coll. in that university, as a fellow commoner, and removed in about three years to Trinity hall, where he studied the law. But being patronized by the earl of Exeter, he quitted this profession for the church, and in 1629 (Oct. 1.) was presented by king Charles I. to the vicarage of Dean-Prior, in Devonshire, then vacant by the promotion of Dr. B. Potter to the see of Carlisle. During the reign of Cromwell he was, of course, deprived of his benefice, but it was restored to him on the return of Charles II. When or where he died is uncertain.

Heyrick's Hesperides is a vol. of equal rarity and merit. Several of his poems have been revived in modern collections, the best perhaps will be found in Drake's Literary Hours, those which more especially relate to himself and his family in Nichol's Hist. of Leicestershire, where also are several of his letters. About the year 1812 Dr. J. Nott of Bristol printed Select Poems from the Hesperides, with occasional remarks by J. N. (Bristol, printed by J. M. Gutch.) This vol. contains 284 of his poems; and it is only to be regretted that the editor did not extend his collection to double the number. I give one only as a specimen ["To the Virgins to make much of Time"]. The head of Heyrick prefixed to his Hesperides is engraved by W. Marshall, and is very rare. It has been copied on a magnified scale by Schiavonetti for Nott's selections.