1769 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. George Hakewill

James Granger, in Biographical History of England (1769; 1824) 2:349-50.



George Hakewill was the son of John Hakewill, of the city of Exeter, merchant, and was born in the parish of St. Mary Arches, in that city, in the year 1579, where, having received a grammatical education, he became a commoner of St. Alban's Hall, in the beginning of the year 1595, and was so noted a disputant and orator, that he was unanimously elected fellow of Exeter College at two years standing. Afterward he proceeded in arts, applied himself to deep researches in philosophy and divinity, entered into holy orders, travelled beyond the seas, and at his return, became as noted for his preaching and disputes, as before he was for philosophy. In 1610 he was admitted to the reading of the sentences, and the next year proceeded in divinity. He was the first chaplain that attended Prince Charles, by whose kindness, it is probable, he became archdeacon of Surrey, 1616. He might have attained to higher emoluments and dignities in the church, had he not impeded his own progress by the zealous opposition he made to the match with the infanta of Spain and the prince his master. Wood relates the story thus: "After he had with some pains written a small tract against that match, not without some reflections on the Spaniard, which could not be pleasing to the king, he caused it to be fairly transcribed by another hand. Which done, he unknown to the king presented it to the prince. The prince, after he had perused it, shewed it to the king, who being offended at it, commanded Thomas Murray the prince's tutor and secretary, the author Hakewill, William his brother, and all others to be committed to custody in Aug. 1621, whence being soon after released, our author Hakewill was dismissed from his attendance on the prince. So that though his learning was accounted by the generality polite, his philosophy subtile, and divinity profound, yet in this particular he was esteemed very rash and imprudent."

Upon the promotion of Dr. Prideaux to the bishopric of Worcester, Dr. Hakewill was elected rector of Exeter College, on which he had bestowed considerable benefactions; but he did not much reside there. On the breaking out of the civil war, he retired to his rectory of Heanton, near Barnstable, in Devon, where he continued to the time of his death, in April, 1649, and was buried in the chancel of the church there.