Hakewill, George (DNB00)
|←Hake, Edward||Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 24
HAKEWILL, GEORGE (1578–1649), divine, was third son of John Hakewill, merchant, of Exeter, who married Thomazin, daughter of John Peryam; he was therefore a younger brother of William Hakewill [q. v.] George was born in the parish of St. Mary Arches, Exeter, was baptised in its church on 25 Jan. 1577–8, and was trained for the university in the grammar school. Sir John Peryam, who built the common room staircase next the hall of Exeter College, Oxford, was his uncle, and Sir Thomas Bodley was a near kinsman. Hakewill, as their relative and a Devonian, went to Oxford, matriculating as commoner of St. Alban Hall on 15 May 1595. In the following year (30 June) he was elected to a fellowship at Exeter College, on account, says Wood, of his skill as a disputant and orator. He graduated B.A. on 6 July 1599; M.A. 29 April 1602; B.D. 27 March 1610 (for which he was allowed to count eight terms spent abroad); and D.D. 2 July 1611. He resigned his fellowship on 30 June 1611. After taking his bachelor's degree he applied himself to the study of philosophy and divinity, and entered holy orders. His reading was very extensive, and to further improve his mind he obtained from his college leave to travel beyond the seas for four years from 1604. He ‘passed one whole winter’ among the Calvinists at Heidelberg (Answer to Dr. Carier, 1616, p. 29). Soon after his return to England he became noted for his talents in preaching and controversy, and in December 1612, when Prince Charles had by his brother's death become heir to the throne, ‘two sober divines, Hackwell and another,’ says one of Carleton's correspondents, ‘are placed with him and ordered never to leave him,’ to protect him from the inroads of popery. This chaplaincy Hakewill retained for many years, and on 7 Feb. 1617 he was collated to the archdeaconry of Surrey. Lack of higher preferment was doubtless due to his anti-sacerdotal views on religion, and his opposition to the projected Spanish marriage of Prince Charles. Hakewill wrote a treatise against the Spanish match while the negotiations were in progress, and presented his composition to the prince without the king's knowledge. Weldon, who did not love the Stuarts, says that the author, in handing his tract to the prince, added, ‘If you show it to your father I shall be undone for my good will.’ Charles promised to keep the secret, but obtained from Hakewill the information that Archbishop Abbot and Murray, the prince's tutor, had already seen it. Within two hours, continues Weldon, Charles gave the work to the king, and Hakewill, Abbot, and Murray were disgraced and banished from the court. Andrewes, bishop of Winchester (according to the ‘State Papers’), was ordered by James I to answer Hakewill's arguments.
Hakewill's private means must have been considerable, for on 11 March 1623 he laid the foundation-stone of a new chapel at Exeter College, which he built at a cost of 1,200l. It was consecrated on 5 Oct. 1624, ‘the day when Prince Charles returned from beyond the seas;’ and Prideaux, the rector, preached the consecration sermon, and afterwards published it with a dedication to Hakewill, who was lauded for his generosity, though ‘not preferred as many are, and having two sonnes [John and George, says the side-note] of his owne to provide for otherwise.’ To this gift Hakewill added the sum of 30l. in order that a sermon might be preached every year on the anniversary of the consecration-day. Many years later, on 23 Aug. 1642, he was elected to the rectorship of Exeter College, and although he was for some time absent from Oxford through illness, he kept the place until his death, and was not disturbed by the parliamentary visitors to Oxford. On the nomination of Arthur Basset he was presented to the rectory of Heanton Purchardon, near Barnstaple, where he lived quietly during the civil war. Hakewill died at this rectory house on 2 April 1649, and was buried in the chancel on 5 April, a memorial-stone with inscription being placed on his grave. In his last will he desired that his body should be buried in the chapel of Exeter College, or that at least his heart should be placed under the communion-table, near the desk where the bible rested, with the inscription ‘Cor meum ad te Domine.’ These directions were not carried out, but his arms were represented on the roof of the chapel and on the screens, and in the east window was an inscription to his memory; they were destroyed when the present chapel was built. He left the college his portrait, painted ‘to the life in his doctorial formalities.’ It was placed at first in the organ loft at the east end of the aisle, joining the south side of the chapel, and was afterwards removed to the college hall. An engraving of it was published by Harding in 1796. A second portrait, of earlier date, the property of Mr. W. Cotton, F.S.A., of Exeter, is described in the ‘Devonshire Association Transactions,’ xvi. 157. Hakewill married, in June 1615, Mary Ayres, widow, of Barnstaple (Vivian, Marriage Licences, p. 46). She was buried at Barnstaple on 5 May 1618; by her Hakewill had two sons, buried at Exeter college, and a daughter, who married and left descendants.
Hakewill is mentioned by Boswell (Hill's ed. i. 219) as one of the great writers who helped to form Johnson's style. His works are: 1. ‘The Vanitie of the Eie. First beganne for the comfort of a gentlewoman bereaved of her sight and since upon occasion inlarged,’ displaying wide reading. The second edition came out at Oxford by J. Barnes in 1608, and the third in 1615; another impression, erroneously called the second edition, is dated in 1633. 2. ‘Scvtvm regium, id est Adversvs omnes regicidas et regicidarvm patronos. In tres libros diuisus,’ London, 1612; another edition, 1613. 3. ‘The Auncient Ecclesiasticall practice of Confirmation,’ 1613, which was written for the prince's confirmation in Whitehall Chapel on Easter Monday in that year, London, 1613. 4. ‘An Answer to a Treatise written by Dr. Carier,’ London, 1616. Benjamin Carier [q. v.] argued in favour of the church of Rome. 5. ‘King David's Vow for Reformation, delivered in twelve Sermons, before the Prince his Highnesse,’ 1621. 6. ‘A comparison betweene the dayes of Purim and that of the Powder Treason,’ 1626. 7. ‘An Apologie … of the power and providence of God in the government of the world … in foure bookes, by G. H., D.D.,’ 1627, although begun long previously. Another edition, revised, but substantially the same, appeared with his name in full on the title-page in 1630, and the third edition, much enlarged, with an addition of ‘two entire books not formerly published,’ came out in 1635. The author complained that a mangled translation into Latin of the first edition was made by one ‘Johannes Jonstonus, a Polonian;’ was published at Amsterdam, 1632, and was translated back into English in 1657. Hakewill here argued against a prevalent opinion that the world and man were decaying, as set forth by Bishop Godfrey Goodman [q. v.] in his ‘Fall of Man,’ 1616. Goodman replied with ‘Arguments and Animadversions on Dr. G. Hakewill's Apology;’ and the additional matter in the 1635 edition of Hakewill's ‘Apology’ mainly consisted of the arguments and replies of the two controversialists. Manuscript versions of Hakewill's arguments against the bishop, differing in many respects from the printed passages, are in Ashmolean MSS. 1284 and 1510. The ‘Apology’ was selected as a thesis for the philosophical disputation at the Cambridge commencement of 1628, when Milton wrote Latin hexameters, headed ‘Naturam non pati Senium,’ for the respondent to be distributed during the debate. Pepys (3 Feb. 1667) ‘fell to read a little’ in it, ‘and did satisfy myself mighty fair in the truth of the saying that the world do not grow old at all.’ Dugald Stewart praised Hakewill's book as ‘the production of an uncommonly liberal and enlightened mind well stored with various and choice learning.’ 8. ‘A Sermon preached at Barnstaple upon occasion of the late happy success of God's Church in forraine parts. By G. H.,’ 1632. 9. ‘Certaine Treatises of Mr. John Downe [q. v.] ’, 1633, edited by Hakewill, with a funeral sermon on Downe, ‘a neere neighbour and deere friend,’ and a letter from Bishop Hall to Hakewill printed also in Hall's works (ed. 1839). 10. ‘A Short but Cleare Discourse of the Institution, Dignity, and End of the Lord's Day,’ 1641. 11. ‘A Dissertation with Dr. Heylyn touching the pretended Sacrifice in the Eucharist,’ 1641. Heylyn wrote a manuscript reply, and Dr. George Hickes [q. v.] answered it in print in ‘Two Treatises, one of the Christian Priesthood, the other of the Dignity of the Episcopal Order’ (3rd ed. 1711). Hakewill is sometimes said to have been the ‘G. H.’ who translated from the French ‘Anti-Coton, or a refutation of [Pierre] Coton's letter declarative for the apologising of the Jesuites doctrine touching the killing of Kings,’ 1611. He translated into Latin the life of Sir Thomas Bodley, and he wrote a treatise, never printed, ‘rescuing Dr. John Rainolds and other grave divines from the vain assaults of Heylyn touching the history of St. George, pretendedly by him asserted,’ and the views of Hakewill, Reynolds, and others on this matter are referred to in Heylyn's ‘History of St. George of Cappadocia,’ bk. i. chap. iii. A letter from him to Ussher is in Richard Parr's ‘Life and Letters of Ussher,’ 1686, pp. 398–9, and two Latin letters to him are in Ashmol. MS. 1492. Lloyd, in his ‘Memoirs’ (1677 ed.), p. 640, attributes to Hakewill ‘An exact Comment on the 101 Psalm to direct Kings how to govern their courts.’ Fulman (Corpus Christi Coll. Oxf. MSS. cccvii.) absurdly assigns to him ‘Delia, contayning certayne Sonnets. With the complaints of Rosamond,’ 1592, the work of Samuel Daniel [q. v.][Vivian's Visit. of Devon, p. 437; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), iii. 253–7, 558–60; Wood's Fasti, i. 281, 296, 339, 344; Wood's Univ. of Oxford (Gutch), ii. 314; Wood's Colleges and Halls (Gutch), pp. 108, 113, 117, 121; Prince's Worthies, pp. 449–54; Boase's Reg. of Exeter Coll. pp. lxiv, 53, 62, 64, 67, 101, 210; Reg. Univ. Oxf. II. i. 132, 208, ii. 209, iii. 216 (Oxf. Hist. Soc.); Camden's Annals, James I, sub 1621; Halkett and Laing's Anon. Lit. pp. 132, 2334; Burrows's Reg. of Visitors of Oxford Univ. pp. lxxv, lxxxii, 218, 500; Cal. of State Papers, 1603–23; Pepys, ed. Bright, iv. 225; Masson's Milton, i. 171–2; Black's Cat. of Ashmolean MSS. pp. 1044, 1373, 1413.]