Harflete, Henry (DNB00)

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HARFLETE, HENRY (fl. 1653), author, eldest son of Henry Harflete of Hills Court, Ash-next-Sandwich, Kent, and Mary, daughter and heiress of George Slaughter of Ash, was born in 1580, and inherited his father's law books in 1608. He married about 1620 Dorcas, daughter of Joshua Pordage of Sandwich, by whom he had six sons and four daughters. In 1630 he was admitted a member of Gray's Inn (Harleian MS. 1912, pp. 38, 113), and would seem to have spent his life in literary and scientific studies. He published 'The Hunting of the Fox, or, Flattery Displayed . . . by H. H. Grayens,' 1632, sm. 8vo; dedicated to Sir Christopher Harflete (Cat. of Huth Library, ii. 651, and Arber, Transcript of the Stationers' Registers, iv. 236). The British Museum Library contains what is probably an unauthorised reprint of this work in 12mo, with the date 1657, and the words ' written by T. F.' on the title-page. Harflete is best known by his next publication 'Vox Coelorum. Predictions defended, or the Voice of the Celestiall Light, wherein is proved Five things . . . With a vindication of M. William Lilly, his reputation against the Epirrhesian Antagonists, in these times of New Lights, by Henry Harflete, practitioner in the mathematickes,' London, n.d. The date of 1645 written in the British Museum copy of this work is too early, for it contains references (pp. 55, 58) to W. Lilly's 'Anglicus; or an Ephemeris for 1646.' It is dedicated to John Boys of Gray's Inn, M.P., and contains an epistle 'to all Astronomers, Astrologers, to all reall Masters of Arts, and to all true lovers of the Arts and Sciences,' signed 'a well-wisher to the Mathematicks, Henry Harflete.' Harflete finally published ' A Banquet of Essayes, Fetcht out of Famous Owens Confectionary, Disht out, and serv'd up at the Table of Mecoenas, by Henry Harflete, sometime of Grayes-Inne, gent,' London, 1653, 12mo. This consists of seven essays on one of Owen's epigrams, in which occur frequent translations in verse from Horace, Owen, &c. It is dedicated to my 'Friend and Kindsman, Sir Christopher Harflete.'

[Brit. Mus. Cat.; J. E. Planche (A Corner of Kent, 1864, p. 349) traces the Harflete family, and discusses the identity of the author of Vox Cœlorum.]

R. B.