Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Harvey, Henry (d.1585)
HARVEY or HERVEY, HENRY, LL.D. (d. 1585), master of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, was son of Robert Harvey of Stradbroke, Suffolk, and Joan, his wife. He was educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he took the degree of LL.B. in 1538, and of LL.D. in 1542. On 27 Jan. 1549–1550 he was admitted an advocate at Doctors' Commons. He gained much reputation as an ecclesiastical lawyer, and was appointed vicar-general of his diocese by Ridley, bishop of London, and subsequently vicar-general of the province of Canterbury. His principles were pliable in matters of religion, and he found little difficulty in retaining his preferments by adapting himself to each successive change as it occurred. He was archdeacon of Middlesex from 9 April 1551 till 28 April 1554, when he was made precentor of St. Paul's by Bonner. He had previously received (12 March 1553–4) the sinecure rectory of Littlebury, Essex, from Bishop Goodrich of Ely. As vicar-general of the province of Canterbury he took part in the proceedings against the married clergy at the beginning of Queen Mary's reign, but was removed from his office by Cardinal Pole in 1555. He became a leading figure in the university of Cambridge, and in 1556 he was appointed one of the commissioners for the detection of heretical books and the suppression of heresy within the county and town. When the university was officially visited in 1556–7 by Cardinal Pole's delegates, Harvey took a very conspicuous part in the proceedings. On the opening of the visitation in King's College chapel on 11 Jan. 1556–7 he exhibited their letters of authority in the cardinal's name to the commissioners with a short Latin speech, and on the 15th he produced a new commission ‘de hæreticis puniendis.’ On the 23rd he was ordered to bring to the visitors the copy of the university statutes which he had been previously commissioned by the senate to revise, together with the composition for the election of proctors. He was one of the four doctors who carried the canopy over the sacrament in the great procession of 8 Feb. On 18 May he began to lecture on canon law in the presence of the visitors. His services were rewarded by the prebend of Oxton prima pars in Southwell minster on 7 Sept. 1558, and that of Torleton in Salisbury Cathedral, to which he was appointed by Queen Mary sede vacante, but he did not enter upon it till 23 Oct. 1559. From 26 May 1559 till the January following he held the stall of Curborough in Lichfield Cathedral.
The accession of Elizabeth found Harvey equally compliant. He became master of Trinity Hall on the deprivation of Dr. Mowse (Strype, Cranmer, p. 575). In June 1559 he was one of the commissioners for visiting the cathedrals and dioceses of the northern province, then a stronghold of the old faith. He was deputed also to visit the cathedral of Ely, and was appointed vicar-general of that diocese. In 1560 he served as vice-chancellor of his university, on 25 June 1567 was appointed to a canonry at Ely, and in 1568 became a master in chancery. In 1570 he again took a leading part with Whitgift, Perne, and others in the reformation of the statutes of the university, in the opposite sense to the former review. In the same year, when the puritan dissensions in the university were at their height, he joined the heads of colleges in appealing to Cecil, as chancellor of the university, against the encouragement of ‘authors of strange opinions,’ and took part subsequently in the proceedings instituted against Cartwright, their leader (Strype, Annals, ii. ii. 378, Whitgift, iii. 18). For this he and his associates were denounced by Edward Dering [q. v.], in a letter to Cecil, as ‘either enemies of God's gospel or faint professors,’ Harvey especially being charged with having ‘scarce chosen one protestant to be fellow these twelve years’ (Strype, Parker, ii. 175, iii. 221). When, in 1572, Whitgift, wearied out by the religious controversies at the university, was contemplating quitting Cambridge, Harvey was one of the heads who urged Cecil to use his influence to induce him to remain (Strype, Whitgift, i. 51). In 1575 he was one of those appointed by the visitor, Bishop Cox, to frame new statutes and to settle religious disputes in St. John's College (Strype, Annals, ii. i. 558, Whitgift, i. 142). The previous year, on 27 Nov. 1574, he was named by the privy council a commissioner to examine into the points at issue between the town and the university. He died 20 Feb. 1584–5.
Harvey was a generous benefactor both to the College of Advocates in Doctors' Commons and to Trinity Hall, where he founded two scholarships. His will (proved 14 May 1585) contains interesting details of his benefactions. During his lifetime he was at the cost of constructing a causeway from Cambridge to the village of Quy, for the maintenance of which he left a bequest.
[Cooper's Athenæ Cantabr. i. 505–7, where see fuller references; Strype, l. c.; Meres's Diary ap. Lamb's Documents, pp. 186–235 passim; Le Neve's Fasti; Cole MSS. vi. 104, vii. 203, lvi. 348; Baker MSS. iii. 318.]