Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Hayman, Robert

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HAYMAN, ROBERT (d. 1631?), epigrammatist, of Devonshire, was perhaps a kinsman of Nicholas Hayman, M.P. for Totnes 1586–7 and for Dartmouth 1593. On 15 Oct. 1590, aged 11, he matriculated at Exeter College, Oxford, but soon left to study municipal law at Lincoln's Inn; he proceeded B.A. 8 July 1596, when, he says, he was going abroad (Oxf. Univ. Reg.) His poetical talents brought him reputation. On 21 May 1604 he married, at St. Petrock's, Exeter, Grace, daughter of Thomas Spicer. Between 1620 and 1627 he was appointed ‘governor of the plantation of Harbor-Grace in Bristol-hope in Britaniola, anciently called Newfoundland.’ An appeal made by him before Aug. 1628 for royal support is in Brit. Mus. MS. Egerton 2541. On 17 Nov. 1628 he made his will in England, and gave directions to be buried in the country where he should die. He was then setting out to settle a plantation in Guiana. On 24 Jan. 1632 there was issued out of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury to one of Hayman's creditors a commission ‘to administer the goods, debts, chattels, &c. of the said Robert Hayman lately deceased. So I suppose he died beyond the seas that year, aged 49 or thereabouts’ (Wood, Athenæ, ii. 545–6). His works are: 1. ‘Quodlibets lately come over from New Britaniola, anciently called Newfoundland, Epigrams, and other small parcels, both moral and divine,’ in four books. 2. ‘Several sententious Epigrams and witty Sayings out of sundry Authors both Ancient and Modern (especially many of the Epigrams of John Owen).’ 3. ‘The Two railing Epistles of the witty Doctor Francis Rablais,’ translated from the French. These three works were published in one volume, London, 1628, 8vo.

[Wood's Athenæ, ii. 545–6; Notes and Queries, 10th ser. x. 23–4 (by Prof. Moore-Smith).]

T. E. J.