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AN APPENDIX TO THE LIFE OF
MR. RICHARD HOOKER
AND now, having by a long and laborious search satisfied myself, and I hope my Reader, by imparting to him the true relation of Mr. Hooker's life, I am desirous also to acquaint him with some observations that relate to it, and which could not properly fall to be spoken till after his death; of which my Reader may expect a brief and true account in the following Appendix.
And first, it is not to be doubted but that he died in the forty-seventh, if not in the forty-sixth year of his age: which I mention, because many have believed him to be more aged: but I have so examined it, as to be confident I mistake not: and for the year of his death, Mr. Camden, who in his Annals of Queen Elizabeth, 1599, mentions him with a high commendation of his life and learning, declares him to die in the year 1599; and yet in that inscription of his Monument, set up at the charge of Sir William Cowper, in Bourne Church, where Mr. Hooker was buried, his death is there said to be in anno 1603; but doubtless both mistaken; for I have it attested under the hand of William Somner, the Archbishop's Registrar for the Province of Canterbury, that Richard Hooker's Will bears date October 26th in anno 1600, and that it was proved the third of December following.'
1 And the Reader may take notice, that since I first writ this Appendix to the Life of Mr. Hooker, Mr. Fulman, of Corpus Christi College, hath shewed me a good authority for the very day and hour of Mr. Hooker's death, in one of his books of Polity, which had been Archbishop Laud's. In which book, beside many considerable marginal notes of some passages of his time, under the Bishop's own hand, there is also written in the title-page of that book-which now is Mr. Fulman's-this attestation: Ricardus Hooker vir summis doctrinae dotibus ornatus, de Ecclesia praecipue Anglicana optime meritus, obiit Novemb. 2, circiter horam secundam post-meridianum, Anno 1600.
And that at his death he left four daughters, Alice, Cicely, Jane and Margaret; that he gave to each of them an hundred pounds; that he left Joan, his wife, his sole executrix; and that, by his inventory his estate-a great part of it being in books-came to £1,092 9s. 2d., which was much more than he thought himself worth; and which was not got by his care, much less by the good housewifery of his wife, but saved by his trusty servant, Thomas Lane, that was wiser than his master in getting money for him, and more frugal than his mistress in keeping of it. Of which Will of Mr. Hooker's I shall say no more, but that his dear friend Thomas, the father of George Cranmer,-of whom I have spoken, and shall have occasion to say more, was one of the witnesses to it.
One of his elder daughters was married to one Chalinor, sometime a School-master in Chichester, and are both dead long since. Margaret, his youngest daughter, was married unto Ezekiel Charke, Bachelor in Divinity, and Rector of St. Nicholas in Harbledown, near Canterbury, who died about sixteen years past, and had a son Ezekiel, now living, and in Sacred Orders; being at this time Rector of Waldron, in Sussex. She left also a daughter, with both whom I have spoken not many months past, and find her to be a widow in a condition that wants not, but very far from abounding. And these two attested unto me, that Richard Hooker, their grandfather, had a sister, by name Elizabeth Harvey, that lived to the age of 121 years, and died in the month of September, 1663.
For his other two daughters I can learn little certainty, but have heard they both died before they were marriageable. And for his wife, she was so unlike Jephtha's daughter, that she staid not a comely time to bewail her widowhood; nor lived long enough to repent her second marriage; for which, doubtless, she would have found cause, if there had been but four months betwixt Mr. Hooker's and her death. But she is dead, and let her other infirmities be buried with her.
Thus much briefly for his age, the year of his death, his
estate, his wife, and his children. I am next to speak of his books; concerning which I shall have a necessity of being longer, or shall neither do right to myself, or my Reader, which is chiefly intended in this Appendix.
I have declared in his Life, that he proposed Eight Books, and that his first Four were printed anno 1594, and his Fifth book first printed, and alone, anno 1597; and that he lived to finish the remaining Three of the proposed Eight: but whether we have the last Three as finished by himself, is a just and material question; concerning which I do declare, that I have been told almost forty years past, by one that very well knew Mr. Hooker and the affairs of his family, that, about a month after the death of Mr. Hooker, Bishop Whitgift, then Archbishop of Canterbury, sent one of his Chaplains to enquire of Mrs. Hooker, for the three remaining books of Polity, writ by her husband: of which she would not, or could not, give any account: and that about three months after that time the Bishop procured her to be sent for to London, and then by his procurement she was to be examined by some of her Majesty's Council, concerning the disposal of those books: but, by way of preparation for the next day's examination, the Bishop invited her to Lambeth, and after some friendly questions, she confessed to him, that one Mr. Charke, and another Minister that dwelt near Canterbury, came to her, and desired that they might go into her husband's study, and look upon some of his writings and that there they two burnt and tore many of them, assuring her, that they were writings not fit to be seen and that she knew nothing more concerning them. Her lodging was then in King Street in Westminster, where she was found next morning dead in her bed, and her new husband suspected and questioned for it; but he was declared innocent of her death.
And I declare also, that Dr. John Spencer,-mentioned in the Life of Mr. Hooker,-who was of Mr. Hooker's College, and of his time there, and betwixt whom there was so friendly a friendship, that they continually advised together in all their studies, and particularly in what con
cerned these books of Polity-this Dr. Spencer, the Three perfect books being lost, had delivered into his hands-I think by Bishop Whitgift-the imperfect books, or first rough draughts of them, to be made as perfect as they might be by him, who both knew Mr. Hooker's handwriting, and was best acquainted with his intentions. And a fair testimony of this may appear by an Epistle, first, and usually printed before Mr. Hooker's Five books,but omitted, I know not why, in the last impression of the Eight printed together in anno 1662, in which the Publishers seem to impose the three doubtful books, to be the undoubted books of Mr. Hooker, with these two letters, J. S. at the end of the said Epistle, which was meant for this John Spencer: in which Epistle the Reader may find these words, which may give some authority to what I have here written of his last Three books.
' And though Mr. Hooker hastened his own death by hastening to give life to his books, yet he held out with his eyes to behold these Benjamins, these sons of his right hand, though to him they proved Benonies, sons of pain and sorrow. But some evil-disposed minds, whether of malice or covetousness, or wicked blind zeal, it is uncertain, as soon as they were born, and their father dead, smothered them, and by conveying the perfect copies, left unto us nothing but the old, imperfect, mangled draughts, dismembered into pieces; no favour, no grace, not the shadow of themselves remaining in them. Had the father lived to behold them thus defaced, he might rightly have named them Benonies, the sons of sorrow: but being the learned will not suffer them to die and be buried, it is intended the world shall see them as they are; the learned will find in them some shadows and resemblances of their father's face. God grant, that as they were with their brethren dedicated to the Church for messengers of peace: so, in the strength of that little breath of life that remaineth in them, they may prosper in their work, and, by satisfying the doubts of such as are willing to learn, they may help to give an end to the calamities of these our civil wars.'-J. S.
And next the Reader may note, that this Epistle of Dr. Spencer's was writ and first printed within four years after the death of Mr. Hooker, in which time all diligent search had been made for the perfect copies; and then granted not recoverable, and therefore endeavoured to be completed out of Mr. Hooker's rough draughts, as is expressed by the said Dr. Spencer in the said Epistle, since whose death it is now fifty years.
And I do profess by the faith of a Christian, that Dr. Spencer's wife-who was my Aunt, and Sister to George Cranmer, of whom I have spoken-told me forty years since, in these, or in words to this purpose: That her husband had made up, or finished Mr. Hooker's last Three books; and that upon her husband's death-bed, or in his last sickness, he gave them into her hand, with a charge that they should not be seen by any man, but be by her delivered into the hands of the then Archbishop of Canterbury, which was Dr. Abbot, or unto Dr. King, then Bishop of London, and that she did as he enjoined her.'
I do conceive, that from Dr. Spencer's, and no other copy, there have been divers transcripts; and I know that these were to be found in several places; as namely, in Sir Thomas Bodley's Library; in that of Dr. Andrews, late Bishop of Winton; in the late Lord Conway's; in the Archbishop of Canterbury's; and in the Bishop of Armagh's; and in many others: and most of these pretended to be the Author's own hand, but much disagreeing, being indeed altered and diminished, as men have thought fittest to make Mr. Hooker's judgment suit with their fancies, or give authority to their corrupt designs; and for proof of a part of this, take these following testimonies.
Dr. Barnard, sometime Chaplain to Dr. Usher, late Lord Archbishop of Armagh, hath declared in a late book, called Clavi Trabales, printed by Richard Hodgkinson, anno 1661, that, in his search and examination of the said Bishop's manuscripts, he found the Three written books which were supposed the Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth