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FIRST EDITION OF THE LIFE OF HOOKER,
PUBLISHED IN 1665.
TO THE READER.
I THINK it necessary to inform my reader, that Dr. Gauden (the late 1 Bishop of Worcester) hath also lately wrote and published the life of Master Hooker 2. And though this be not writ by design to oppose what he hath truly written, yet I am put upon a necessity to say, that in it there be many material mistakes 3, and more omissions. I conceive some of his mistakes did proceed from a belief in Master Thomas Fuller, who had too hastily published what he hath since most ingenuously retracted 4. And for the bishop's omissions, I suppose his more weighty business, and * [Dr. Gauden died in 1662. • bury." p. 25.
“ He made no His edition of Hooker, dated that “ will.” ibid.] year, bears marks of great haste.] 4 [Fuller, Worthies of England;
? [By Archbishop Sheldon's de p. 276, ed. 1662. “ Here I must sire, as Gauden states himself in retract two passages in my p. 1, which perhaps made the “ Church History. For whereas Archbishop the more anxious to “ I reported him to die a bachelor, obtain
correct life by “ he had wife and children,” (marg. Walton : see note on p. 3. of this From the mouth of his sister volume.]
“ lately living at Hogsden" (qu. “ A little living called Hoxton?)“near London.”]“though “ Buscomb in the West, to which “ indeed such as were neither to his “ the college of C. C. presented “ comfort when living, nor credit “ him: and afterward, that other, “ when dead. Secondly, his monu“ not much better, in Lincolnshire, “ment was not erected by Sir E. “ called Drayton Beauchamp.” p: Sandys, (a person as probable as
“ He ever lived a single life.” * any man alive for such a per(Fuller C. H. IX. 235, “ living and “ formance,) but by Sir W. Cooper,
dying a single man.”) ibid. now living in the castle of Hart“ He was prebendary of Canter
ford.”] HOOKER, VOL. J.
3 [E. g.
want of time, made him pass over many things without that due examination, which my better leisure, my diligence, and my accidental advantages, have made known unto me.
And now for myself, I can say, I hope, or rather know, there are no material mistakes in what I here present to you that shall become my reader. Little things that I have received by tradition (to which there may be too much and too little faith given) I will not at this distance of time undertake to justify; for though I have used great diligence, and compared relations and circumstances, and probable results and expressions, yet I shall not impose my belief upon my reader; I shall rather leave him at liberty: but if there shall appear any material omission, I desire every lover of truth and the memory of Master Hooker, that it may be made known unto me. And, to incline him to it, I here promise to acknowledge and rectify any such mistake in a second impression", which the printer says he hopes for; and by this means my weak (but faithful) endeavours may become a better monument, and in some degree more worthy the memory of this venerable man.
I confess, that when I consider the great learning and virtue of Master Hooker, and what satisfaction and advantages many eminent scholars and admirers of him have had by his labours, I do not a little wonder, that in sixty years 6 man did undertake to tell posterity of the excellences of his life and learning, and the accidents of both; and sometimes wonder more at myself, that I have been persuaded to it; and, indeed, I do not easily pronounce my own pardon, nor expect that my reader shall, unless my introduction shall prove my apology, to which I refer him.
[Of Walton's care to fulfil this 6 [In round numbers : from his engagement, some instances will be death in 1600, to the publication pointed out in the notes on the en of his Life by Bishop Gauden in suing Life.]
L I F E
MR. RICHARD HOOKER.
I HAVE been persuaded by a friend !, whom I reverence, and ought to obey, to write The Life of RICHARD HOOKER, the happy author of five (if not more) of the eight learned books of The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity. And though I have undertaken it, yet it hath been with some unwillingness, because I foresee that it must prove to me, and especially at this time of my age, a work of much labour to inquire, consider, research, and determine, what is needful to be known concerning him. For I knew him not in his
[Thus explained in the Epistle “ circumstances, and then rectify to the Reader, prefixed to the Lives “ the bishop's mistakes, by giving of Donne, Wotton, Hooker, and “ the world a fuller and a truer Herbert, when first collected in “ account of Mr. Hooker and his 1670) into one volume.
books, than that bishop had done; “ writ these two lives,” (of Dr. “ and, I know I have done so. And, Donne and Sir H. Wotton,) “I ** let me tell the reader, that till lay quiet twenty years, without “ his Grace had laid this injunction
a thought of either troubling upon me, I could not admit a “ myself or others, by any new en thought of any fitness in me to “ gagement in this kind, for I “ undertake it : but, when he had
thought I knew my unfitness. “ twice enjoined me to it, I then “ But, about that time, Dr. Gauden “ declined my own, and trusted his
(then Lord Bishop of Exeter) judgment, and submitted to his
publisht the Life of Mr. Richard commands : concluding, that if I “ Hooker, (so he called it,) with so “ did not, I could not forbear ac
many dangerous mistakes, both cusing myself of disobedience : “ of him and his books, that dis and, indeed, of ingratitude for
coursing of them with his Grace, “his many favours. Thus I be“ Gilbert” (Sheldon] “ that now is came engaged into the third life.” “ Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, N.B. This is quoted from the “ he enjoined me to examine some edition of 1675.]
life, and must therefore not only look back to his death, (now sixty-four years past,) but almost fifty years beyond that, even to his childhood and youth, and gather thence such observations and prognostics, as may at least adorn, if not prove necessary for the completing of what I have undertaken.
This trouble I foresee, and foresee also, that it is impossible to escape censures ; against which I will not hope my wellmeaning and diligence can protect me, (for I consider the age in which I live,) and shall therefore but entreat of my reader a suspension of his censures, till I have made known unto him some reasons, which I myself would now gladly believe do make me in some measure fit for this undertaking : and if these reasons shall not acquit me from all censures, they may at least abate of their severity; and this is all I can probably hope for.
My reasons follow.
About forty years past? (for I am now past the seventy of my age 3) I began a happy affinity with William Cranmer, (now with God,) grand nephew unto the great Archbishop of that name; a family of noted prudence and resolution ; with him and two of his sisters I had an entire and free friendship: one of them was the wife of Dr. Spencer, a bosom-friend, and sometime com-pupil with Mr. Hooker in Corpus Christi col
? (Is. Walton was born Aug. 9, Walton says that George Cranmer's 1593. The marriage referred to by sister was his (Walton's) aunt. the word “affinity must be dated This passage shews that he means his therefore about 1623. “ From one aunt by marriage : and we may con
or two entries in the parish regis- clude that his first wife was Rachel, “ ter of St. Dunstan, Fleet-street, daughter of William Cranmer, one “ there is reason to believe that
of the younger sons of Thomas, son “ Walton was twice married :" (the of Edmund, who was brother to the second marriage connecting him, Archbishop, and_archdeacon of as is well known, with Bishop Canterbury. Dr. Zouch, apparently Ken :) “ of his first wife nothing is on the strength of the passage in “ now known, but that her Christian the Appendix alone, states (vol. II. “ name was Rachel.
p. 314) that
“ Isaac Walton's Aug. 25, 1640, Rachell wife is mother was the daughter of Ed“ of Isaak Walton was buried.'” “ mund Cranmer:" which is evi
“ By her he had two sons. dently inconsistent with the manner “ Henry baptized October 12, 1632, of speaking in the text.] “ and buried October 17, following: 3 [“ I have almost attained the “Another Henry baptized March declining year of fifty of mine
21, 1634, buried Dec. 4, follow age.” Robert Beal ap. Strype, “ ing." Dr. Bliss's note in Athen. A. IV. 116.] Oxon. I. 690. In the Appendix,