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Hakluyt, Richardlocked

(1552–23 November 1616)
  • Arthur F. Kinney

Extract

Hakluyt, Richard (1552–23 November 1616), British geographer and anthologist of travel literature, was born in London, the son of a merchant father, orphaned at five, and reared by his uncle (the names of his parents and uncle are not known). He was descended from the Welsh Hakluyts of Herefordshire, whose family seat was Eaton, near Leominster. Richard was a queen’s scholar at Westminster school; during that period he visited his namesake, a cousin twenty years his elder, at Middle Temple, where he was introduced to “certeine bookes of Cosmographie, with an universall Mappe” and the Bible, and felt an immediate passion for “that knowledge and kinde of literature.” He entered Christ Church, Oxford, in 1570 and after earning his M.A. in 1577 began to give there the first public lectures in England on geography, lectures that “shewed both the old imperfectly composed, and the new lately reformed Mappes, Globes, Spheares and other instruments of this Art.” He also began a lifetime of voracious reading of “whatsoever printed or written discoveries and voyages I found extant either in the Greeke, Latine, Italian, Spanish, Portugall, French, or English languages.”...

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