HAKLUYT, Richard

Richard Hakluyt was an English author and geographer who compiled and wrote The Principal Navigations, Voyages, and Discoveries of the English Na­tion, which contains most of what we know about early English voyages to North America. Born in London, Hakluyt was the second child of Margery and Richard Hakluyt. He was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford, and took his master of arts degree in 1577. His interest in geography and travel was sparked when, as a young student, he visited his cousin (another Richard Hakluyt), who was a lawyer in the Middle Temple. The elder Hakluyt had connections among merchants, geographers, and explorers, as well as books with maps and travel tales, which caught the young Hakluyt s imagination. After taking his master of arts, he began reading every voyage narrative he could acquire and developed his linguistic skills so that he could read Greek, Latin, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and French narratives as well as those in English. Hakluyt was ordained in 1580, and though he was always conscientious in his religious duties, his passion continued to be geography and travel.
In 1582 he published the Divers Voyages Touching the Discoverie ofAmerica, a collection of documents in support of the priority of England s claim to Amer­ica, including suggestions to Englishmen who might want to further such claims. Hakluyt spent the years 1583-88 between Paris and London, consulting with sea captains, merchants, sailors, and exiles who had been to America and reading their manuscript accounts. Accusations abroad of English laziness toward col­onization combined with an impressive European competition in acquiring knowledge of the New World led Hakluyt to beg for the establishment of a lectureship in navigation in London. His Discourse on Western Planting, a secret memorandum finished in 1584 but not published until 1877, was written at Sir Walter Raleigh s* request and was given to the queen to support Raleigh s Virginia plans. Before leaving Paris, Hakluyt also edited an edition of Peter Martyr d Anghiera s* De orbe novo (On the New World, 1587) in order to inform his countrymen of the Spanish experiences in the New World.
War broke out with Spain in 1588, and on his return to London, Hakluyt began the Principall Navigations, which appeared in 1589 as a stout folio pro­duced by the queen s printer. In 1590 Hakluyt was appointed rector at Weth-eringsett, Suffolk, and he married Duglesse Cavendish (a relative of Thomas Cavendish, the circumnavigator), who bore him his only child, Edmond, in 1593 and died four years later. The greatly enlarged second edition of the Principall Navigations appeared in three volumes between 1598 and 1600. After being granted the prebend at Westminster, Hakluyt began consulting for the East India Company and other colonial interests. He married Frances Smithe in 1604, be­came a rector of Gedney, Lincolnshire, in 1612, and died in London the same year as William Shakespeare,* in 1616.
Hakluyt's influence on Elizabethan colonial efforts and on the much later nineteenth-century imperial agenda of England cannot be overstated. His asso­ciations with figures such as Sir Humphrey Gilbert and Martin Frobisher (seekers of a passage to the east), Abraham Ortelius and Gerardus Mercator* (famous mapmakers), and Lord Burghley, Sir Francis Walsingham, and Sir Rob­ert Cecil (powerful political figures in England), as well as the influence of his Principall Navigations, make Hakluyt the most important English promoter of geographical knowledge of his time.
G. Parks, Richard Hakluyt and the English Voyages, 1928.
D. Quinn, ed., The Hakluyt Handbook, 2 vols., 1974.
Richard J. Ring

Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary. . 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hakluyt, Richard — born с 1552, London, Eng.? died Nov. 23, 1616, England British geographer. A clergyman, he gave public lectures and became the first professor of modern geography at the University of Oxford. He became acquainted with the most important sea… …   Universalium

  • Hakluyt,Richard — Hak·luyt (hăkʹlo͞ot ), Richard. 1552? 1616. English geographer who published collected accounts of English exploratory voyages in Principal Navigations, Voyages, and Discoveries of the English Nation (1589). * * * …   Universalium

  • Hakluyt, Richard — ( 1552, ¿Londres, Inglaterra?–23 nov. 1616, Inglaterra). Geógrafo británico. Sacerdote, dio conferencias públicas y se convirtió en el primer profesor de geografía moderna en la Universidad de Oxford. Llegó a conocer a los más importantes… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • HAKLUYT, RICHARD —    English author; was educated at Oxford, and became chaplain to the English embassy in Paris; wrote on historical subjects; his principal work, published in 1589, Principal Navigations, Voyages, and Discoveries of the English Nation by Land and …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Hakluyt, Richard —  (c. 1553–1616) English geographer; pronounced [hak loot] …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Hakluyt, Richard — (1553? 1616)    Collector of voyages, belonged to a good Herefordshire family of Dutch descent, was b. either at Eyton in that county or in London, and ed. at Westminster School and Oxf. The sight of a map of the world fired his imagination and… …   Short biographical dictionary of English literature

  • Richard Hakluyt — Hakluyt sur un vitrail du parement ouest du transept sud de la cathédrale de Bristol (1905) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Richard Hakluyt — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Richard Hakluyt representado en la vidriera de la catedral de Bristol. Richard Hakluyt (1552 Londres, 23 de noviembre de 1616) fue un escritor, traductor e hist …   Wikipedia Español

  • HAKLUYT (R.) — HAKLUYT RICHARD (1553 1616) Élevé à Oxford, entré dans les ordres, archidoyen de Westminster en 1603, Richard Hakluyt est surtout connu comme le héraut enthousiaste de l’évangile du «grand large» au temps d’Élisabeth. Avide de connaissances… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Richard Hakluyt — Infobox Writer name = Richard Hakluyt imagesize = caption = Hakluyt depicted in stained glass in the West Window of the South Transept of Bristol Cathedral – Charles Eamer Kempe, c. 1905. pseudonym = birthdate = c. 1552 or 1553 birthplace =… …   Wikipedia

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