Thomas Hayne 1581/2-1645

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Thomas HAYNE 1581/2-1645

Biographical Note

Born in Thrussington, Leicestershire, son of Robert Hayne. BA Lincoln College, Oxford 1605, MA 1612. Second undermaster at Merchant Taylors' School, London 1605-08, and subsequently Upper Grammar Master at Christ Church Hospital School, London. Little is known of his life, beyond this evidence of schoolteaching, and the fact that he was lame; he published various grammatical and theological works, including a Grammatices latinae compendium (1640), a biography of Luther (1641), and a tract supporting predesination (The equall wayes of God, 1632). There is a reference by Nichols to a manuscript source now lost of Hayne being described as "a noted critic and excellent linguist and a solid divine, beloved of learned men and particularly respected of Selden".


In his will, Hayne made a number of specific bequests of books to members of his family. To his nephew Andrew Hayne, preacher, he left "my Montanus interlinear Bible and Junius and Tremellius his Latin Bible, and Doctor Willett's Synopsis, and all my papers, notebooks and written papers, except such as be inserted in my printed books". Another nephew, Richard Hayne, was to receive Foxe's Book of Martyrs in three volumes, while his daughter Anne was left a noble "to buy her a Bible". To the Library of Westminster (i.e. Sion) College he left "Master Hugh Broughton's works in four volumes in quarto, and one small book of the lesser treatise bound in russet leather, and his comment on the Revelation, and his large comment in vellum with many notes written therein". All the rest of his books, together with £4 for the cost of transportation, were left to the Corporation of Leicester, to augment the Town Library which had been founded there at the end of the 16th century, and had been further developed, with a new library room built, in the 1630s. Hayne also made various educational bequests in Leicester and Thrussington, including a stipulation that 20 shillings be spent annually on the purchase of three Bibles, to be given to "three youths or maids of eighteen years old or upwards, and ... able to read well".

The gift to Leicester has been estimated as 600 volumes, significantly transforming the library as it then stood; the books were taken there shortly after his death. Many remain there today as part of the Old Town Library although no work has been done on establishing how many, or which books were Hayne's.

Characteristic Markings

The Codex Leicestrensis – the most famous book from Leicester Old Town Library , which also carries the inscription of William Chark – has Hayne's inscription, faintly, at the top of the first leaf. The 1919 published catalogue of the Library suggests that generally, however, Hayne's books are not marked.