Henry Hammond 1605-1660

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Henry HAMMOND 1605-1660

Biographical Note

Born at Chertsey, Surrey, son of John Hammond, royal physician. BA Magdalen College, Oxford 1622, MA 1625, BD 1634, DD 1639; fellow of Magdalen 1626-34, praelector in philosophy 1629. Rector of Penshurst, Kent 1633; archdeacon of Chichester 1642. Appointed a chaplain to Charles I in 1644, he accompanied the King during many of his travels in the mid-1640s. In 1645 he was made University orator and installed to a canonry at Christ Church, Oxford, where in 1647 he was elected Subdean, but expelled in 1648. He spent the Interregnum mostly at Westwood, Worcestershire, in the house of Sir John Packington, where he combined the duties of family chaplain with writing and acting as a leading voice for the values of Anglicanism. At the Restoration he was nominated to become Bishop of Worcester, but died before he could be installed. Hammond wrote and published extensively, and influentially; he wrote numerous tracts during the 1650s defending the Anglican position, as well as a substantial Paraphrase and annotations on … the New Testament (1653). His Practical catechism (1644) became very popular and was much reprinted.


In his will, Hammond specified a number of particular bequests of books “out of my Study”, including a Biblia polyglotta to George Morley and “the Councells and Bibliotheca patrum” to Thomas Peirse, with all the remainder of his books to be given to Richard Allestree. Allestree (q.v.) subsequently left his library to the beneficiary University of Oxford for the use of his successors as regius professors of divinity; ca.140 volumes from Hammond’s gift can be identified there today, but it seems likely that the original bequest was larger than this.