John Hacket 1592-1670

From Book Owners Online

John HACKET 1592-1670

Biographical Note

Born in London, son of Andrew Hacket, a prosperous tailor. BA Trinity College, Cambridge 1613; fellow, 1614; MA 1616; BD 1623; DD 1628. Rector of Stoke Hammond, Buckinghamshire 1618, Vicar of Trumpington, Cambridgeshire 1620, Rector of St Andrew, Holborn 1624, Rector of West Cheam, Surrey 1624, Archdeacon of Bedford 1631. Prebendary of Lincoln 1623, of St Paul’s 1642, President of Sion College 1633. Chaplain to John Williams, 1623, to whom he owed much patronage; chaplain to James I and Charles I. Although he was ejected from his Holborn rectory in 1643, his essentially Calvinist sympathies meant that he could conform sufficiently to the new regime to be appointed a member of the Westminster Assembly of Divines in 1644. He remained in England during the Interregnum, living in Cheam. Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, 1661, where he became much involved in restoring the Cathedral after the considerable damage of the Civil War. author of Scrinia reserata, a biography of Williams, first published in 1693; his sermons were published posthumously, edited by Thomas Plume, in 1675.


Hacket accumulated books throughout his life; he bequeathed his entire collection to Cambridge University Library, on the condition that any not needed should be sold, with the proceeds used to buy other books. 872 books were recorded as accessioned, with the duplicates sold for £180. Some of his books remained with his family (presumably given to them before his death); some remained with descendants until sold at auction in 1886. Hacket also gave £100 to Trinity College Library and £50 to St John’s College Library (both in Cambridge). The books in Cambridge are strong in theological subjects, but also include some history, literature, classics and geography. Examples outside Cambridge: British Library 3834.e.23166.f.22; All Souls, Oxford SR.37.b.3; Sotheby’s 14.2.1977/144; a list of the Cambridge books is in the Donors’ Book (ms Oo.7.52).

Characteristic Markings

Hacket usually inscribed his titlepages “J. Hacket”, “Jo. Hacket” or “Johannes Hacket”. The bindings are generally straightforward plain contemporary sheep or calf. An engraved gift plate with Hacket’s portrait was made and inserted in the books given to Cambridge (reproduced in Oates, p.406). The books bought for Trinity and St John’s were decorated with an armorial stamp of Hacket’s episcopal arms.