Hacket, John

Hacket, John an English prelate, distinguished for his talents in controversy, was born at London in 1592. He studied at Westminster School, and entered Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1608. He took orders in 1618, and soon after became chaplain of the bishop of Lincoln. At the beginning of the Civil War he was one of the divines chosen to prepare a report on Church reforms, to be presented by a committee of the House of Lords. This plan failed from the opposition of the bishops. Hacket was a zealous partisan of Charles, and his house became the headquarters of the Royalists in his neighborhood. This brought him into trouble, and he was even imprisoned for a short time. After the Restoration he was made bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, and he caused the cathedral of Lichfield, which had been much injured during the war, to be repaired, mostly at his own expense. He died at Lichfield in 1670. Hacket was a Calvinist; yet his writings abound, says Coleridge, "in fantastic rags and lappets of Popish monkery." He wrote also A Sermon preached before the King March 22, 1660: — A Century of Sermons upon several remarkable Subjects (published by Thos. Plume, with a life of the author, 1675, fol.): — The Life of Archbishop Williams (1693, fol.). See Biogr. Britannica; Wood, Athenae Oxonienses, vol. 2; Gentleman's Magazine, vol. 66; Hook, Eccles. Biography, 5, 471; Allibone, Dict. of Authors, 1, 752; Coleridge, Works (New York edition), 5, 123. Hacket, William, an English enthusiast and fanatic of the 16th century. He was at first the servant of a gentleman named Hussey, but married a rich widow, whose fortune he soon spent in dissipation. He next appears at York and in Lincolnshire giving himself out as a prophet, and announcing the downfall of the papacy; that England would suffer from famine, pestilence, and war unless the consistorial discipline were established. He was whipped and driven out of the county, but continued his prophecies elsewhere. According to Bayle, he was a very ready and grandiloquent speaker, so that many among the people thought he had received a special gift of the Holy Ghost. He affected to place great reliance on his prayers, and asserted that if all England were to pray for rain there should fall none if he prayed for dry weather. Edmund Coppinger and Henry Arthington became associated with him, the former under the name of Prophet of Mercy, the latter Prophet of Judgment. They proclaimed Hacket the true king of the world, and next in power to Jesus Christ. On Jan. 16, 1591, he sent his disciples through the streets of London crying that Jesus had arrived, was stopping at a certain hotel in the town, and that this time none should undertake anything against him. They ended with the cry, Repent, England, repent! They were finally arrested and put in prison. Coppinger let himself die of starvation; Arthington published a recantation and was forgiven. As for Hacket, he persisted to the last, and was condemned to death as guilty of impiety and rebellion, and hung in London in July 1591. Even on the scaffold he prayed God for a miracle to confound his enemies. See Henry Fitz-Simon, Britannomachia Ministrorum, lib. 2, cap. 6, p. 202, 206; Camden, Annales, an. 1591, pars 4:p. 618623; Bayle, Dict. hist. et Crit.; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Géneralé, 23, 31.

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