Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Garbrand Harkes

Male Abt 1510 - 1596  (~ 83 years)


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  • Name Garbrand Harkes 
    Born Abt 1510  The Netherlands Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Died Between 1593 and 3 May 1596  [2
    Person ID I19255  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of JTS
    Last Modified 15 Nov 2017 

    Family Elizabeth,   b. The Netherlands Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married Abt 1538  [1
    Children 
    +1. Richard Garbrand alias Harkes,   b. Abt 1550, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 13 Jan 1602, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 52 years)
    Last Modified 15 Nov 2017 
    Family ID F11930  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Also spelled Gerbrand, Herks, Harks, Harcks, etc. His offsping and descendants used "Garbrand" as their surname, although sometimes in wills they called themselves "Garbrand alias Harkes."

      He appears to have been naturalized between 1543 and 1546; in a 1543 subsidy roll, he appears as "Garbrand Harks, alyen", but in a 1546 subsidy roll he is no longer listed among the aliens.

      He later held several important municipal offices. In 1555 he was a member of the Oxford borough council; in 1557 he was "key-keeper"; and in 1557-58 he was chamberlain (treasurer).

      From Wikipedia:

      Harkes was born around 1510 in the Low Countries. He was an early convert to Calvinism and in 1538 fled to Protestant England, where he settled as a bookseller at Bulkeley Hall, since incorporated into Oriel College, Oxford.[2] At the beginning of Edward VI's reign he purchased many libraries from the suppressed monasteries, some of which subsequently entered the Bodleian Library. As early as 1551 he regularly supplied books to Magdalen College. In addition to his bookselling business he also sold stationery, becoming official stationer to the University, and in 1546 was licensed to sell wine as well.

      In 1556 Harkes's house was a meeting place for Protestants who, on account of the Marian persecutions, worshipped in a cellar there.

      From the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography:

      Garbrand Harkes [later Herks Garbrand] (fl. 1539–1590), bookseller, who fled from religious persecution in the Netherlands and settled in Oxford. On 3 April 1539 the state authorities recorded that Harkes and others had eaten meat during the fast of Lent, evidently an expression of religious dissent. During the reign of Edward VI, he bought much literature from suppressed monasteries, and Wood also reports his role in saving 'a cart load of' manuscripts which 'contained the lucubrations...of divers of the learned fellows' of Merton College. These had been removed from the college library by 'certain ignorant and zealous coxcombs', but happily, 'some that were lovers of antiquity, interposing themselves, recovered divers of them from ruin' (A. Wood, The history and antiquities of the University of Oxford ed. J. Gutch, 2 vols. in 3 pts (1792–6)). In 1551, as one of the two leading booksellers in the town, Harkes was reported to have supplied psalters to Magdalen College. The following year he became a freeman of Oxford. Like others in the local book trade, he diversified his business: in 1554 he took an apprentice as a mercer. Another later apprentice was Joseph Barnes (d. 1618), who revived printing in Oxford in the later years of the century.

      In 1556 Harkes's Oxford house 'now or lately called Bulkley Hall in St Mary's parish, was a receptacle for the chiefest of the Protestants, where, for their privacy, they exercised their religion in a large cellar belonging thereto' (Wood, History, 2.132). From 1563 Harkes was the leading supplier of books to the colleges of the university, and in 1566 he was licensed to sell wine. He seems after 1570 to have retired, or at least taken a less prominent role in the business; his son Richard was licensed as an Oxford bookseller in his own right from December 1573 and traded in his father's parish, St Mary's. In 1570 Garbrand Harkes apparently acquired the advowson of the rectory of North Crawley from Sir William Dormer. He was still alive in 1590, when, following the death of his son John Garbrand, the rector, he presented Roger Hackett as successor in the living. After this, nothing is known of him, but the manuscripts from Merton were bought by others and given eventually to the Bodleian Library.

  • Sources 
    1. [S1819] Genealogical Notes on the Founding of New England by Ernest Flagg. Hartford, Connecticut: Case, Lockwood & Brainard, 1926.

    2. [S1820] England & Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1384-1858, on ancestry.com.