Nielsen Hayden genealogy

John Hooker alias Vowell

Male Abt 1524 - 1601  (~ 77 years)

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  • Name John Hooker alias Vowell  [1
    Born Abt 1524  of Exeter, Devon, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Alternate birth Abt 1527  of Exeter, Devon, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Died Between 26 Jan 1601 and 15 Sep 1601  Exeter, Devon, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 5
    Alternate death 8 Nov 1601  [3
    Buried St. Mary Major, Exeter, Devon, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Siblings 1 sibling 
    Person ID I20347  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of JTS
    Last Modified 8 Mar 2020 

    Father Robert Vowell alias Hooker, Mayor of Exeter,   b. Bef 1467, of Exeter, Devon, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Aug 1537  (Age > 70 years) 
    Mother Agnes Doble,   b. of Woodbridge, Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft Aug 1538 
    Family ID F12586  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Martha Toker,   d. Bef 1587 
    Married Abt 1544  [4
    +1. Mary Hooker,   b. Abt 1564,   d. Abt 1625  (Age ~ 61 years)
    Last Modified 19 Nov 2017 
    Family ID F12584  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Chamberlain of Exeter, 1555. Member of Parliament for Exeter in 1571 and 1586. Member of the Irish Parliament for Athenry, 1568.

      From the History of Parliament:

      Hooker's father died from plague in 1537, leaving the boy well provided for. After a period at Oxford he went abroad, studied law at Cologne and lived for some time in the house of Peter Martyr at Strasbourg, attending the great theologian's divinity lectures. Following a short visit to England, he planned a tour of France, Spain and Italy, but owing to the outbreak of war was 'driven to shift himself homewards again'. He was in Exeter during the years 1543-4, and reported that when the Spanish ambassador, the Marquess of Nazarra, visited the city, he 'would very fain have had [Hooker] with him, and did promise to keep and entertain him at his return home in the university of Salamanca'. But Hooker had adequate private means to support him while he studied astronomy and English history and began his antiquarian works. He was friendly with Sir Peter Carew and dedicated works to such west-country magnates as the 2nd Earl of Bedford and Sir Walter Ralegh. For Carew, he developed the deep admiration reflected in his Life of Sir Peter Carew.

      Hooker served his city for almost the whole of Elizabeth's reign. He began to collect the records in the mayoral year 1558-9, and continued these 'annals' until 1590. One of the early Elizabethan entries notes that
      in 1558 [1559 NS] upon the 30 [sic] of Jan. began a Parliament at Westminster, and many were the suitors to be burgesses of the city for the same. About 1561 he was put in charge of the rebuilding of the city high school. In 1568 he went over to Ireland on legal business connected with Sir Peter Carew's lands.
      Writing in May to Carew, he asked to be commended to
      Mr. Mayor and his brethren, with an excuse for my absence, and that I may be borne withal until I have exploited and brought to effect your matter and cause now taken in hand.
      While in Ireland he was returned as Member of Parliament there for Athenry, and a speech of his in support of the royal prerogative caused the sitting to break up in confusion: he had to be escorted to Carew's house, for fear of violence. Among his writings is a journal of this Irish Parliament. He had apparently some success in dealing with his patron's affairs, but on another visit to Ireland in 1572 he wrote to Carew:
      If you do mind to save that you have purchased and to keep that you have gotten, you must determine to come over yourself.
      His connexion with Ireland ended at Carew's death in 1575, though Carew's will refers to a deed of 1574 appointing him a feoffee for the Irish property.

      Returned to the English House of Commons in 1571, ke kept a journal of the proceedings which was discovered in the nineteenth century 'fast falling into decay, stowed away under the rafters of the roof of the Exeter Guildhall' and published in the Transactions of the Devonshire Association. The Victorian editor had no great opinion of 'the dry details recorded by the pen of Hoker, who only now and then departs from a mere catalogue of bills read and passed'. Hooker recorded his own appointment to the committee dealing with the bill for dissolving the Bristol merchants guild (12 Apr.). He disliked merchants
      who attain to great wealth and riches, which for the most part they do employ in purchasing of lands, and by little and little they do creep and seek to be gentlemen.
      But he naturally favoured a new charter for the Merchant Adventurers of his own city, as being good for obedience, concord and unity. He drew up an account of his parliamentary expenses at 4s. a day, allowing eight days for travelling, including Sundays and Easter and adding a day to the session for good measure. He claimed a total of £13 8s. An 'observer of moderate attention and ordinary intelligence', Hooker was at this time collecting tracts on parliamentary procedure. Returned to another Parliament in 1586, Hooker had apparently lost interest. At any rate nothing is known to have been written by him on its proceedings, nor do the other surviving journals indicate that he contributed to its business.

      After the death of his patron Carew in 1575, information about Hooker is concerned mainly with his literary activities. His 'Synopsis Chorographical of Devonshire', written about 1599, circulated freely in manuscript, and Westcote and later writers borrowed, often verbatim, from it. Richard Carew used it in his Survey of Cornwall, describing the author as 'the commendable, painful antiquary and my kind friend'. Hooker's writings on Exeter, the Description, the Catalogue of the Bishops, and a number of other books and pamphlets give a vivid and detailed picture of the city and its government. His accounts of contemporary affairs are often coloured by his puritan outlook:
      Be the preachers never so godly, and earnest to call, let all the great bells of St. Peter's ring out never so loud, there will not be half so many gained into the church as one with a pipe and whistle shall gain into the streets to see vain and foolish spectacles. For let there be a bearbaiting, a bullbaiting, an interlude or any such vanity, every man is in haste to run headlong into it, and the time never too long to have their fill thereof.
      Few details of his domestic life survive. Writing to the Exeter corporation just before his death, he described himself as 'unwieldy and imperfect ... my sight waxeth dim, my hearing very thick, my speech imperfect and my memory very feeble'. He died between 26 Jan. and 15 Sept. 1601, and was probably buried in Exeter cathedral. The John Hooker who died in November the same year, and was buried in St. Mary Major, was his son, whose will has been wrongly attributed to the father. Hooker's own will has not been found.

  • Sources 
    1. [S1615] The Greenes of Rhode Island, with Historical Records of English Ancestry by George Sears Greene. New York: The Knickerbocker Press, 1903.

    2. [S47] The History of Parliament. Some citations point to entries from the printed volumes not yet added to the online site.

    3. [S699] The Visitations of the County of Devon, Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564, & 1620, with additions by J. L. Vivian. Devon: 1895.

    4. [S76] The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press, 2004-ongoing.

    5. [S47] The History of Parliament. Some citations point to entries from the printed volumes not yet added to the online site., dates only.