Hickeringill, Edmund

, a half-crazy kind of writer, whose works may probably excite some curiosity respecting the author, was born in 1630, in Essex, where there was a considerable family of that name. He was first a pensioner in St. John’s college, Cambridge; then, in 1650, junior bachelor of Gonvill and Caius college. He was soon after a lieutenant in the English army in Scotland, then a captain in general Fleetwood’s regiment, when he was Swedish ambassador in England for Carolus Gustavus. He afterwards went to Jamaica in some capacity, and on his return, in 1660, published an account of it, called “Jamaica viewed,” 4to. two editions of which were printed in 1661, dedicated to Charles II. who in return appointed the author secretary to the earl of Windsor, then going out as governor of Jamaica. This post, however, he did not accept, but took orders, and first obtained the vicarage of Boxted in Essex, Oct. 22, 1662, and, about the same time, the rectory of All Saints, Colchester. The former he resigned in 1664, but retained the latter the whole of his life, notwithstanding he gave much offence to his brethren by his wild and often scurrilous attacks on the church in a variety of pamphlets. “He was a man,” says Newcourt, “though episcopally ordained (by bishop Sanderson), yet publicly bade defiance to the prelacy, and that of his own diocesan in particular: an impudent, violent, ignorant fellow, very troublesome, as far as he could, to his right reverend diocesan, and to all that lived near him.” He died Nov. 30, 1708, and was interred in the church of All Saints, Colchester, with a long Latin epitaph, part of which, “Reverendus admodum Dominus tarn Marte quain Mercurio clarus, quippe qui terra marique militavit non sine gloria, ingeniique vires scriptis multiplice argumento insignitis demonstravit, c.” was afterwards effaced, by order, as it was commonly reported at Colchester, of bishop Compton. His tracts, which in point of style and often of matter, are beneath criticism, were collected and | published by himself in a quarto vol. 1707. They include his account of Jamaica the trial of the spiritual courts general history of priestcraft; a satyr upon poverty; a satyr against fame the survey of the earth and the writ de excommunicato capiendo unmasked receipts to cure the evil of this wicked world the art of contentment, a poem, &c. &c. Mr. Malone has introduced him in his life of Dryden, as the author of the “Mushroom, or a satyr against libelHng tories and preiatical-tantivies, &c.” He published also a few occasional sermons, which are reprinted in a Second edition of his works, 1716, 2 vols. 8vo. 1


Ath. Ox. vel, II. Newcourt’s Repertorium. -Malone’s Dryden, vol. I. p. 164*