Haddon, Dr. Walter

, an eminent scholar, and one of the revivers of the learned languages in England, was descended from a good family in Buckinghamshire, and | born in 1516. He was educated at Eton school, under Dr. Richard Cox, afterwards bishop of Ely, and was thence elected to King’s college, in Cambridge; where he greatly distinguished himself by his parts and learning, and particularly by writing Latin in an elegant, but, as Mr. Warton thinks, not a very pure style. He studied also the civil law, of which he became doctor; and read public lectures in it in 1547, and the two years following, and was so much approved, that upon a vacancy in the professor’s chair in 1550, the university employed the celebrated Ascham to write to king Edward VI. in his favour. He was accordingly appointed professor, and was also for some time professor of rhetoric and orator of the university. During king Edward’s reign, he was one of the most illustrious promoters of the reformation; and therefore, upon the deprivation of Gardiner, was thought a proper person to succeed him in the mastership of Trinity-hall. In September 1552, through the earnest recommendation of the court, though not qualified according to the statutes, he was chosen president of Magdalen college in Oxford; but, in October 1553, upon the accession of queen Mary, he quitted the president’s place for fear of being expelled, or perhaps worse used, at Gardiner’s visitation of the said college. He is supposed to have lain concealed in England all this reign; but, on the accession of Elizabeth, was ordered by the privy council to repair to her majesty at Hatfield in Hertfordshire, and soon after was constituted by her one of the masters of the court of requests. Archbishop Parker also made him judge of his prerogative-­court. In the royal visitation of the university of Cambridge, performed in the beginning of Elizabeth’s reign, he was one of her majesty’s commissioners, as appears by the speech he then made, printed among his works. In 1566 he was one of the three agents sent to Bruges to restore commerce between England and the Netherlands upon the ancient terms. He died Jan. 21, 1571-2, and was buried in Christ Church, London, where a monument was erected to his memory, but was destroyed in the great fire of London. He was engaged, with sir John Cheke, in turning into Latin and drawing up that useful code of ecclesiastical law, published in 1571, by the learned John Fox, under this title, “Reformatio Legum Ecclesiasticarum,” in 4to. He published, in 1563, a letter, or answer to an epistle, directed to queen Elizabeth, by Jerom Osorio, | bishop of Silva in Portugal, and entitled “Admonitio ad Elizabetham reginam Angliæ,” in which the English nation, and the reformation of the church, were treated in a scurrilous manner. His other works were collected and published in 1567, 4to, under the title of “Lucubrationes.” This collection contains ten Latin orations, fourteen letters, besides the above-mentioned to Osorio; and also poems. Several of his original letters are in the Harleian collection; and his poems, “Poemata,” containing a great number of metrical epitaphs, were separately published with his life in 1576. Many of our writers speak in high terms of Haddon, and not without reason; for, through, every part of his writings, his piety appears equal to his learning. When queen Elizabeth was asked whether she preferred him or Buchanan? she replied, “Buchananum omnibus antepono, Haddonum nemini postpono.1


Eiog. Brit.—Alumni Etonenses.—Ath. Ox. vol. I.—Strype’s Cranmer, p. 134, 231, 249.—Strype’s Parker, p. 28, 43, 82, 105, 222, 365.—Warton’s Hist. of Poetry.—Lloyd’s State Worthies.—Peck’s Desiderata.—Nichols’s Progresses of Queen Elizabeth.—Gent. Mag. vol. LXXXI. part 2nd. p. 414.