Hoskins, John

, an English lawyer and poet, was born in 1566, at Mownton, in the parish of Lanwarne, in Herefordshire, and was at first intended by his father for a trade, but his surprizing memory and capacity induced him to send him to Westminster, and afterwards to Winchester school, at both which he made great proficiency. From Winchester he was in 1584 elected probationer-felr low of New-college, Oxford, and two years afterwards admitted actual fellow. In 1591 he took his master’s degree; but being terra jiliu$ y in the act following, he was, says Wood, “so bitterly satirical,” as to be refused to complete his degree as regent master, and was also expelled the university. He then, for his maintenance, taught school for some time at Ilchester, in Somersetshire, | where he compiled a Greek lexicon as far as the letter M. Marrying afterwards a lady of property, he entered himself as student in the Twiddle temple, and at the usual time was called to the bar. In 1614 he hid a seat in parliament, where some rash speeches occasioned his being imprisoned for a year. He was afterwards elected Lentreader of the Middle-temple, and four years after was made a serjeant at law, a justice itinerant for Wales, and one of the council of the Marches. He died at his house at Morehampton, in Herefordshire, Aug. 27, 1638.

He was much admired for his. talent in Latin and English poetry, and highly respected by the most eminent men of his time, Camclen, Selden, Daniel, Dr. Donne, sir Henry Wotton, sir Walter Raleigh, whose “History” he revised before it was sent to press; and others, particularly Ben Jonson, who used to say, “’t was he that polished me, I do acknowledge it.” Wood speaks of him, as the author of the Greek lexicon already mentioned, left in ms. and imperfeqj of several epigram-: and epitaphs, ill Latin and English, interspersed in various collections; “The Art of Memory,” in which he himself excelled and of some law treatises, in ms. which became the property of his grandson, sir John Hoskins, -knt. and bart. master in chancery, but better known to the world as a philosopher, and one of the first members of the royal society, of which he was president in 1682. 1


Ath. Ox. Tol. I. Granger.