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Richard Hakluyt

Richard Hakluyt, called 'the father of modern geographers', was buried in Westminster Abbey on 26th November 1616, but the place of his burial was not noted in the register. (It has been suggested his burial was in the south transept). So there is nothing to mark his grave.

He was born around 1552, a son of Richard and Margery (possibly the Richard Hacklett and Margery Pynchard who were married at St Margaret's Westminster on 21st June 1540). The name was most probably pronounced hak'loowt. He was educated at Westminster School, as were two of his brothers Thomas (called a native of Herefordshire who was a Queen's Scholar) and Oliver (also a Queen's Scholar and later a physician), and went on to Christ Church, Oxford. Ordained as a clergyman he was prebendary of Bristol, rector of Wetheringsett in Suffolk, rector of Gedney in Lincolnshire, a chaplain of the Savoy, and prebendary of Westminster from 1602 to his death. From his boyhood he took a keen interest in geography and lectured on the construction and use of maps, spheres and nautical instruments. Compiler of the Principal Navigations, Voyages and Discoveries of the English Nation, he was also a promoter of the South Virginia colony in America. Hakluyt's cousin, a lawyer also called Richard (d.1591), was connected with overseas trade. His first wife was Douglas Cavendish and their son Edmond attended Westminster School and became a priest. He married secondly a widow, Frances Smith.

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004.

"Hakluyt's Promise" by Peter Mancall, 2007

"The Hakluyt Handbook" edited by D.B.Quinn, 2 vols, 1974

"Richard Hakluyt. A guide to his books..." by Anthony Payne, 2008.

"The Record of Old Westminsters" by G.F.Russell Barker & A.H.Stenning, vol 1. 1928

See the website of the Hakluyt Society


26th November 1616


Scientist; writer; priest

Memorial Type


Richard Hakluyt
Richard Hakluyt

By Charles Eamer Kempe. (Bristol Cathedral.) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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