Author of Cyprianus Anglicus.
Author of Cyprianus Anglicus.
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Peter Heylin or Heylyn (29 November 1599 – 8 May 1662) was an English ecclesiastic and author of many polemical, historical, political and theological tracts. He incorporated his political concepts into his geographical books Microcosmus in 1621 and Cosmographie (1657).
Heylyn was born in Burford, Oxfordshire, the son of Henry Heylyn and Elizabeth Clampard. He entered Merchant Taylors' School in March 1612. At 14 he was sent to Hart Hall, Oxford, and matriculated from Magdalen College, Oxford, on 19 January 1616, aged 15. He was awarded BA on 17 October 1617 and was elected a Fellow in 1618. He lectured on historical geography at Magdalen.
Heylyn was awarded MA on 1 July 1620. In 1620 he presented his lecture to Prince Charles, at Theobalds. He was incorporated at Cambridge University in 1621. In 1621 his lectures were published as Microcosmos: a Little Description of the Great World. This would prove to be his most popular work and by 1639, eight editions had been produced.
At college, where he was dubbed 'the perpetual dictator’, Heylin had been an outspoken controversialist. He subsequently became an outspoken preacher and one of Charles I's clerical followers. He was awarded a BD on 13 June 1629. In 1630 he lectured against the Feoffees for Impropriations. He became licensed Canon of Westminster in 1631 and Rector of Hemingford, Huntingdonshire, in the same year. He became Rector of Houghton-le-Spring, county Durham, in 1632 and rector of Alresford, Hampshire, in 1633. Also in 1633 he was licensed to preach and was awarded D.D. on 13 April 1633. He became a chaplain to Charles I. In 1639 he became Rector at South Warnborough, Hampshire.
He married Letitia Highgate and had a large family. His monument is in Westminster Abbey.
He was a prolific writer, and a keen and acrimonious controversialist against the Puritans. Among his works are a History of the Reformation, and a Life of Archbishop William Laud (Cyprianus Anglicanus) (1668). His Greek titles included Κειμηλιαέκκληδιαδτικα (Historical and miscellaneous tracts a 1662 (1681) and Ἡρωολογια Anglorum; or, a help to English history 1641.
He was the writer of the "Cosmographie", an attempt to describe in meticulous detail every aspect of the known world in 1652, the geography, climate, customs, achievements, politics, and belief systems. It appears to have been the first description in print of Australia, and perhaps of California, Terra del Fuego, and other territories in the New World. He objected to the name "America" as it placed undue glory on Amerigo Vespucci, and recommended "Columbana" or "Cabotia" as more indicative of the true discoverers, Columbus and Cabot.
Heylin's publications include:
and the very, very rare:
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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.