An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

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Hakluyt, Richard

(c. 1552-Nov. 23, 1616). Priest who developed the theoretical rationale for British colonization of America. He was born in Herefordshire, England. Hakluyt received his B.A. in 1574, and his M.A. in 1577, both from Christ Church, Oxford. Although he was a priest, he was most interested in geography and cosmography. Hakluyt was an authority on maritime affairs and colonization. He was a member of the Virginia Company of London. He helped organize and strongly supported the colonization of North America, especially the Virginia colony. Sir Walter Raleigh asked Hakluyt to write a treatise on the advantages of planting colonies in America to encourage Queen Elizabeth's support for colonization. Hakluyt wrote A Discourse on Western Planting in 1584 as a treatise for the Queen only. It was not intended for public reading, and it was not published until 1877. In this treatise Hakluyt presented the spiritual and temporal reasons for colonization in America. He noted the potential of colonization for missions and the expansion of Protestantism against Roman Catholicism. He also observed that colonization could shift attention from ecclesiastical problems in England at the time, encourage trade and investments, and provide jobs and training for sailors as well as a place for sending criminals and rebels. Hakluyt died in London.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.