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SAMUEL HEARNE (1745–1792)

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Originally appearing in Volume V13, Page 128 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SAMUEL HEARNE (1745–1792), English explorer, was born in London. In 1756 he entered the navy, and was some time with Lord Hood; at the end of the Seven Years' War (1763) he took service with the Hudson's Bay Company. In 1768 he examined portions of the Hudson's Bay coasts with a view to improving the cod fishery, and in 1769–1772 he was employed in north-western discovery, searching especially for certain copper mines described by Indians. His first attempt (from the 6th of November 1769) failed through the desertion of his Indians; his second (from the 23rd of February 1770) through the breaking of his quadrant; but in his third (December 1770 to June 1772) he was successful, not only discovering the copper of the Coppermine river basin, but tracing this river to the Arctic Ocean. He reappeared at Fort Prince of Wales on the 3oth of June 1772. Becoming governor of this fort in 1775, he was taken prisoner by the French under La Perouse in 1782. He returned to England in 1787 and died there in 1792. See his posthumous Journey from Prince of Wales Fort in Hudson's Bay to the Northern Ocean (London, I795). Hearne's most important work was done as editor of many of the English chroniclers, and until the appearance of the" Rolls" series his editions were in many cases the only ones extant. Very carefully prepared, they were, and indeed are still, of the greatest value to historical students. Perhaps the most important of a long list are: Benedict of Peterborough's (Benedictus Abbas) De vita et gestis Henrici II. et Ricardi I. (1735); John of Fordun's Scotichronicon (1722); the monk of Evesham's Historia vitae et regni Ricardi II. (1729) ; Robert Mannyng's translation of Peter Langtoft's Chronicle (1725) ; the work of Thomas Otterbourne and John Whethamstede as Duo rerum Anglicarum scriptores veteres (1732); Robert of Gloucester's Chronicle (1724); J. Sprott's Chronica (1719); the Vita et gesta Henrici V., wrongly attributed to Thomas Elmham (1727); Titus Livy's Vita Henrici V. (1716); Walter of Hemingburgh's Chronicon (1731); and William of Newburgh's Historic rerum Anglicarum (1719). He also edited John Leland's Itinerary (1710–1712) and the same author's Collectanea (1715) ; W. Camden's Annales rerum Anglicarum et Hibernicarum regnante Elizabetha (1717) ; Sir John Spelman's Life of Alfred (1709) ; and W. Roper's Life of Sir Thomas More (1716). He brought out an edition of Livy (1708) ; one of Pliny's Epistolae et panegyricus (1703) ; and one of the Acts of the Apostles (1715). Among his other compilations may be mentioned : Ductor historicus, a Short System of Universal History (1704, 1705, 1714, 1724) ; A Collection of Curious Discourses by Eminent Antiquaries (1720); and Reliquiae Bodleianae (1703). Hearne left his manuscripts to William Bedford, who sold them to Dr Richard Rawlinson, who in his turn bequeathed them to the Bodleian. Two volumes of extracts from his voluminous diary were published by Philip Bliss (Oxford, 1857), and afterwards an enlarged edition in three volumes appeared (London, 1869). A large part of his diary entitled Remarks and Collections, 1705–1714, edited by C. E. Doble and D. W. Rannie, has been published by the Oxford Historical Society (1885–1898). Bibliotheca Hearniana, excerpts from the catalogue of Hearne's library, has been edited by B. Botfield (1848). See Impartial Memorials of the Life and Writings of Thomas Hearne by several hands (1736) ; and W. D. Macray, Annals of the Bodleian Library (189o). Hearne's autobiography is published in W. Huddesford's Lives of Leland, Hearne and Wood (Oxford, 1772). T. Ouvry's Letters addressed to Thomas Hearne has been privately printed (London, 1874).
End of Article: SAMUEL HEARNE (1745–1792)
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