Peter Mancall: Interviewed about Richard Hakluyt and the English in AmericaHistorians in the News
Richard Hakluyt the younger, as he is usually known, became the most important promoter of the English colonization of North America in the late sixteenth century. Often confused with his older cousin of the same name, the younger Hakluyt rose to prominence not through any great act of heroism or by braving an Atlantic crossing. His life was marked instead by more prosaic achievements. He was a scholarship student at Westminster School, near the edge of the walled city of London, who then attended college at Christ Church Oxford where he received his B.A. in 1574 and an M.A. in 1577. He spent most of his adult life in London, Oxford, and Wetheringsett, a small village in rural Suffolk. He also lived in Paris during the 1580s, as a chaplain assigned to the English ambassador. Hakluyt had two opportunities to go to the Western Hemisphere, once to Newfoundland in 1583 and again as one of the first colonists bound for Jamestown. He declined both....
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