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HANMER, MEREDITH, D.D. (1543–1604), historian, the son of Thomas, commonly called Ginta Hanmer, was born at Porkington in Shropshire in 1543. He was educated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where he obtained a chaplaincy in 1567, and graduated B.A. 1568, M.A. 1572, and D.D. 1582. On 7 June 1575, by a special dispensation, he was allowed to supplicate for the degree of B.D., 'being a nobleman's chaplain,' while of less than the customary standing, but the degree was not granted till 1581 (Oxford Univ. Reg. , Oxford Hist. Soc., i. 272, ii. i, 132). He was vicar of St. Leonard's, Shoreditch, from 8 Dec. 1581 till June 1592, and vicar of Islington from 4 Nov. 1583 to 5 Sept. 1590 (Newcourt, Repertorium, i. 678, 687). At Shoreditch he made himself notorious by removing the brasses in the church, 'which he converted into coine.' In 1584, when the Earl of Shrewsbury was examined as to the circulation of a libel that he had got the queen by child, Hanmer appeared as a witness against the earl, and is described by the recorder Fleetwood, who appeared in the case, as 'regarding not' an oath, 'and as a very bad man' (Strype, Annals, iii. 216-17). According to the consistorial acts of the diocese of Rochester, Hanmer was charged between 1588 and 1590 with having celebrated a marriage 'without bannes or license' (Wood, Athenae Oxon. , ed. Bliss, i. 748). He crossed over to Ireland about 1591. In that year he appears as archdeacon of Ross and vicar of Timoleague (Brady, Clerical and Parochial Records, ii. 440). On 4 Dec. 1593 he was appointed treasurer of Waterford Cathedral, vacant by the deprivation of Thomas Granger (Cal. of Fiants, Eliz. 5837); in April 1594 vicar-choral of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin (Lib. Mun. v. 101); on 8 June 1595 prebendary of St. Michan's in Christ Church (Cotton, Fasti Eccl. Hib. ii. 71); and on 1 Nov. of the same year rector of the Blessed Virgin Mary de Borages, in Leighlin (Lib. Mun. v. 101). On 1 June 1598 he was presented to the parish church of Muckalee, the vicarage of Rathpatrick, and the vicarage of Kylbeacon and Killaghy, all in county Kilkenny, in the diocese of Ossory (Cal. of Fiants, Eliz. 6233). On 10 Oct. in the following year he was presented to the rectory or wardenship of the new college of the Blessed Mary of Youghal in the diocese of Cloyne (ib. 6345). He appears to have resigned this and his prebend of St. Michan's in 1602. On 16 June 1603 he was appointed chancellor of the cathedral church of St. Canice, Kilkenny, and at the same time vicar of Fiddown and St. John the Evangelist, and rector of Aglish-Martin (Lib. Mun. v. 102).

During his residence in Ireland he occupied his leisure in making researches in Irish history, and his 'Chronicle of Ireland,' first published by Sir James Ware in 1633, is a work of merit and learning. He was commended to Walsingham by Captain Christopher Carleill [q. v.] as keeping a good house, and being a diligent preacher (Cal. State Papers, Ireland, iii. 557). In Russell's 'Journal' he is noted several times as preaching before the lord deputy, and on one occasion his sermon is described as 'very bitter' (Cal. Carew MSS. iii. 235). He died in 1604, and was buried in St. Michan's Church, Dublin. According to a tradition preserved in Shoreditch he committed suicide; but it is more likely that he fell a victim to the plague. Hanmer married at Shoreditch, 21 June 1581, Mary Austin, by whom he had four daughters.

In addition to his 'Chronicle of Ireland' Hanmer issued a valuable translation of 'The Auncient Ecclesiasticall Histories of the first Six Hundred Years after Christ, written in the Greek Tongue by three Learned Historiographers, Eusebius, Socrates, and Euagrius,' London, 1577, fol. (by Thomas Vautrollier), dedicated to Elizabeth, countess of Lincoln (from London, 1 Sept. 1576). A second edition appeared in 1585, with a dedication to Robert, earl of Leicester, dated from Shoreditch, 15 Dec. 1584. Other editions are dated 1607, 1633, 1636, 1663, 1683, 1692, and 1709. Hanmer also wrote:

  1. 'The Great Bragge and Challenge of M. Champion … confuted and answered by M.H.,' London, 1581, 4to.
  2. 'The Jesuites Banner. … With a Confutation of a late Pamphlet … entitled A Brief Censure upon two Books written in Answeare to M. Champion's [Campion's] offer of disputation,' &c., London, 1581, 4to [cf. Campion, Edward].
  3. 'The Baptizing of a Turke,' a sermon (on Matt, v. 16), preached 2 Oct. 1586 at the collegiate church of St. Katharine, London, 1586, 8vo.
[Ellis's History of Shoreditch; Weever's Funerall Monuments; Wood's Athenae Oxon. ed.}} Bliss, i. 746-9; Oxford Univ. Reg.; Newcourt's Repertorium Ecclesiasticum; Strype's Annals; Cotton's Fasti Eccl. Hib.; Brady's Clerical and Parochial Records; Lascelles's Liber Munerum Hiberniæ; Ware's Irish Writers; Kilkenny Arch. Journal, i. 456; Hamilton's Irish Calendar; Brewer's Cal. of Carew MSS.; Russell and Prendergast's Irish Calendars; Morrin's Cal. of Patent Rolls; Cal. of Fiants, Eliz.]

R. D.