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HARVEY, CHRISTOPHER (1597–1663), poet, son of the Rev. Christopher Harvey of Bunbury in Cheshire, was born in 1597. He was a batler of Brasenose College, Oxford, in 1613, and graduated B.A. 19 May 1617, licensed M.A. 1 Feb. 1619–20. In 1630 he was rector of Whitney in Herefordshire; at Michaelmas 1632 he became head-master of Kington grammar school, but he seems to have returned to Whitney on or before the following 25 March, when a new head-master was appointed. Between 1630 and 1639 five of his children were baptised at Whitney. On 14 Nov. 1639 he was instituted to the vicarage of Clifton on Dunsmore, Warwickshire. He owed this preferment to his patron Sir Robert Whitney, as we learn from a dedicatory epistle to Whitney in his edition of Thomas Pierson's ‘Excellent Encouragements against Afflictions,’ 1647. Harvey was buried at Clifton on 4 April 1663.

Harvey was the author of ‘The Synagogue,’ a series of devotional poems appended anonymously to the 1640 edition of George Herbert's ‘Temple,’ and reprinted with most of the later editions of the ‘Temple.’ He was a man of sincere piety but little originality; and the ‘Synagogue’ is merely a thin imitation of Herbert. In 1647 he issued anonymously ‘Schola Cordis, or the Heart of it Selfe gone away from God; brought back againe to him; and instructed by him. In 47 Emblems,’ 12mo; 2nd edition 1664; 3rd edition 1675. The volume has on the title-page ‘By the Author of the Synagogue.’ The emblems were adapted from Von Haeften's ‘Schola Cordis,’ and have been republished, with the ‘Synagogue,’ in Dr. Grosart's ‘Fuller Worthies Library.’ Harvey also published ‘Ἀφηνιαστής. The Right Rebel. A Treatise discovering the true Use of the Name by the Nature of Rebellion,’ 1661, 8vo, and ‘Faction Supplanted: or a Caveat against the ecclesiastical and secular Rebels,’ 1663, which was chiefly written in 1642 and finished on 3 April 1645. Wood supposed that ‘Faction Supplanted’ was the ‘same with the former [“The Right Rebel”], only a new title put to it to make it vend the better,’ but states that he had not seen either book. He also attributes to Harvey a book called ‘Conditions of Christianity.’

Harvey was a friend of Izaak Walton, and prefixed commendatory verses to the ‘Compleat Angler,’ ed. 1655. The fourth edition of the ‘Synagogue’ has commendatory verses by Walton, who also quoted one of the poems from the ‘Synagogue’ in the 1655 edition of the ‘Angler.’ Some bibliographers have erroneously ascribed the ‘Synagogue’ to Thomas Harvey.

[Wood's Athenæ, ed. Bliss, iii. 538–9; Oxf. Univ. Reg. (Oxf. Hist. Soc.), vol. ii. pt. ii. p. 331, pt. iii. p. 354; Hunter's Chorus Vatum (Brit. Mus. MS. Addit. 24490, fol. 100); Grosart's introduction to Harvey's poems in Fuller Worthies Library.]

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