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HEMING or HEMMINGE, WILLIAM (fl. 1632), dramatist, ninth child of John Heming [q. v.] the comedian, was baptised on 3 Oct. 1602 at St. Mary's, Aldermanbury. He was educated at Westminster School, whence in 1621 he was elected a king's scholar at Christ Church, Oxford. He did not matriculate till 1624, but graduated B.A. in 1625, and M.A. in 1628. In 1630 he acted as executor to his father's will, whence it is inferred that he was the eldest surviving son. The date of his death cannot be precisely fixed. In the dedication of his ‘Fatal Contract’ (1653) to the Earl and Countess of Northampton, it is stated that the work was composed by ‘a worthy gentleman at hours of his recess from happier employments.’ He must have died before this time, but we do not know what were his ‘happier employments.’ His extant works are: 1. ‘The Fatal Contract, a French Tragedy,’ London, 1653, 4to, which according to the dedication ‘had suffered very much by private transcripts, where it passed through many hands as a curiosity of wit and language.’ In the reign of Charles II it was revived, and changed but not improved by Elkanah Settle, under the title of ‘Love and Revenge.’ In 1687 it was reprinted from the text of 1653, but with a new title, ‘The Eunuch.’ Amid much extravagance, it shows some power. 2. ‘The Jewes Tragedy, or their fatal and final overthrow by Vespasian and Titus his son, agreeable to the authentick and famous History of Josephus,’ London, 1662, 4to. Wood adds that Heming ‘left behind him greater monuments of his worth and ability’ than these plays. A comedy by Heming called ‘The Coursinge of the Hare, or the Mad Cap,’ was acted at the Fortune Theatre, 1632–1633, but is no longer extant, and is said to have been among those destroyed by Warburton's cook (Malone, Shakespeare, iii. 198).

[Baker's Biog. Dramatica; Wood's Athenæ, iii. 277; Alumni Westmon. p. 91.]

T. E. J.