Hewitt, John (1807-1878) (DNB00)


HEWITT, JOHN (1807–1878), antiquary, born at Lichfield in 1807, studied music in youth, and was for some time organist of St. Mary's Church in that city. He also contributed to many periodicals. Subsequently he was appointed to a post in the war office, and while living in London was well known in literary society. He enjoyed the friendship of Bulwer Lytton, Mary Howitt, Mrs. S. C. Hall, Allan Cunningham, Leigh Hunt, and others, and wrote under the nom de guerre of ‘Sylvanus Swanquill.’ For many years he resided at Woolwich, but on his retirement from the war office he removed to Lichfield, where he died on 10 Jan. 1878.

His works are: 1. ‘The Tower [of London]: its History, Armories, and Antiquities: before and since the Fire,’ London, 1841, 8vo, published by the authority of the master-general and board of ordnance. It has gone through several editions in English, French, and Spanish. 2. ‘Chart of Ancient Armour from ye XI to ye XVII cent.,’ with descriptions of the figures in the chart [London, 1847], fol. and 8vo. 3. ‘Ancient Armour and Weapons in Europe: from the Iron period of the Northern nations to the end of the [seventeenth] century,’ 3 vols., London, 1855–60, 8vo. A work of great erudition. 4. ‘Official Catalogue of the Tower Armories,’ London, 1859, 12mo. 5. ‘Old Woolwich,’ 1860, published by the Royal Artillery Association. 6. ‘Handbook for the City of Lichfield and its Neighbourhood,’ Lichfield, 1874, 8vo; 2nd edit. 1884. 7. ‘Handbook of Lichfield Cathedral,’ 1875; 3rd edit., enlarged by the Dean of Lichfield (E. Bickersteth), Lichfield, 1886, 8vo. 8. An enlarged edition of Stothard's ‘Monumental Effigies,’ London, 1876. 9. Numerous contributions to the ‘Archæological Journal’ and the ‘Reliquary,’ including a series of papers in the latter on ‘Mediæval Arms and Armour.’

[Reliquary, xviii. 228; Anderson's Book of British Topography, p. 259.]

T. C.