Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Hewlett, John

HEWLETT, JOHN (1762–1844), biblical scholar, was born in 1762, and after taking priest's orders was admitted a sizar at Magdalene College, Cambridge, on 18 Jan. 1786, at the age of twenty-four. He proceeded B.D. in 1796; kept a school at Shackleford, Surrey, which he ultimately sold; became morning preacher at the Foundling Hospital, London, about 1802, and in 1819 rector of Hilgay, Downham, Norfolk. He was at one time professor of belles-lettres at the Royal Institution of Great Britain. He died at 55 Hunter Street, Brunswick Square, London, 13 April 1844, and was buried in the catacombs of the Foundling Chapel.

Hewlett was well known in the literary world as author of a ‘Vindication of the Parian Chronicle,’ published in 1789, in which he displayed great knowledge of the Arundel marbles. He also edited a useful edition of the Bible, which appeared in monthly parts, and had been originally undertaken by Dr. George Gregory (1754–1808) [q. v.] Besides seven single sermons he published: 1. Sermons on different subjects, 1786; 6th edition, 1816. 2. ‘A Vindication of the Authenticity of the Parian Chronicle, in Answer to a Dissertation on that Subject,’ 1789. 3. ‘Answer to some Strictures on the Authenticity of the Parian Chronicle,’ 1789. 4. ‘The Holy Bible, containing the Old and New Testament and Apocrypha, with Critical, Philosophical, and Explanatory Notes,’ 1812, 3 vols. 5. ‘A Manual of Instruction and Devotion on the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper,’ 1815, 12mo; 6th edition, 1835, 24mo. 6. ‘An Introduction to Reading and Spelling,’ 1816, 12mo. 7. ‘Commentaries and Annotations on the Holy Scriptures,’ 1816, 5 vols. 8. ‘Elements of Algebra. By L. Euler. Revised and corrected,’ 1822.

[Gent. Mag. 1844, pt. ii. p. 217; The Pulpit, by Onesimus, 1809, i. 57–65; Brownlow's Foundling Hospital, 1858, p. 79; Norwich Mercury, 20 April 1844, p. 3.]

G. C. B.