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HOLYOAKE, FRANCIS (1567–1653), lexicographer, was born at Nether Whitacre, Warwickshire, in 1567. About 1582 he studied as a commoner at Queen’s College, Oxford, though it does not appear that he took a degree. Afterwards he taught a school, first at Oxford, and then in Warwickshire. In February 1604 he was instituted to the rectory of Southam, Warwickshire, (Dugdale, Warwickshire, ed. Thomas, i. 340). In 1625 he was elected a member of convocation. In 1642 he was forced from his house by the parliamentarians, his wife was so ill-used as to hasten her death, his servant was killed, and his estate of 300l. a year was sequestered, so that he and his family were obliged to subsist on charity (Cal. State Paper, Dom. 1660–1, pp. 133, 350). He died on 13 Nov. 1653, aged 86, and was buried in the church of St. Mary at Warwick.

Francis Holyoake compiled a ‘Dictionarie Etymologicall,’ which was annexed to ‘Riders Dictionarie corrected,’ 2 pts., 8vo, London, 1617. The work was reissued in 1626, 4to, with additions by N. Gray, and in 1640, 4to. But Holyoake had meanwhile contributed so much to the work that a fourth edition was published as almost wholly his own, with the title ‘Dictionarium Etymologicum Latinum,’ &c., 3 pts., 4to, London, 1633. The sixth edition is stated to be ‘compositum et absolutum a Francisco de Sacra Quercu,’ 4to, 1648. His son Thomas (see below) made great additions to the work, but, dying before he could complete the edition, it was published by Thomas’s son Charles, as ‘A large Dictionary in three parts,’ fol., London 1677–1676.

Francis Holyoake presented a manuscript to Queen’s College library, entitled ‘Huguccionis, seu Huguitionis, Pisani, ep. Ferrariensis, Lexicon alphabeticum,’ &c. (Coxe, Cat. of Oxford MSS., pt. i. pp. 76–7).

By his wife Judith Holyoake had an only son, Thomas Holyoake (1616?–1675) born at Stoneythorpe, Warwickshire, who attended Coventry grammar school; entered Queen’s College, Oxford, in Michaelmas term 1632 (B.A. 1636; M.A. 1639) (Wood, Fasti Oxon. ed. Bliss, i. 487, 508); and became chaplain to his college. He was chosen captain of a foot company, consisting chiefly of undergraduates at Oxford at the beginning of the civil war, in which capacity, doing good service to the royal cause, he was created D.D. by Charles’s express desire (Wood, Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, iii. 1040–1). After the surrender of Oxford, Holyoake obtained (in 1647) a license from the university to practise medicine (Wood, Fasti, ii. 104). He practised successfully in Warwickshire until the Restoration, when Thomas, lord Leigh, preferred him to the rectory of Whitnash, near Warwick. He was installed in addition a prebendary of the collegiate church of Wolverhampton. In 1674 Robert, lord Brooke, presented him to the donative of Breamore in Hampshire, where he died on 10 June 1675. He was buried near his father in the church of St. Mary at Warwick. By his wife Anne he had twelve children, one of whom, Henry, is separately noticed.

[Wood’s Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), iii. 346–7; Colvile’s Worthies of Warwickshire, pp. 426, 427; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1660-1, pp. 133, 232, 350; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

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