Hookes, Nicholas (DNB00)
HOOKES, NICHOLAS (1628–1712), author of ‘Amanda,’ a Londoner by birth, was a king's scholar at Westminster School (Welch, Alumni Westmonast. p. 132). He was elected to a scholarship at Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1649, and took the degree of B.A. in 1653. Dryden was his contemporary at Westminster, and followed him to Cambridge in 1650. In 1653 Hookes published a series of poems entitled ‘Amanda, a Sacrifice to an unknown Goddesse, or a Free-will offering of a Lovinge Heart to a Sweet-Heart,’ dedicated to the Hon. Edward Montagu, son of Lord Montagu of Boughton. The poems were written, he tells us in his preface, in praise of an entirely imaginary person. In the same year he also published ‘Miscellanea Poetica’ (usually bound up with the ‘Amanda’), among which may be noticed a poem addressed to the famous Dr. Busby and a dialogue in Latin elegiacs, in which ‘Scholam Westmonasteriensem alloquuntur vicissim Cantabrigiæ et Oxoniæ genii.’ Hookes died 7 Nov. 1712, and was buried in Lambeth Church on the south side of the north aisle. An elaborate inscription in Latin describes him as ‘virum qui summam dubiis probitatem sincerâ in Deum pietate, spectatâ in utrumque Carolum fide, eximiâ in omnes charitate, moribus suavissimis et limatissimo ingenio, omnibus elegantioris literaturæ ornamentis exculto, mire adornavit.’ The monument is stated to have been erected by ‘Johannes Hookes, superstes nepos.’ Hookes's wife, Elizabeth, who died 29 Nov. 1691, was, like his father, sister, and many children, buried in the same grave.
Hookes's poems have little merit, although some of his humorous pieces are curiously illustrative of manners, and from many passages it can be seen that the author was a close student of Shakespeare, whose phraseology he frequently borrows to the letter. Campbell, in his ‘Specimens of the British Poets,’ has given a short extract from Hookes, whom he erroneously calls Hook.
[Cole MSS. xlv. 267; Addit. MSS. 5846, British Museum; Manning's Surrey, iii. 512; Notes and Queries, 6th ser. vii. 36, 117, 129.]