Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Horneck, Anthony

HORNECK, ANTHONY (1641–1697), divine, was born at Bacharach on the Rhine in 1641. His father was ‘recorder’ of the town, and brought him up as a protestant (Kidder, Life of Horneck). He studied at Heidelberg under Frederick Spanheim, then professor of divinity, and is said to have distinguished himself in a disputation upon Jephthah's vow. For unknown reasons, he came to England about 1661. He became a member of Queen's College, Oxford, 24 Dec. 1663, and was made chaplain by Thomas Barlow [q. v.], then provost, and afterwards bishop of Lincoln. He was incorporated M.A. (Wood says ‘from Wittenberg,’ probably a mistake for Heidelberg) 15 March 1663–4. He was presented by Lincoln College to the vicarage of All Saints, Oxford. In 1665 he became tutor to Lord Torrington, son of the Duke of Albemarle. The duke gave him the living of Dolton, Devonshire, and procured for him a prebend at Exeter Cathedral worth 20l. a year. He was admitted 13 June 1670. In 1669 he revisited Germany, and was honourably received at the court of the elector palatine. In 1671 he was appointed preacher at the Savoy, and soon afterwards married. He became so popular as a preacher that it was said that his parish extended from Whitechapel to Whitehall. Chairs, according to tradition, had to be placed outside the windows to accommodate his overflowing congregation. Kidder speaks of the crowds which made it necessary for him to obtain assistants in administering the sacrament, and Evelyn (18 March 1683) calls him ‘a most pathetic preacher and a person of saint-like life.’ He insisted upon resigning Dolton upon obtaining the Savoy preachership, although his salary at the Savoy was trifling, and he had to hire a house near his church. He became the father of four children, and his charity was so great as to impoverish him. Kidder also says that he injured any chance of preferment by the plainness of his reproofs to great men. In 1689 Tillotson was consulted by the Countess of Bedford upon the appointment to the church of Covent Garden. Horneck's name had been suggested, but he was rejected on account of his unpopularity in the parish (Life of Tillotson, 1752, pp. 227, 332). The causes, as Birch remarks, are not now ascertainable; but Kidder tells us that he lost many patrons at this time by taking the oaths to the new rulers. He further gave offence by his share in founding one of the societies for the reformation of manners. Burnet (Own Time, Oxford edit., v. 18) says that Horneck and William Beveridge [q. v.] were leaders in this movement just before the revolution. The rules of one society, apparently formed by Horneck at the suggestion of some young men of his congregation, are given by Kidder (pp. 13–16). Possibly the Covent Garden people may have thought him a renegade, or a fosterer of institutions leaning towards popery. He had received the D.D. degree from Cambridge in 1681, in compliment, says Wood, to the (second) Duke of Albemarle, his old pupil, soon afterwards chancellor of the university, and in January 1688–9 was appointed one of eight chaplains to King William (Luttrell, Relation, i. 497). Edward Russell, afterwards Earl of Orford (commissioner of the admiralty in 1690), recommended him to the queen, who obtained for him a promise from Tillotson of the next vacant prebend at Westminster. He was accordingly installed 1 July 1693. He resigned his prebend at Exeter, but was admitted to a prebend at Wells, which required no residence, by his friend Bishop Kidder, 28 Sept. 1694. He died 31 Jan. 1696–7, after much suffering from stone, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

Horneck appears to have been a man of singularly pure and amiable character. His friend Kidder says that he was exceedingly abstemious, an untiring student of the Bible and religious literature, a skilful casuist, constantly consulted in cases of conscience, and well read in Arabic, Hebrew, and rabbinical literature. He wrote little in controversy, though he took a decided part against the catholics during the reign of James II. His books are chiefly devotional, and dwell especially upon preparation for the sacrament. They went through many editions down to 1730, and some reprints have appeared since 1846. Kidder says that he never saw such a number of communicants, or such signs of devotion, as at Horneck's church. He was one of many men of eminent piety in the anglican church during the Restoration period, though he cannot be reckoned among the philosophical writers of the time.

Horneck was survived by three children: Philip, called by Lord Oxford ‘a special rascal,’ and abused in the ‘Dunciad’ (bk. iii. l. 152); William, who became a general, and is buried near his father; and a daughter, married first to Robert Barneveld, and secondly to Captain Warre. William was father of Kane William Horneck, whose eldest daughter married Henry William Bunbury [q. v.], and whose younger daughter was Goldsmith's ‘Jessamy Bride.’ For further information as to his family, see ‘Notes and Queries,’ 1st ser. iii. 117, and 3rd ser. v. 458, 521, vi. 38, 92.

His works are: 1. ‘The Great Law of Consideration … wherein the nature, usefulness, and absolute necessity of Consideration, in order to a … religious life, are laid open,’ 1676; 11th edit. 1729. 2. ‘Letter to a Lady, revolted from the Romish Church’ (given by Kidder, not in the British Museum). 3. ‘The happy Ascetick; or the Best Exercise …; to which is added, A Letter to a Person of Quality concerning the Holy Lives of the Primitive Christians,’ 1681; 6th edit. 1724, for which Hogarth engraved a frontispiece (The ‘Letter’ was reprinted in 1849, and in the ‘Churchman's Library,’ 1853). 4. ‘Delight and Judgment; or the Great Assize …,’ 1683 (where the first title appears to have been the ‘Sirenes;’ see ‘Short Account’); 3rd edit. 1705. 5. ‘The Fire of the Altar; or certain Directions how to raise the Soul into holy Flames before, at, and after the receiving of the … Lord's Supper.’ Appended is ‘A Dialogue betwixt a Christian and his own Conscience,’ 1683; 13th edit. 1718. 6. ‘The Exercise of Prayer’ (supplementary to the last), 1685. 7. ‘First Fruits of Reason,’ 1685. 8. ‘The Crucified Jesus; or a full account of the … Sacrament of the Lord's Supper,’ 1686; 7th edit. 1727. 9. ‘Questions and Answers concerning the two Religions,’ 1688. 10. ‘Advice to Parents,’ &c., 1690. 11. ‘An Answer to the Soldier's Question’ (mentioned by Kidder). 12. ‘Several Sermons upon the Fifth of St. Matthew, being part of Christ's Sermon on the Mount’ (with an engraved portrait), 2nd edit. 1706, with life by Kidder.

Horneck published some separate sermons. He translated from the French ‘An Antidote against a Careless Indifferency …’ in 1683; and supervised a translation of Royaumont's ‘History of the Old and New Testaments,’ 1690, &c. He added accounts of witchcraft in Sweden to the later editions of the ‘Sadducismus Triumphatus’ of Joseph Glanvill [q. v.], and wrote a preface to Glanvill's ‘Remains,’ 1681. He attended Borosky and Stern, convicted of the murder of Thomas Thynne in 1682, and with Burnet published an account of their confessions and behaviour (printed in Howell, State Trials, ix. 83–123, and Harleian Misc. (1811), viii. 191–218). On 5 May 1689, E. Sclater, vicar of Putney, who had gone over to Rome under James II, recanted publicly at the Savoy, and Horneck published an account of the affair.

[Summary Account of the Life of … Horneck, in a Letter to a Friend, 1697 (a vague eulogy); Life by Richard (Kidder), bishop of Bath and Wells (an interesting account), 1698 (and prefixed to fifteen sermons, as above); Loftie's Memorials of the Savoy, 1878, pp. 180, 190–2; R. B. Hone's Lives of Eminent Christians, 1834, ii. 305–65; Le Neve's Fasti, i. 201, 425, iii. 362; Wood's Athenæ, iv. 529–31, and Fasti, ii. 271.]

L. S.