John Hewitt (antiquary)

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John Hewitt (1807–1878) was an English official, known as an antiquary.

Life[edit]

Born at Lichfield, he studied music in youth, and was for some time organist of St. Mary's Church there. Subsequently he was appointed to a post in the War Office.[1] It brought him into the Tower of London. He worked under Robert Porrett, was encouraged to take an interest in the national collection of arms and armour there, and produced a pioneering guide.[2] While living in London was well known in literary society. He enjoyed the friendship of Bulwer Lytton, Mary Howitt, Anna Maria Hall, Allan Cunningham, Leigh Hunt, and others.[1]

For many years he resided at Woolwich, but on his retirement from the War Office he returned to Lichfield, where he died on 10 January 1878.[1]

Works[edit]

Hewitt contributed to many periodicals as a young man. He used the pseudonym Sylvanus Swanquill. His works include:[1]

  • ‘The Tower [of London]: its History, Armories, and Antiquities: before and since the Fire,’ London, 1841, published by the authority of the master-general and board of ordnance. It went through several editions in English, French, and Spanish.
  • ‘Chart of Ancient Armour from ye XI to ye XVII cent.,’ with descriptions of the figures in the chart [London, 1847].
  • ‘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.
  • ‘Official Catalogue of the Tower Armories,’ London, 1859.
  • ‘Old Woolwich,’ 1860, published by the Royal Artillery Association.
  • ‘Handbook for the City of Lichfield and its Neighbourhood,’ Lichfield, 1874; 2nd edit. 1884.
  • ‘Handbook of Lichfield Cathedral,’ 1875; 3rd edit., enlarged by the Dean of Lichfield (E. Bickersteth), Lichfield, 1886.
  • An enlarged edition of Charles Alfred Stothard's ‘Monumental Effigies,’ London, 1876.
  • Numerous contributions to the Archæological Journal and The Reliquary, including a series of papers in the latter on Mediæval Arms and Armour.

References[edit]

Attribution

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainCooper, Thompson (1891). "Hewitt, John (1807-1878)". In Stephen, Leslie; Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography 25. London: Smith, Elder & Co.