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Huet, Thomaslocked

(d. 1591)
  • Brynley F. Roberts

Huet, Thomas (d. 1591), biblical translator, was probably a native of Brecknockshire and in 1544 was a member of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (though probably not the Huet who took his BA in 1562). He became master of the college of the Holy Trinity at Pontefract, and when it was dissolved received a pension, which he was still in receipt of in 1555. Huet was a close associate of leading protestants during Edward's reign, yet survived unscathed under Mary, and even obtained further preferment. He continued to prosper under Elizabeth. He received a number of benefices between 1559 and 1565, including the rectories of Cefnllys and Llanbadarn Fawr in Radnorshire and the prebends of Llanbadarn Trefeglwys and Ystrad in Cardiganshire and of Llandegla in Radnorshire. From 1562 to 1588 he was precentor of St David's Cathedral. Described in the bishop's return (1569) as 'professor of divinity' and 'learned in ecclesiastical laws', he was accused by the diocesan treasurer of having kept the chapter's seals and thus being able to lease estates for his own profit.

Huet was a strong protestant. He signed the Thirty-Nine Articles in the convocation of 1562–3, and in 1571 dismissed the cathedral sexton at St David's for concealing popish mass books; these books he publicly burned. Richard Davies, bishop of St David's, recommended him in 1565 for the bishopric of Bangor, but he failed to secure it, though supported at first by archbishop Parker. As Parker calls him Doctor Huett, he probably at some time proceeded to the degree of DD. Huet was married, although no details of his wife are known. Their daughter married James Vychan, a gentleman of Pembrokeshire.

Huet was called upon (apparently in 1566) by Richard Davies to assist in the Welsh translation of the New Testament (1567). He co-operated with Davies and the Welsh scholar William Salesbury, and was particularly responsible for the translation of the book of Revelation. Huet tended to sacrifice strict accuracy for fluency and his version is characterized by its natural, contemporary language which both reveals his own south-western Welsh dialect and also avoids archaisms, Latinizations, and rhetorical features.

Huet died at Tŷ Mawr, Llysdinam, Brecknockshire, on 19 August 1591, and was buried in the chancel of Llanafan Fawr church, in the same county.

Sources

  • D. R. Thomas, The life and work of Bishop Davies and William Salesbury (1902)
  • G. Williams, Welsh Reformation essays (1967)
  • G. Williams, Wales and the Reformation (1997)
  • G. Williams, Bywyd ac amserau’r Esgob Richard Davies (1953)
  • I. Thomas, ed. and trans., Y Testament Newydd Cymraeg, 1551–1620 (1988)
  • T. Jones, History of Brecknockshire (1909), 2.227
J. E. Lloyd & others, eds., (1959) [Eng. trans. of Y bywgraffiadur Cymreig hyd 1940, 2nd edn (1954)]; R. T. Jenkins, E. D. Jones, & B. F. Roberts, eds., (2001) [with suppl. to 1940]
, 63 vols. (1885–1900), suppl., 3 vols. (1901); repr. in 22 vols. (1908–9); 10 further suppls. (1912–96); (1993)
J. Venn & J. A. Venn, , 2 pts in 10 vols. (1922–54); repr. in 2 vols. (1974–8)