John Webster Hawksley (d. 1856) studied at St John's College, graduating BA in 1789. He was ordained in 1790 and served as Rector of Knotting with Souldrop, Bedfordshire, from 1792 until his death. He also held various other livings in the county. Hawksley had several poems published in the Poetical Register.
The largest part of the volume is given over to 'Prayers or meditations for private use'. There follows a letter from Hawksley to Mary Orlebar, dated 8 July 1805, with a lengthy poem entitled 'Lost friends: an epistle or elegy', which appeared in the Poetical Register for 1805. The volume also contains some cuttings of published works by Hawksley viz 'Hymn: on a grateful return to God for his mercies' 1822, and 'A new song to an old tune'; a letter from Francis Fieldfare to Humphrey Gubbins of 2 March 1835; a fragmentary letter addressed to Mr Marshall, printer of Aylesbury, postmarked 23 March 1835; a draft memorial inscription to William Lee Antonie (1764-1815); 'The sighs and tears of a father contemplating the portrait of his recently deceased daughter', dated 24 Sep. 1821; Hawksley's draft of his own epitaph, with a note to John Lee, dated 12 Sep. 1835; and a copy of 'Professio fidei', dated 27 Nov. 1833.
190 x 120mm. c. 120 pages. Paper. Hawksley's legible hand throughout. Binding: marbled paper over boards; a note inside the front board reads 'bound November 1835 London'; an inscription on the spine reads 'The Revd JW Hawksley MSS'.
This volume was given by the compiler to John Lee of Hartwell (1783-1866) on 11 Sep. 1835. A note in Lee's hand and his armorial bookplate, with motto 'Verum atque decens', appear inside the front board. 'MS 498' appears in red ink on the spine, together with a ticket bearing the number 312. The manuscript was bequeathed to St John's College Library by Robert Forsyth Scott (1849-1933) (note inside front board).