Nicholas Hawksmoor

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Nicholas Hawksmoor

Hawksmoor, Nicholas,

1661–1736, English architect involved in the development of most of the great buildings of the English baroque. From the age of 21 he assisted Sir Christopher WrenWren, Sir Christopher,
1632–1723, English architect. A mathematical prodigy, he studied at Oxford. He was professor of astronomy at Gresham College, London, from 1657 to 1661, when he became Savilian professor of astronomy at Oxford.
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 in the design of Chelsea Hospital, city churches, royal residences, and St. Paul's Cathedral. He became deputy surveyor (1705–29) in the construction of Greenwich Hospital. In the building of the great residences, Castle Howard and Blenheim Palace, he was associated with Sir John VanbrughVanbrugh, Sir John
, 1664–1726, English dramatist, architect, soldier, and adventurer, b. London, of Flemish descent. In 1686 he obtained a commission in the army. He was arrested for espionage in 1690 and spent two years in a French prison.
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. Under the act of 1711, Hawksmoor was appointed one of the architects to design 50 churches in London. He planned (1714–30) six highly original churches, which included St. George's, Bloomsbury; Christ Church, Spitalfields; and the rebuilding of St. Mary Woolnoth. At Oxford he designed the north quadrangle of All Souls' College. Influenced by architectural elements of many periods, Hawksmoor arrived at an individuality of design that makes him a significant figure in the history of the international baroque.


See studies by K. Downes (1969 and 2d ed. 1980) and V. Hart (2003).

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