HARE, Sir Ralph, 1st Bt. (1623-72), of Stow Bardolph, Norf.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1661 - 28 Feb. 1672

Family and Education

b. 24 Mar. 1623, 1sts. of Sir John Hare of Stow Bardolph by Margaret, da. of Sir Thomas Coventry, 1st Baron Coventry of Aylesborough. educ. Magdalen Coll. Oxf. 1638; travelled abroad (France) 1643-6. m. (1) lic. 26 Oct. 1647, Mary, da. and coh. of Sir Robert Crane, 1st Bt., of Chilton, Suff., 1s. 6da.; (2) 30 Aug. 1660, Vere (d.1669), da. of Sir Roger Townshend, 1st Bt., of Raynham Hall, Norf., s.p.; (3) lic. 12 July 1671, Elizabeth Chapman (d. 17 Mar. 1684) of Westminster, 1s. (posth.). suc. fa. 1637; cr. Bt. 23 July 1641.2

Offices Held

J.p. Norf. 1646-d., commr. for assessment 1647-50, 1656, Jan. 1660-9, militia 1648, Mar. 1660, sheriff 1650-1; freeman, King’s Lynn 1660; col. of militia ft. Norf. Apr. 1660-7, dep. lt. c. Aug. 1660-d.; commr. for sewers, Lincs. Aug. 1660, corporations, Norf. 1662-3, loyal and indigent officers 1662, oyer and terminer, Norfolk circuit 1665.3


Hare’s ancestors were living in Suffolk in the 15th century, but the family was raised by Sir Nicholas Hare, Speaker of the 1539 Parliament and lord keeper under Mary, who bought Stow Bardolph in 1557. Hare was abroad for most of the Civil War, but held local office throughout the Interregnum and represented the county in two of the Protectorate Parliaments. He signed the Norfolk address for a free Parliament in 1660, and was returned for King’s Lynn, some 12 miles from his home, presumably with the support of Edward Walpole, his brother-in-law. Lord Wharton marked him as a friend, to be managed by Sir John Potts, but he was not active in the Convention. He was named to five committees, including the committee of elections and privileges, and twice acted as teller. On 30 June he supported a complicated proviso to the indemnity bill to enable the courts to give relief from extorted releases and discharges, and on 24 July he opposed a proviso to the tunnage poundage bill allowing the surveyor-general of customs to take the established fees. He was appointed to the committees for settling the revenue and the establishment of Dunkirk, and added after the recess to that considering the defects in the poll bill.4

Hare presumably gave satisfaction to the Court, for in 1661 he moved up to the county seat vacated by