HAYMAN, Nicholas (d.1606), of Totnes; later of Dartmouth, Devon.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer




Family and Education

1st s. of Robert Hayman of Newton Abbot. m., 6ch. suc. fa. 1577.1

Offices Held

Founder and sec., Totnes Merchants’ Co. 1579; mayor, Totnes 1589-90, Dartmouth 1593, 1602.2


Hayman was a Totnes merchant who, immediately after his term of office as mayor, moved to Dartmouth, where he at once became a leading citizen. Possibly he foresaw the trouble that broke out at Totnes in connexion with the 1596 charter, possibly he was angry about an overdue debt, concerning which he wrote to the corporation:

What my masters of Totnes think of me in forbearing my money so long without any consideration, I leave to their judgments. But what I think of my masters of Totnes for not performing their promises to me, I pray leave that to my judgment.

It was not until 1603 that Totnes repaid the final instalment of his money, disbursed on behalf of the town during an outbreak of plague 14 years before. Hayman’s record of being equally prominent in two distinct boroughs, being mayor of both and representing both in Parliament, is unusual in this period. At the time of his second Membership of the Commons he was concerned with the project for buying the captured Spanish carrack, the Madre de Dios. He was presumably the ‘Mr. Heiman’ on a Commons committee for law reform, 28 Mar. 1593, and he may have attended two committees to which the burgesses for Totnes were appointed concerning kerseys on 23 Mar. and 2 Apr. 1593. In 1600 he wrote to Sir Robert Cecil asking for a job for his eldest son Robert, whom he had had educated at Oxford and Poitiers, and who afterwards became a poet, and governor of a Newfoundland plantation.3

Hayman died 22 Apr. 1606.4

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: P. W. Hasler


This biography is based upon the Roberts thesis.

  • 1. PCC 12 Daughtry; N. and Q. (ser. 10), x. 23-4.
  • 2. Trans. Dev. Assoc. xxxii. 439; Western Antiq. x. 3; Exeter city mun. DD61461, DD61587.
  • 3. Totnes recs. letters dated 29 Dec. 1598, 3 Feb. 1601, and copies of replies; HMC Hatfield, x. 219; D’Ewes, 507, 511, 513.
  • 4. C142/292/152.