HYDE, Henry (c.1563-1634), of West Hatch; later of Dinton; later of Purton lastly of Salisbury, Wilts.

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

b. c.1563, 3rd s. of Lawrence Hyde I of West Hatch by his 2nd w. Anne, da. of Nicholas Sibell, and bro. of Lawrence II, Nicholas and Robert. educ. Magdalen Coll. Oxf., matric. 1579, BA 1581, MA 1584; M. Temple 1585. m. c.1593, Mary, da. and coh. of Edward Langford of Trowbridge, 4s. 5da.

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Hyde ‘had no mind to the practice of the law’, and, after his father’s death in 1590, he gained his mother’s permission to go abroad, travelling through Germany to Italy and visiting Florence and Siena. Though not a Catholic, he stayed for some time in Rome, where he was favoured by Cardinal Allen, which irritated many of the English Catholic priests, who feared that Hyde might be an agent or, at least, that he might recognise and betray them when they came to England.1

Hyde returned to England, where his mother pressed him to marry. The bulk of the estate had passed to Robert, the eldest brother, and it is evident that Henry was considerably dependent on his mother, whose favourite son he was. He agreed to marry the daughter of a Trowbridge clothier, and thus acquired some property in that town. After his marriage he settled at Dinton. His mother made over to him her share of the rectory and purchased for him the reversion which had been devised by his father to the second brother, Lawrence. In 1593 he surrendered his chambers at the Middle Temple to his younger brother Nicholas, devoted himself to the modest life of a country gentleman, and never visited London after the death of Queen Elizabeth, though he may have been the Henry Hyde, gentleman, who was given a pass to go abroad in 1616.2

Hyde’s father was auditor to the Earl of Hertford, who brought him into Parliament for Ludgershall, and at Old Sarum, for which he was returned in 1601, he had a double connexion through his brothers Robert and Nicholas.

He continued to live at Dinton with ‘great cheerfulness and content’. A person of wide knowledge and reputation, he is described by his son, the Earl of Clarendon, as possessing ‘so great esteem for integrity’ that most persons near him referred their disputes to him for arbitration, ‘by which that part of the country lived in more peace and quietness than many of their neighbours’. He eventually moved to Purton. For many years he was in pain, yet

he was the cheerfullest man living; ate well such things as he could fancy, walked, slept, digested, conversed with such a promptness and vivacity upon all arguments (for he was omnisarium doctus) as hath been seldom known in a man of his age. But he had the image of death so long before him in those continual torments that for many years before his death he always parted with his son, as to see him no more.

In 1632 he moved house to Salisbury, where many of his family lived, in order that he might worship in the cathedral and, eventually, be buried there. Indeed, it appears that one of his favourite recreations was to go in search of a likely place for a tomb. He died ‘with universal lamentation’ 29 Sept. 1634. His will, made 13 Feb. 1633 and proved 4 Feb. 1635, refers to lands in Studley, Hilperton, Cricklade, Hindon, and North Bradley. He made generous provision for his widow, the sole executrix, and for his unmarried daughters, and requested his son and heir, Edward, to be loving and helpful to his sisters.3

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: W.J.J.


  • 1. Wilts. N. and Q. vi. 498; Wilts. Vis. Peds. (Harl. Soc. cv, cvi), 99-100; Clarendon, Life of Edward, Earl of Clarendon (1761), i. 2-4.
  • 2. VCH Wilts. vii. 133; PCC 12 Sadler; Clarendon, i. 4; Wilts. Arch. Mag. vii. 297; Wilts. N. and Q. vi. 498; APC, 1616-17, 83.
  • 3. Clarendon, i. 4-5, 10-11, 18; Wilts. N. and Q. vi. 500; Aubrey and Jackson, Wilts. Colls. 154; PCC 12 Sadler.