HOBART, Nathaniel (1600-1674), of Highgate, Mdx. and Lincoln's Inn, London; later of Chancery Lane and the Middle Temple, London
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Family and Education
bap. 19 Mar. 1600,1 4th but 3rd surv. s. of Sir Henry Hobart* of Blickling, Norf., and Dorothy, da. of Sir Robert Bell† of Beaupré Hall, Outwell, Norf.; bro. of Sir John II*. educ. L. Inn 1615, called 1622;2 Padua 1622.3 m. by 1636, Anne (bur. 18 Feb. 1684), da. of Sir John Leake of Wyer Hall, Edmonton, Mdx., 2s. 4da. (1 d.v.p.).4 kntd. 12 May 1661.5 d. 19 Feb. 1674.6
Member, Guiana Co. 1629.7
Master in Chancery 1652-73.8
J.p. Westminster 1653.9
As a younger son of a senior member of the Jacobean judiciary, Nathaniel followed his father into the law. Granted licence to travel abroad for three years in 1620, he was admitted to the University of Padua in 1622, but presumably returned to London shortly afterwards, when he was called to the bar.10 In 1626 he replaced his brother John as Member for Thetford when the latter plumped for Brackley in Northamptonshire. Seven of Thetford’s 11 burgesses, and 12 of its 20 commoners voted for Hobart, the only candidate.11 However, Hobart left no trace upon the records of the 1626 Parliament.
In 1633 Hobart and three of his 11 brothers contested a suit relating to the manor of Aylesham, parcel of their late father’s substantial estates, although he himself inherited no property in Norfolk, and resided mainly at the Highgate house that Sir Henry left ‘to such of my younger sons as I shall appoint’.12 By around 1636 he had a study in the Covent Garden house of his wife’s uncle, Sir Edmund Verney*.13 Thereafter he maintained a long friendship and correspondence with Verney, who referred to him affectionately as ‘honest Natt Hubberd’.14 Hobart was by now beset with financial difficulties and entered debtor’s prison in 1639. Verney, who ‘long[ed] to hear of [Hobart’s] liberty’, helped him obtain a royal protection.15 However, this was only a short term solution, and it may have been to escape further suits that Hobart fled abroad, for in December 1644 he wrote to Verney’s son Sir Ralph† for a loan of £50 to enable him to return to England.16 Sir Ralph was unable to oblige, but informed Hobart that his ‘goods and all (except one parcel which went with mine to The Hague) are in a merchant’s hands at Amsterdam’.17
Hobart did subsequently return to England, and on the death of his brother John in 1647 received an annuity of £20.18 His fortunes had revived by July 1652, when he replaced (Sir) Edward Leech* as a master in Chancery. He became a member of the Middle Temple in January 1654,19 and was knighted shortly after the Restoration. He may have acted as a legal assistant to the House of Lords in the later 1660s, for he carried messages from the Upper House to the Commons.20 He died intestate on 19 Feb. 1674, and was buried at Temple Church. Administration of his estate was entered in July 1678.21
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Author: Rosemary Sgroi
- 1. Vis. Norf. ed. W. Bulwer, ii. 108.
- 2. LI Admiss.; LI Black Bks. ii. 236.
- 3. H.F. Brown, Inglesi e Scozzesi all’Universita di Padova, 145.
- 4. Vis. Norf. ii. 76.
- 5. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 235.
- 6. Vis. Norf. ii. 76, 112.
- 7. Bodl. Tanner 71, f. 161v.
- 8. T.D.Hardy, Principal Officers of Chancery, 93.
- 9. CUL, Dd.viii.1.
- 10. APC, 1619-21, p. 127.
- 11. Norf. RO, T/C1/4, p. 28.
- 12. E134/9Chas.1/Mich/58; Add. 28008, f. 29.
- 13. Verney Pprs. ed. J. Bruce (Cam. Soc. lvi), 149, 173.
- 14. Ibid. 190-1, 211.
- 15. Ibid. 229, 231.
- 16. SP16/437/72; HMC 7th Rep. 449.
- 17. HMC 7th Rep. 450.
- 18. Vis. Norf. ii. 140-3.
- 19. M. Temple Mins. ed. C.H. Hopwood, iii. 1056.
- 20. CSP Dom. 1667-8, p. 363; 1668-9, p. 537.
- 21. PROB 6/53, f. 57.