HOBART, Sir Henry (c.1554-1625), of Highgate, Mdx.; Intwood and Blickling, Norf. and Serjeants' Inn, Fleet Street, London

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



Family and Education

b. c.1554, 2nd s. of Thomas Hobart (d.1560) of Plumstead, Norf. and Audrey, da. of William Hare of Beeston, Norf.1 educ. Peterhouse, Camb. 1570; Furnival’s Inn; L. Inn 1575,2 called 1584.3 m. settlement 20 Apr. 1590 (with £500),4 Dorothy (bur. 30 Apr. 1641),5 da. of Sir Robert Bell†, c. bar. exch. of Beaupré Hall, Outwell, Norf., 12s. 4da. kntd. 23 July 1603;6 cr. bt. 11 May 1611.7 d. 26 Dec. 1625.8 sig. Henry Hobart.

Offices Held

Assoc. bencher, L. Inn 1583, gov. 1591, bencher 1596-1603, Lent reader 1601, 1603, 1608, 1610, double reader 1602, marshal 1600-1, treas. 1606-7;9 under-steward, Gt. Yarmouth, Norf. 1590-1605, steward, Norwich, Norf. 1595-1618;10 fee’d counsel, King’s Lynn, Norf. 1594,11 Gt. Yarmouth 1596;12 sjt.-at-law 1603-5; att. Ct. of Wards 1605-6; att.-gen. 1606-13, c.j.c.p. 1613-d.;13 justice assize, W. circ. 1614, Home circ. 1615-16, Midland circ. 1617-d.14

Freeman, Norwich 1592;15 j.p. Norf. c.1593-d., Isle of Ely 1607-10, Mdx. 1608-d., Westminster 1618-d.;16 commr. oyer and terminer, Norwich 1601-at least 1606, Norf. circ. 1602-d., London 1606-d., the Verge 1606-d., Mdx. 1607-d., Norf. 1612, Western circ. 1614, Midland circ. 1617-d., Marshalsea 1620-4,17 sewers Norf. 1601-7, Gt. Yarmouth to Cromer 1604, London 1606-d., R. Lea, Essex, Herts. and Mdx. 1607, 1609, Ely 1608, Essex 1610-d., Norwich 1611, 1622, Surr., Kent 1613, 1624, Gt. Fens 1617-18, London, Mdx. 1618, Lincs. 1618-at least 1621, Mdx. 1619,18 piracy Norf. 1602, 1604, London, Mdx. 1606, 1609, London, Mdx., Kent, Essex, Surr. 1615,19 gaol delivery, Norwich 1605, Newgate 1606-d., London 1607-d., Ely 1607-10, Mdx. 1608-d.,20 subsidy, London, Mdx., Norf. 1608, 1621, 1624, Gt. Yarmouth, Norwich 1608,21 swans, Gravesend to Windsor 1609,22 aid, Mdx., London 1609,23 seabreaches, Norf. 1610, Norf., Suff. 1616,24 annoyances, Surr. 1611, Mdx. 1613,25 navigation, R. Welland, Lincs. 1623;26 duchy of Lancaster recvr. in Norf., Suff. and Cambs. 1612-d.27

Commr. Union 1604-6;28 member, High Commission, Canterbury prov. 1608-d.;29 commr. to enfranchise copyholders 1612,30 investigate murder of Sir Thomas Overbury 1616,31 relieve poor 1619-20.32

Member, Virg. Co. 1609, N.W. Passage Co. 1612, E.I. Co. 1617.33

Chan., Prince Charles’s Household 1617-Mar. 1625.34


Established in East Anglia for many centuries, the Hobart family rose to prominence through Sir James Hobart of Hales Hall, attorney-general and privy councillor to Henry VII. Hobart attended Cambridge University before entering Lincoln’s Inn in 1576.35 In 1583 he was made an associate bencher, and in the following year was called to the bar.36 Appointed a bencher in 1596, he gave his first reading in 1601 and was double reader in 1602. By this time Hobart was also chief legal advisor to two Norfolk corporations, Great Yarmouth and Norwich, and served King’s Lynn as fee’d counsel. His rise to prominence was undoubtedly assisted by a fortuitous marriage to Dorothy, daughter of Chief Baron Sir Robert Bell† and step-daughter of Sir John Peyton*.

Knighted at James I’s coronation, Hobart continued his swift rise up the legal ranks under the new king, who shortly after his accession confirmed his predecessor’s decision to call him to the coif. Elected to his fourth Parliament in 1604, Hobart, who served for Norwich, was appointed to many of the major committees during the first session, including the privileges committee (22 Mar.) and the committee to examine the grievances identified by Sir Edward Montagu (23 March).37 Among those matters in which he took an interest was the Buckinghamshire election dispute. Appointed to the committee for reviewing the case (27 Mar.), he also served on the committee which attended the king to present the Commons’ opinion the next day. On 5 Apr. he was named to the joint conference to discuss the privileges of the Lower House in election cases.38 Hobart also took notice of the Shrewsbury election dispute, and on 26 Mar. advised that the burgesses should be displaced because they rather than the sheriff had returned the indenture. The election was later voided and a new writ was sent out.39 During the debate on the purveyance bill on 3 Apr., Hobart suggested that during a royal progress local composition agreements should be temporarily suspended to enable supplies to be taken up for the Court. He was duly added to the purveyance bill committee, and on 3 May the 1355 Purveyance Act was delivered to him to examine. Four days later he was appointed to the committee to review the petitions to the king against the abuses of purveyors. In his final speech of the session, delivered on 25 May, Hobart opposed the passage of the assart lands bill, but found himself on the losing side when the measure passed after a division.40 Hobart also presented the Commons’ complaints to the Lords against the bishop of Bristol’s book, which criticized the Commons’ proceedings on the Union, and he reported the Lords’ reply on 4 June.41

During the first session Hobart was appointed to joint conferences on wardship (26 Mar.) and the Union (20 Apr. and 4 May). In preparation for the second of these Union conferences he was ordered, on 27 Apr., to help examine the differences between the laws of both kingdoms. The conference itself was concerned with drafting a bill to appoint parliamentary commissioners for the Union, a measure which Hobart later helped to review (22 May).42 Hobart’s remaining committee appointments of the session were mainly concerned with the law and estate bills, most of which dealt with East Anglia. He was also named to legislative committees concerned with inns and alehouses (21 Apr.), fen drainage (12 May), witchcraft (26 May) and popish books (6 June).43

Before the opening of the second session Hobart resigned his serjeantcy and became attorney of the Court of Wards, having been appointed by the 1st earl of Salisbury (Robert Cecil†), to whom the king had given the right of nomination.44 The nature of the connection between Salisbury and Hobart is not clear, but Hobart took advantage of Salisbury’s scheme to raise money by selling the reversions to wardships, purchasing that for his own son, Henry, for £100 in July 1605.45

Throughout the second session Hobart acted as a government spokesman, taking the lead in the response to the Gunpowder Plot and the problem of recusancy. On 21 Jan. he was named to the committee to consider how to act against Jesuits and prevent further plots, and nine days later moved that the committee for religion should meet that afternoon. On 4 Feb. he reported from the committee on the fourth and fifth articles drawn up against recusants. These dealt with women taking the oath of allegiance and the payment by a husband for his wife’s recusancy. Later that month he announced that some matters still had to be considered regarding the two articles. On 5 Mar. he was appointed to help draft the general recusancy bill,46 but in fact he actually composed the bill himself, together with a measure for the better obedience of the king’s subjects, both of which Sir Francis Bacon attacked in scathing tones as ‘too full of cases and distinctions’. Bacon criticized Hobart for ‘nibbling solemnly, he distinguishes but apprehends not ... no gift with his pen in proclamations and the like’. Bacon later added that he ‘never knew of any of so good a speech with a worse pen’.47 Though cruelly expressed, Bacon’s judgment may have been accurate, as both bills required substantial amendment, including an alteration to the title of the recusancy bill.48 Hobart was also involved with other bills concerning religion in 1605-6 as he was named to legislative committees on Norwich ministers (13 Feb.), the establishing of true religion (24 Feb.), ecclesiastical government (25 Feb.), the restoration of deprived ministers (7 Mar.) and sanctuary (20 May).49 In addition, Hobart helped manage the joint conferences on ecclesiastical causes and was ordered to report the meetings back to the Commons.50

During the debates on purveyance, Hobart proved to be an impressive defender of the king’s prerogative, while also acknowledging the system’s flaws. On 25 Feb. 1606 he announced that purveyance had been ‘ever enjoyed by former kings’. At this stage he did not think that composition was either fair or practicable, but by 11 Mar. he had changed his opinion, perhaps having been persuaded by Salisbury to argue for a settled agreement. Hobart now called purveyance ‘a stumbling-block between the subject and the king’, and while reaffirming the king’s prerogative, he noted that the Commons must ‘think of some course that we may never hear of this grievance again’. He himself proposed that the House should compound, as by the Magna Carta and other statutes the king was permitted the right to pay fixed prices.51

Hobart intervened in the subsidy debate on 14 Mar. after Sir William Skipworth suggested that the wealthy should voluntarily increase their contribution. Hobart ‘despised’ Skipworth’s ‘imputation of flattery’, but went on to explain that James needed more subsidies than had been offered in order to pay off the debts and loans contracted by Elizabeth and to counteract the effect of debasing the coinage. The following day Skipworth ‘cleareth himself of the imputation of flattery yesterday, and returneth it upon Sir Henry Hobart, to be blown into the mouth from whence it came’. On 25 Mar. Hobart again supported the king’s request for additional supply, arguing that, as Elizabeth’s debts had accumulated as a result of war, any subsidy granted now would actually be used to pay off the costs of war rather than meet peacetime needs.52

During the second session Hobart was named to 17 committees for private bills or measures of a local nature. Four were particularly significant to his Norwich constituents, namely those to make good the grants and conveyances of corporations (25 Jan.), to explain the 1504 Act for executing ordinances by guilds and corporations (28 Feb.), to confirm lands given to corporations for charitable uses (19 Mar.) and concerning taxes imposed on merchants (19 March).53 Of his remaining bill committee appointments, Hobart was interested in at least four of them, as he reported the measures to restore in blood John Holland and Henry, Lord Danvers (7 Mar. and 13 Mar.), to sell some of Sir Christopher Hatton’s* lands (4 Apr.) and to relieve John Roger (17 April).54 As befitted his legal experience and office, Hobart was appointed to seven legislative committees concerning the law. These included two for the better execution of penal statutes (6 Nov. and 5 Apr.), to explain the Act of 34 and 35 Henry VIII on Welsh government (21 Feb.), abuses in the Marshalsea Court (13 Mar.), unnecessary delays in executions (27 Mar.), outlawry (1 Apr.), and copyhold lands (8 April).55 Hobart was also named to consider six bills on the subjects of transporting beer overseas (27 Mar.), suppressing tippling houses (3 Apr.), free trade (3 Apr.), elections to Parliament (3 Apr.), licensing those who travelled abroad (19 May) and sanctuary (20 May).56

Shortly after the session ended, (Sir) Francis Gawdy†, chief justice of Common Pleas, died and was succeeded by Sir Edward Coke*. This left vacant the office of attorney-general, which was granted to Hobart on 4 July 1606. Sir Francis Bacon was greatly displeased, as he considered that the solicitor-general, Sir John Doddridge*, should have been promoted to Common Pleas, thereby leaving the position of solicitor-general free for himself. Hobart’s elevation caused Bacon to develop a life-long enmity towards Hobart. Bacon later promised himself to ‘have in mind and use the att[orney’s] weaknesses’. Nevertheless, Bacon envied Hobart’s ability to get on with those around him, reminding himself ‘to have particular occasions ... to maintain private speech w[i]th every the great persons and sometimes drawing more than one of them together, ex imitatione att[orney]’.57

At the opening of the 1606-7 session, the question arose whether Hobart should continue to sit in the Commons, for as attorney-general he had been summoned by writ of assistance to the Lords. On 22 Nov. 1606 a specially appointed committee reported that no precedents had been found to enable the attorney-general to sit, though others had been discovered relating to the solicitor-general and queen’s serjeants. The committee was divided over what to do, as was the House. Matters were made worse after the Speaker, who proved unable to determine whether the ayes or the noes had the most voices, called for a division. Members could not decide which side should leave the chamber and so, ‘without concluding anything in the point, a silence followed’. Sir William Maurice attempted to move the reading of a bill, but was overruled and Members remained silent for another half an hour before the Speaker adjourned the House.58 On 24 Nov. Hobart took matters into his own hands, entering the House with the Speaker. For the rest of the Parliament he continued to sit, ‘by connivance without another order’.59

From the outset of the third session Hobart was deeply involved in the main business before the Commons, namely the Union. Despite being a leading government spokesman, Hobart retained the confidence of the House and was not afraid to stress the difficulties of achieving the Union. In a long speech on 22 Nov. he argued against proceeding towards a perfect Union, as he thought the commissioners should be allowed to finish their work before there was any further discussion. Hobart also objected to the proposal to approach the king directly, as previously the Commons had proceeded in tandem with the Lords. Finally, he corrected those who had criticized the motto on the coin of the realm, faciam eos in gentum unam, pointing out that as the future tense was employed, a future rather than present Union of the two kingdoms was implied. Hobart was then named to the joint conference on the Union.60 He was further appointed to the committee to prepare for the joint conference on 11 Dec., and two days later was named to help lead the debate with the Lords. On 15 Dec. he announced that the Commons had not discussed escuage. After a brief debate it was decided to send him to the Upper House to warn the Lords to take notice of the problem when considering the hostile laws bill. Hobart subsequently became dissatisfied with the House’s work on the hostile laws bill, and in February 1607 he attempted unsuccessfully to avoid presenting the committee’s report due to a ‘very great cold’.61 Moreover, after the first reading of the bill on 4 May, Hobart left the chamber despite an order that ‘no man should go forth’. Some Members thereupon accused him of showing ‘contempt’ to the House, and called for him to be sent for by ‘the mace’. In the event Hobart avoided censure, but only after a division in which he narrowly achieved a majority (133 to 110).62 Throughout the Parliament Hobart steadfastly maintained his opposition to parts of the hostile laws bill, mainly over points of law concerning the swearing of witnesses in felony cases. He argued that in English law a prisoner accused of felony could not have the witnesses on his behalf placed under oath. Moreover, he considered that the bill contradicted a fundamental tenet of English law by treating the borders separately from the rest of the kingdom. However, Hobart eventually lost the argument, both in committee and on the floor of the House. His opposition led to some debate over who should chair the hostile laws committee on 26 June. Many Members wanted Nicholas Fuller to take the chair, while others called for Hobart to do so. Eventually, after Fuller declined the House accepted Hobart, who put himself forward and guided the Commons through the final amendments to the bill and the discussions with the Upper House.63

In contrast to his attitude towards the hostile laws bill, Hobart supported the government’s position on naturalization. On 18 Feb. he warned the Commons that the Scots ‘are naturalized in France, not with any love to them, but to draw them from us. Beware we leave them not loose, lest they be linked nearer to France than stands with our safety’. Two days later Hobart argued against passing a resolution on naturalization as it would offend the Lords, and on 21 Feb. he again supported the Crown’s position. On 7 Mar. he was named a manager of the joint conference on naturalization and given particular responsibility for examining the matter of wardship. Throughout the debates, both in the House and at the conferences, Hobart remained a staunch supporter of the king, forcibly arguing that the matter of the ante-nati should be left to the judges to decide.64 Hobart, of course, had a vested interest in the subject, for as attorney-general he subsequently (and successfully) argued for the plaintiff in Calvin’s Case.65

Probably because of his involvement with the Union as well as his duties as attorney-general, Hobart was not appointed to as many legislative committees as before. Of the 11 bill committees to which he was named, four concerned private measures: the relief of Mary Cavendish (4 Dec.), confirmation of Sir Roger Aston’s* purchase of Soham manor, Cambridgeshire (13 Dec.), Robert Bathurst’s right to Lechlade, Gloucestershire (15 Dec.) and John Good’s* conveyance of lands to the king (1 July), which Hobart reported to the House two days later.66 The other seven committees concerned ecclesiastical canons not approved by Parliament (11 Dec.), the true making of woollen cloth (23 Feb.), the wasting of wheat (26 Feb.), abuses in the Marshalsea Court (3 Mar.), Richard Sackville’s surrender of the office of chief butler (28 Mar.), the title of lands devised to the corporation of London (4 May) and a proposal to abolish High Commission (26 June).67 Hobart’s other committee appointment during the session was on 23 Mar. to discuss how to proceed during the Speaker’s absence through illness.68

In the fourth session, in 1610, Hobart was appointed to the joint conference on the Great Contract which met on 15 Feb., and together with Sir Francis Bacon reported to the House two days later. On 19 Feb., and again nine days later, he argued against insisting upon redress of grievances before supply. Instead, he favoured proceeding with both together, although he first wished the House to approve the provision of subsidies in principle.69 On 1 Mar. he was named to the committee for drafting the Commons’ letter to the Lords on the Contract. Similarly, on 5 Mar. his aid was enlisted to draw up a request to the Lords for a joint conference on wardship and tenures. He continued to play an active role throughout March and April, being appointed to all the joint conferences on the Great Contract, and in many cases reporting back to the House. At the conference on 26 Apr. he delivered the Commons’ offer of £100,000 to forgo wardship and tenures. However, on 28 Apr. he was censured and forced to apologize for raising the matter of an Orphanage Court to protect minors, which the Commons had not agreed to discuss at the conference. On 1 May Hobart recommended appointing a committee to pen the Commons’ answer to the Contract, and on 14 June he informed the Commons that the king was prepared to enlarge the General Pardon but warned that this would take further revenue from James.70

During the debates on impositions in late June and early July, Hobart argued that the king was entitled to impose. On 29 June he announced that he would ‘endeavour in this question to speak shortly as fittest in Parliament, and as evenly as I can, walk between the king’s right and the people’s freedom’. First, he reassured his listeners that the king could not make new laws nor change those in existence without Parliament’s approval. However, he added, the question is:

whether the king may impose upon merchandize exported and imported by the Common Law, where there is no restraint to the contrary; secondly, whether the king be restrained by any statute in toto or in tanto, whereby you may perceive it is de mero iure.

Hobart asserted that while the king could not prohibit the carriage of goods or movement of people within the kingdom, he did have the right to forbid and regulate overseas trade and travel, and hence

if he may restrain, then he may impose. For as when the law did forbid the exportation of wools, the king turned that to profit by dispensations with that statute; so when he may restrain, he may impose by way of dispensation for that restraint, and that he may do by Common Law. Therefore he may by Common Law impose; and if he might not by law, yet sure he may by reason of state, in foro mundi if not in foro fori.

Hobart supported this statement with numerous precedents showing that former kings had levied impositions, sometimes with parliamentary approval.71 At the grievances committee on 3 July he reasserted the king’s right, noting also that ‘it rests in the king’s judgment when, where, upon what, for how long, he will lay impositions’, but he nevertheless thought that the Commons should make known its ‘humble desire to be relieved’. The same day he was appointed to the committee to draft the petition to the king.72

During the same session Hobart led the Commons’ attack on Dr. Cowell’s book, The Interpreter, which offered a ‘presumptuous novelty’ in claiming that the two Houses could only make law in Parliament by the king’s goodwill. His handling of the subject at a joint conference on 2 Mar. won high praise from London’s ambitious recorder, Sir Henry Montagu, who was pleased that ‘a question so tender [was] handled so safely’ and called him a ‘champion for a kingdom’. The Lords accepted Hobart’s arguments, and in the subsequent trial Cowell was prosecuted by Hobart.73 Hobart was also involved in censuring Sir Stephen Procter and, as attorney-general, probably drafted the proviso exempting Procter from the General Pardon.74

Hobart drafted and sponsored the bill for the draining of fenland in Norfolk, and urged Robert Bowyer*, the clerk of the parliaments, to speed its passage through the Lords.75 During the session he was also named to 11 other bill committees, mostly concerned with private measures, and he reported the subsidy bill on 14 July.76 On 9 Mar. he reported the outcome of the Bridgnorth election, and on 4 July was named to a joint conference on justice in the north of England.77 Nothing is known of his role in Parliament in the sparsely documented fifth session.

In the summer of 1611 Hobart was taken seriously ill and not expected to live, prompting Bacon to solicit James for his office. However, Hobart recovered during the autumn.78 After the death of lord treasurer Salisbury in 1612 (at whose funeral Hobart was one of the small number of mourners) it was rumoured that he would succeed to the mastership of the Court of Wards, but in the event he was overlooked.79 However, he did not have long to wait for further promotion, for in 1613 he was appointed chief justice of Common Pleas after Coke was made lord chief justice of King’s Bench. Ironically, Bacon supported Hobart’s promotion, as he wished to succeed him as attorney-general. He also considered that Hobart

sorteth not so well with his present place [as attorney-general], being a man timid and scrupulous both in Parliament and in other business, and one that in a word was made fit for the late lord treasurer’s bent, which was to do little with much familiarity and protestation.80

Following his appointment as chief justice, Hobart was granted right of access to his former stamping ground of Lincoln’s Inn, to whose governors he had recently lent £500 for building.81 As head of Common Pleas, Hobart advanced his second son Miles to the clerkship of the warrants and escheats, but kept the fees for the office himself.82

The king’s decision to bar judges from riding the circuit of their birth or residence meant that Hobart was allocated the Western circuit in 1614. However, his tenure there was brief, for like most of the judges he had reservations about the guilt of Edward Peacham, whom James wished to have convicted for treason. Hobart was therefore ‘exiled’ to the difficult Home circuit.83 After two years he was transferred to the Midland circuit and rode there until his death. Hobart was appointed chancellor to Prince Charles in 1617. However, he was required to take a new oath, since as a judge he was forbidden to take ‘fee and livery’ from anyone except the king.84 In 1619 he won high praise for his role in reducing the 1st earl of Suffolk’s fine in Star Chamber after the latter was dismissed as lord treasurer for embezzlement. Coke argued that Suffolk should be fined £100,000, imprisoned in the Tower with his wife at his own charge and be forced to give restitution to the aggrieved parties, but according to Chamberlain, Hobart ‘so turned the tide that no man dissented from him after he had spoken’, with the sole exception of secretary of state (Sir) Robert Naunton*. Apparently, Hobart

did so anatomize the cause and gave so good reasons of every particular that he brought down the one fine to £30,000 ... adding withal that the institution of the court was not to ruin men and their families, that it might fine, but not [to] ransom so far as that salvo contentimento (a phrase of Magna Carta) a man should not have the means to uphold his degree ...

However, Hobart’s success in reducing Suffolk’s punishment was not universally popular. Chamberlain remarked that ‘he hath got no good by it to himself, and shall find little thanks for his labour.85 Hobart was evidently discussed as a suitable successor to Suffolk, but nothing transpired,86 and in 1620 it was rumoured, falsely, that he would become the new lord chief justice of King’s Bench.87 Three years later it was reported that he was willing to surrender his place for a peerage.88

During the course of a long legal career, Hobart accumulated extensive estates throughout Norfolk, including the manor of Ripton Hall, which he bought in 1608, and Cawston manor, which he acquired from the Crown in 1610.89 The same year he also paid £2,200 to Sir Charles Cornwallis* for a capital messuage and grounds in Norwich called St. Chapel in the Fields.90 In 1616 he purchased Blickling Hall from Sir Edward Clere and three years later he started building a substantial new house there.91 Although his account books are incomplete, his annual income exceeded £8,000 by the 1620s.92 In 1623 he bought three manors from the earl of Arundel for £2,000. Towards the end of his life, however, Hobart also sold part of his estates. His legal colleague Serjeant Thomas Richardson* purchased Cawston for £1,125 in 1623 and Beeston manor was sold to his second son, Miles, the following year. Hobart’s finances benefited from the marriage of his eldest surviving son, Sir John*, to Frances, daughter of John Egerton†, earl of Bridgewater, as the bride’s portion was £4,500. Of this, £1,652 was used to pay off Sir John’s debts but Hobart seems to have kept the remainder. Hobart not only bought property but also lent money. In 1622 his son-in-law, Sir Robert Crane*, borrowed £1,000, while in 1623 he lent £400 to Sir George Hastings*. In 1624 he lent no less than £5,000 to his kinswoman, Elizabeth, viscountess of Maidstone. The same year he also purchased £3,000 worth of joint stock in the East India Company.93 Hobart’s wealth enabled him to be a generous benefactor. He contributed £100 towards the 1614 Benevolence, and gave the same amount for the Palatinate in 1622, while in 1625 the duke of Buckingham received a New Year’s gift from Hobart worth £100.94 Hobart also spent £110 on fitting-out his son James’s soldiers for the Low Countries.95

Hobart died on 26 Dec. 1625 and was buried on 4 Jan. 1626 in Blickling parish church. Following his death, Sir Henry Spelman* lamented a ‘great loss to the commonweal’.96 The disposal of most of his estate, which included at least 33 manors, was settled before he drew up his will in 1625.97 In this he set aside £300 for funeral expenses, including £100 to be distributed to the poor in those parishes where he held land. His executors were Sir John Hobart, Sir Thomas Trevor* and (Sir) Heneage Finch*.98 The latter’s son, Heneage Finch†, earl of Nottingham, edited and published the notes Hobart had compiled throughout his life for his own use on cases he had heard in Common Pleas, Star Chamber and King’s Bench.99 Two portraits of Hobart in his robes are known to exist, one by Van Somer in the National Portrait Gallery and the other by Daniel Mytens at Blickling Hall; the British Library holds a fine copy of his seal.100 Hobart’s descendants subsequently became earls of Buckinghamshire and were commemorated in the naming of the capital of Tasmania. Two of Hobart’s sons, John and Nathaniel, also sat in Parliament.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Chris Kyle


  • 1. Vis. Norf. ed. W. Bulwer, ii. 60, 73.
  • 2. Al. Cant.; LI Admiss.
  • 3. LI Black Bks. i. 434.
  • 4. Norf. RO, NRS 10890.
  • 5. Vis. Norf. ii. 73.
  • 6. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 114.
  • 7. 47th DKR, app. 125.
  • 8. Vis. Norf. ii. 98-99.
  • 9. LI Black Bks. ii. 46, 61, 74, 81, 95, 99, 100, 161.
  • 10. Norf. Official Lists ed. H. L’Estrange, 128, 170.
  • 11. Norf. RO (King’s Lynn), KL/C7/10, f. 40.
  • 12. C.J. Palmer, Hist. Gt. Yarmouth, 359.
  • 13. LC4/198, unfol.; Oxford DNB; E. Foss, Judges of Eng. vi. 329.
  • 14. E403/1717, unfol.; J.S. Cockburn, Hist. Eng. Assizes, 269.
  • 15. Reg. Norwich Freemen ed. P. Millican, 101.
  • 16. Hatfield House, ms 278, unfol.; C181/2, ff. 34v, 96; SP14/33, f. 42; SP16/14/45; E403/1717, unfol.; C193/13/1, f. 71v.
  • 17. C181/1, ff. 9, 16, 99v; 181/2, ff. 11v, 13v, 30, 160, 284; 181/3, ff. 1, 20, 21v, 29, 97, 131, 138.
  • 18. C181/1, ff. 14v, 88v; 181/2, ff. 20, 50, 46, 62, 94, 105v, 148v, 281v, 320v, 324v, 330, 347; 181/3, ff. 35, 41, 43, 103v, 114v; Lansd. 168, f. 151v.
  • 19. C181/1, ff. 21v, 76v; 181/2, ff. 11v, 101, 220v.
  • 20. C181/1, f. 111v; 181/2, ff. 19, 36v, 73; 181/3, ff. 20, 132.
  • 21. SP14/31/1; C212/22/20, 23.
  • 22. C181/2, f. 89.
  • 23. E179/283.
  • 24. C181/2, ff. 127v, 263v.
  • 25. Ibid. ff. 142, 199.
  • 26. C181/3, f. 99.
  • 27. Duchy of Lancaster Office-Holders ed. R. Somerville, 199.
  • 28. CJ, i. 208b, 319a.
  • 29. R.G. Usher, Rise and Fall of High Commission, 352.
  • 30. C181/2, f. 172.
  • 31. HMC Downshire, v. 413.
  • 32. Add. 12504, f. 67v.
  • 33. A. Brown, Genesis of US, 211; CSP Col. E.I. 1513-1616, p. 239, 1617-21, p. 80.
  • 34. E315/1/360; SC6 Jas.I/1682, unfol.
  • 35. Norf. RO, NRS 8482.
  • 36. Ibid.; LI Black Bks. ii. 46.
  • 37. CJ, i. 150a, 151b.
  • 38. Ibid. 156b, 157a, 166b.
  • 39. Ibid. 154a, 945b.
  • 40. Ibid. 162b, 202a, 226a, 964a.
  • 41. Ibid. 232a, 985a.
  • 42. Ibid. 154b, 180a, 188b, 199a, 222b.
  • 43. Ibid. 167a, 180a, 184a, 186a, 187a, 195a, 202b, 207b, 210a, 222a, 225b, 227a-b, 232b, 233b, 234b.
  • 44. Chamberlain Letters ed. N.E. McClure, i. 211; Letters and Life of Francis Bacon ed. J. Spedding, iii. 292-4.
  • 45. WARD 9/159, f. 199.
  • 46. CJ, i. 257a, 262a, 263b, 276a, 277b; Bowyer Diary, 23-4.
  • 47. Letters and Life of Francis Bacon, iv. 50-2.
  • 48. CJ, i. 288b, 294b, 310a, 313b; Bowyer Diary, 91, 163, 170-3, 183.
  • 49. CJ, i. 267b, 273b, 274a, 279a, 310b.
  • 50. Ibid. 301a, 302b; Bowyer Diary, 127-8.
  • 51. CJ, i. 274a, 283a; Bowyer Diary, 75-6.
  • 52. CJ, i. 284b, 285a, 289b.
  • 53. Ibid. 260a, 275b, 287a.
  • 54. Ibid. 279a, 283b, 297b, 299b, 303a, 304a. For the other bills see ibid. 258b, 259a, 262a, 262b, 271a, 286a, 288a, 292a, 294b.
  • 55. Ibid. 257a, 272b, 284a, 290b, 291b, 294a, 295a.
  • 56. Ibid. 290a, 292b, 293a, 310b.
  • 57. Letters and Life of Francis Bacon, iv. 50, 93.
  • 58. Bowyer Diary, 188-9; CJ, i. 316a, 323b-4a.
  • 59. Cott. Titus F.IV, f. 93v; CJ, i. 324a; Bowyer Diary, 189.
  • 60. Bowyer Diary, 272-3; CJ, i. 324b.
  • 61. CJ, i. 329b, 330b, 331a, 1011a, 1012b.
  • 62. Ibid. 368b.
  • 63. Ibid. 380a, 388b, 1049b, 1052b, 1055a-b; Bowyer Diary, 310, 312, 319, 351, 356-7; SP14/27/30.
  • 64. CJ, i. 350a, 1016a, 1019a-b, 1034b; Bowyer Diary, 224, 250.
  • 65. C78/133/4; State Trials ed. T.B. Howell, ii. 661-96.
  • 66. CJ, i. 327b, 330b, 389b; Bowyer Diary, 368.
  • 67. CJ, i. 329b, 339b, 342b, 346a, 356a, 368b, 387b.
  • 68. Ibid. 354a.
  • 69. Ibid. 394a, 394b-5a, 396b-7a, 402b.
  • 70. Ibid. 403b, 406b, 409b, 410b, 419a, 420a, 421b, 422a, 423b, 433a, 436b, 439a; Procs. 1610 ed. E.R. Foster, i. 69-70; ii. 28, 65, 73, 117.
  • 71. Procs. 1610 ii. 198-201.
  • 72. Ibid. 249-50; CJ, i. 445a.
  • 73. CJ, i. 400b, 404a-b, 405b; Procs. 1610, i. 24-5.
  • 74. CJ, i. 400a, 407b, 408a, 452b, 453b.
  • 75. Ibid. 413a, 414b; HLRO, main pprs. 6 July 1610.
  • 76. CJ, i. 397b, 398a, 409b, 413b, 415b, 416b, 417b, 418b, 429a, 444b, 450a.
  • 77. Ibid. 408a, 450a.
  • 78. Letters and Life of Francis Bacon, iv. 243.
  • 79. Chamberlain Letters, i. 354, 357.
  • 80. Letters and Life of Francis Bacon, iv. 381.
  • 81. LI Black Bks. ii. 141, 154, 161.
  • 82. Norf. RO, NRS 11078.
  • 83. Cockburn, 227; D.H. Willson, Jas. I, 380-1.
  • 84. Foss, 348.
  • 85. Chamberlain Letters, ii. 274.
  • 86. HMC Downshire, vi. 522.
  • 87. Chamberlain Letters, ii. 326.
  • 88. Ibid. 471.
  • 89. F. Blomefield, Hist. Norf. vi. 259, 376-7.
  • 90. Norf. RO, NRS 20723.
  • 91. C. Stanley-Millson and J. Newman, ‘Blickling Hall’, Architectural Hist. xxix. 1-42.
  • 92. W.R. Prest, Rise of the Barristers, 129, 155.
  • 93. Norf. RO, MC 184/3/1, unfol.
  • 94. E351/1950; SP14/119/14; Norf. RO, MC 184/3/1, unfol.
  • 95. Norf. RO, MC 184/3/1, unfol.
  • 96. Foss, 348.
  • 97. Norf. RO, NRS 15928.
  • 98. Add. 28008, ff. 22-34.
  • 99. Eng. Reps. lxxx, 151-490.
  • 100. BL, Seals. xxxv, 276.