HYDE, Sir Robert (c.1578-at least 1638), of Charlton, nr. Wantage, Berks.; later of Clerkenwell, Mdx.

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.1578,1 2nd s. of William Hyde (d.1598) of South Denchworth, Berks. and Kingston Lisle, Oxon. and Catherine, da. of George Gill of Wyddial, Herts.; bro. of Sir George†. m. Joan, wid. of Richard Ashcombe (d.1606) of Curbridge, Oxon. and da. of Stephen Brice of Witney, Oxon., s.p.2 kntd. 23 July 1603.3 d. aft. 1638.4 sig. Ro[bert] Hyde

Offices Held

Commr. sewers, Berks and Oxon. 1604, 1612;5 j.p. Berks. by c.1612-c.1636;6 commr. charitable uses, Berks. 1617-18, 1626, 1628;7 freeman, Abingdon, Berks. 1620;8 ranger, Braydon Forest, Wilts. by 1621-8;9 commr. subsidy, Berks. ?1621-2, 1624,10 Forced Loan 1626,11 martial law 1626.12

Gent. pens. 1618-31.13


The Hydes were of ancient lineage, and by the seventeenth century had developed several branches in Berkshire and Wiltshire.14 The South Denchworth family enjoyed a well-established political pedigree: Hyde’s great-grandfather represented Berkshire in Parliament on three occasions, and his grandfather, great-uncle and brother had all been MPs. Hyde himself was knighted at James’s coronation in 1603 and purchased the two parts of Charlton manor (neighbouring his own) in 1609 and 1612, which became Hyde’s residence.15 His only other known property, owned jointly with his brother, was a messuage in Kingston Lisle.16 At an uncertain date Hyde married Joan, the widow of Richard Ashcombe, whose estate at Curbridge lay some 15 miles north of Charlton. Ashcombe had left Joan £800, an annuity of Curbridge farm worth £40, and unspecified lands in Dorset.17 Hyde’s name is interlined in the wages certificate of the gentleman pensioners for the quarter ending midsummer 1618, indicating that he was appointed to the band during that period.

Hyde’s election for Abingdon in December 1620 was probably secured by his elder brother Sir George, whose seat at South Denchworth lay about nine miles distant. A connection with Sir George had certainly helped Sir Richard Lovelace to the borough’s seat in 1604. Nevertheless, Hyde was doubtless already known to the corporation, having been an active member of a commission that had inquired into property belonging to one of the borough parishes two years earlier.18 The opportunity for the Hydes to reassert their influence with the borough had arisen as a result of Sir Robert Knollys choosing a county seat.

Hyde left no trace on the surviving parliamentary records. In early 1622 he was summoned to attend the Privy Council for refusing to subscribe to the Benevolence for the Palatinate levied in the aftermath of the dissolution of Parliament.19 On the death of his elder brother in early 1623, Hyde was granted letters of administration to his estate.20 He was re-elected to Parliament in 1625, this time for Wootton Bassett, in Wiltshire. As ranger of Braydon forest he had an interest in north Wiltshire, and, shortly before the king’s death he had been granted fines and profits owing to the Crown from the hundred of Chippenham.21 Once again he played no recorded part in Parliament’s proceedings.

In 1626 Hyde was elected for another north Wiltshire borough, Cricklade, where Thomas Howard, 1st earl of Suffolk, the keeper of Braydon forest, was the major electoral patron.22 For the third time Hyde played no discernable part in the work of the Commons, although he procured a discharge for his £20 assessment towards the Privy Seal loan on 15 March.23 There is no evidence that he sought re-election in 1628, in which year he received £200 compensation for his loss of office arising from the disafforestation of Braydon.24 In 1631 he was replaced as a gentleman pensioner, and a few years later was removed from the Berkshire bench. He survived until at least 23 May 1638, when he appeared as a deponent in a Chancery case. He gave his age as 60 and his address as Clerkenwell, but he also stated that ‘he hath for some years past been a prisoner ... in the Fleet’, presumably having been arrested for debt. Nothing further is known of him and no will or grant of administration has been found.25

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Henry Lancaster / Ben Coates


  • 1. C24/629/57.
  • 2. Vis. Berks. (Harl. Soc. lvi), 100; PROB 11/107, ff. 376, 379.
  • 3. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 118.
  • 4. C24/629/57.
  • 5. C181/1, f. 85; 181/2, f. 168v.
  • 6. C66/1898; C193/13/2, f. 5.
  • 7. C93/7/12; 93/10/22; 93/11/13; A.E. Preston, Church and Parish of St. Nicholas, Abingdon, 212.
  • 8. Berks. RO, TF41, f. 152.
  • 9. SO3/7, unfol., Apr. 1621; CSP Dom. 1628-9, p. 11.
  • 10. C212/22/20-1, 23.
  • 11. T. Rymer, Foedera, viii. pt. 2, p. 144.
  • 12. Add. 21922, f. 66.
  • 13. Coll. Top. et Gen. vi. 193; Badminton House, FM H2/4/1, f. 17.
  • 14. B. Burke, Commoners, iv. 675; E. Ashmole, Antiqs. of Berks. ii. 215-16.
  • 15. VCH Berks. iv. 326.
  • 16. Wilts. IPMs ed. G.S. and A.E. Fry (Brit. Rec. Soc. xxiii), 162.
  • 17. PROB 11/107, f. 374.
  • 18. Preston, 212.
  • 19. SP14/127/82.
  • 20. Berks. RO, D/P 115B/1/1, unfol.; C142/688/14; PROB 6/11, f. 18.
  • 21. CSP Dom. 1625-6, p. 19.
  • 22. E315/310, f. 56.
  • 23. E401/2586, pp. 93, 541.
  • 24. CSP Dom. 1628-9, p. 11; VCH Wilts. iv. 406.
  • 25. C24/629/57.