HOAR, Roger (d. 1699), of Bridgwater, Som.
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Family and Education
m. (1) Mary (d. 1676), 2s. (1 d.v.p.) 2da.; (2) 29 Mar. 1677, Mary Poore, s.p.1
Commr. recusants’ fines, Som. 1688; mayor, Bridgwater 1692.2
During the 1690s, Hoar, a wealthy maltster, appears to have been leader of the Whig Dissenting interest in Bridgwater. He had supported Monmouth’s rebellion in 1685, and although he himself had not taken up arms, he contributed to the rebels’ military chest and was subsequently arrested for high treason. Tried and convicted, he was sentenced to death which was later commuted to transportation and then remitted entirely, his pardon being conditional on finding a ‘good security’ for future behaviour. He was later fined £1,000. After the Revolution he became a prominent figure in the corporation, attaining the mayoral dignity in 1692. His correspondence with Edward Clarke I*, whom he regarded as one of ‘my very good friends’, shows his keen public-spirited concern with matters as varied as the apprehension of coin clippers, the establishment in the town of a house of correction to ‘keep the unruly poor in order’, and a project to make the Parrett navigable between Bridgwater and Taunton. At the same time his outlook was infused with a strong piety. Contemplating the domestic and European scene at the end of January 1694, he hoped that the opportunity was near ‘for humbling the haughty monarch of France whom God in his providence is bringing low, and though hosts and armies have not been able to deal with him, yet the supreme governor of the world can by his immediate hand’.3
Hoar was returned for the town unopposed in 1695. He afterwards expressed the hope to his friend, Under-Secretary John Ellis*, that ‘this Parliament will consist of such men as will unanimously agree to assist his Majesty that he may be enabled to finish the good work he hath begun, viz. the humbling the French tyrant and restoring an honourable and lasting peace to Christendom and in continuing England’s tranquillity’. He soon presented himself as a consistent Court supporter who took a keen interest in a wide range of secondary and routine matters. In January 1696 he was forecast as a likely supporter on the proposed council of trade, and in February subscribed immediately to the Association. On 10 Mar. he acted as a teller in favour of allowing Quakers to affirm without the need to obtain certification from their congregations. Later that month he voted with the government on fixing the price of guineas at 22s., having on 20 Mar. acted as teller against a motion to include in the guineas bill a clause setting their price at 25s. He was granted leave of the House on 17 Apr. In the next session, on 25 Nov., he voted for the attainder of Sir John Fenwick†. He was teller on a detail in the land tax bill on 21 Jan. 1697, and on 18 Feb. in support of committal of a bill to prevent the export of wool, while in March he dealt with the latter stages of a bill concerning measurements in brewing. During the final session of this Parliament he was involved with two bills, the more important concerning the repair of Bridgwater’s bridge and quay, and was teller on four occasions on a series of minor questions in connexion with government bills. One of these tellerships concerned the drawback on salt and there is evidence that he was part of the rock salt lobby organized from Liverpool.4
Hoar obtained first place at the poll in Bridgwater in 1698, and in a comparative listing of the new and old Houses of Commons compiled shortly afterwards was noted as a Court supporter. He also voted in favour of a standing army on 18 Jan. 1699. His growing importance on the government side is seen in the increase in the number of occasions he was required to act as teller: on 27 Feb. against the East India Company’s request for legislation allowing them to subsist for the full 21 years of their charter of 1693; on 1 Mar. against the Tory candidate in the disputed Ludlow election; on the 20th in favour of toning down the address on the Dutch guards; on the 23rd in favour of a re-issue of Exchequer bills; on the 29th in favour of the recommittal of the report on the Malmesbury election; and twice more on minor technicalities in bills. Apart from supporting the initiation of bills to encourage the nation’s woollen industry and to prevent ‘clandestine elections’, his chief legislative preoccupation was with a bill for draining the Sedgemoor area of Somerset which, after several months’ gestation in the Commons, he conveyed to the Upper House on 28 Apr. Although the bill completed its course and passed into law, its provisions, as was noted many years later, were never implemented. Hoar’s death occurred suddenly on 12 May 1699, and he was buried at St. Mary’s, Bridgwater. He left an estate of some 25 tenants, several inns and around £1,500.5
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Authors: Paula Watson / Andrew A. Hanham
- 1. St. Mary’s Bridgwater par. reg. (ex inf. Frances Pearce).
- 2. S. G. Jarmon, Bridgwater, 266; Cal. Treas. Bks. viii. 1804, 1982.
- 3. Info. from Dr J. M. Triffitt; CSP Dom. 1685, pp. 269, 293, 302, 345, 379; Cal. Treas. Bks. viii. 421, 425; Som. RO, Sanford mss DD/SF 3092, Hoar to Clarke, 4 Jan., 8 Feb. 1692–3, 31 Jan. 1693–4; 3093, same to same, 11 Nov. 1693; Parlty. Hist. xvi. 182–3.
- 4. Add. 28879, f. 258.
- 5. Som. RO, Phelips mss DD/PH 212/29, John Speke* to Mr Pittard, 15 Sept. 1709; Post Boy, 13–16 May 1699; Luttrell, Brief Relation, iv. 515; S. G. Jarmon, St. Mary’s Church, Bridgwater, 37; info. from Dr Triffitt.