HOBART, Hon. Robert (1760-1816).

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



15 Dec. 1788 - 1790
1790 - 1796

Family and Education

b. 6 May 1760, 1st surv. s. of Hon. George Hobarteduc. Westminster 1770; Strasbourg military acad. 1776-7.1  m. (1) 4 Jan. 1792, Margaretta (d. 7 Aug. 1796), da. and coh. of Edmund Bourke of Urrey, wid. of Thomas Adderley of Innishannon, co. Cork, 1s. (d. inf.), 1 da.; (2) 1 June 1799, Eleanor Agnes, da. of William Eden, 1st Baron Auckland, s.p.  cr.Lord Hobart of Blickling 30 Nov. 1798; suc. fa. as 4th Earl of Buckinghamshire 14 Nov. 1804.

Offices Held

M.P. [I] 1784-97.

Ensign 59 Ft. 1776; went out to America Aug. 1777; capt. 30 Ft. 1778; maj. 18 Lt. Drag. 1783; ret. 1784.

P.C. [I] 21 Apr. 1789; chief sec. to ld. lt. [I] 1789-1793; P.C. [GB] 1 May 1793; gov. Madras 1793-8; sec. of state for war and colonies, Mar. 1801-4; chancellor of duchy of Lancaster Jan.-July 1805, May-June 1812; jt. postmaster gen. 1806-7; pres. Board of Control 1812- d.


Hobart, like some other members of his family, cultivated ‘pretty ladies’, an affected style, and went in for theatricals. In April 1786, when a vacancy was expected at Lincoln, the Duke of Rutland recommended him to Pitt;2 and on 8 June Rutland wrote to Thomas Orde3 that when Pitt was approached, he pleaded a prior engagement:

But if ... on a vacancy he should find himself disengaged, let him know that Major Hobart will have my utmost support, and that I am certain I shall have his. I hope Mr. Pitt, on all my election views, will not contend to prevent my ability of serving him.

On 15 Dec. 1788 Hobart was returned for Bramber on the Rutland interest, and on 16 Dec., in the division on the Regency bill, voted with Government.

He died 4 Feb. 1816.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Sir Lewis Namier


  • 1. Hobart to Sir Chas. Hotham, 29 July, 9 Oct. 1776, 13 Apr. 1777, Hotham mss, East Riding RO.
  • 2. Corresp. bet. W. Pitt and Charles Duke of Rutland, ed. John, Duke of Rutland, 3 (misdated).
  • 3. HMC Rutland, iii. 306-8.