HOBART, Henry (c.1554-1625), of Highgate, Mdx. and Intwood and Blickling, Norf.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. c.1554, 2nd s. of Thomas Hobart of Plumstead, Norf. by Audrey, da. of William Hare of Beeston, Norf. educ. Peterhouse, Camb. 1570; Furnival’s Inn; L. Inn 1575, called 1584. m. 1590, Dorothy, da. of Robert Bell of Beaupré Hall, Norf., 12s. 4da. Kntd. 1603; cr. Bt. 1611.

Offices Held

Of counsel to Great Yarmouth 1586, under-steward from c.1590; gov. L. Inn 1591, bencher 1596, Lent reader 1601, 1603, 1608, 1610, double reader 1602; freeman, Norwich 1592, steward 1595; j.p.q. Norf. from c.1593; serjeant-at-law 1603; attorney of ct. of wards 1605; attorney-gen. 1606-13; chancellor to Henry, Prince of Wales 1612; receiver, duchy of Lancaster lands in Cambs., Norf. and Suff. 1613; bailiff, duchy of Lancaster lands in Norf. and Suff. by 1625; c.j. common pleas 1612; chancellor to Charles, Prince of Wales 1617; justice of assize Derbys., Lincs., Northants., Notts. and Warws. 1620.


The Hobarts were a long established East Anglian family with numerous branches in Norfolk and Suffolk. Sir James Hobart of Hales Hall had been attorney-general and Privy Councillor to Henry VII, and left a fortune in estates dissipated by his successors. It was Henry Hobart, his great-grandson, ancestor of the earls of Buckingham, who set up the family again through a fortunate marriage and a distinguished career in the law.1

Hobart was appointed counsel for Yarmouth in October 1586 with a fee of 40s. p.a. on the recommendation of Henry Woodhouse and was soon made under-steward of the borough, of which Lord Burghley was high steward. It was presumably Burghley who brought Hobart into the 1589 Parliament for the Cornish borough of St. Ives. Hobart was next returned for Yarmouth itself to the last two Elizabethan Parliaments, taking part in 1597 in the debate on a bill promoted by Lowestoft and successfully opposed by Yarmouth. He sat on several committees in this Parliament, his surname appearing in the journals as either Hubbard or Hubberd, so that unless the first name is given, it is impossible to be certain that Edward Hubberd is not meant. It seems likely, however, that it was Hobart who sat on committees dealing with the following: privileges and returns (5 Nov.), law reform (8 Nov.), maltsters (9 Nov., 12 Jan.), monopolies (10 Nov.), forestallers and regrators (16 Nov.), stealing horses (16 Nov.), the poor (22 Nov.), the lands of Sir John Spencer (25 Nov.), possessions of the bishops of Norwich (30 Nov., reported by him 5 and 7 Dec., 16 Jan.), the importation of foreign cards for wool (8 Dec.), the provision of a preacher in the Tower of London (12 Dec.), tellers and receivers (12 Dec.), the maintenance of the navy (18 Jan.) and the goods of John Sharp (20 Jan.). The Great Yarmouth burgesses were appointed to a committee concerning land reclamation (3 Dec.). No possibility of confusion exists in 1601. He was again named to the committee of privileges and returns (31 Oct.), and he served on the main business committee (3 Nov.) and on the bill to avoid trifling and vexatious lawsuits (12 Nov.). No speeches by him are known in this Parliament. He sat again under James I, and died, a rich man, in 1625.2

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: G.M.C.


  • 1. Foss, Judges, 329; Vis. Norf. (Harl. Soc. xxxii), 165; DNB; L. Inn Black Bks. i. 434; ii. 46, 61, 74, 81, 95, 99, 161; Le Strange, Norf. Official Lists, 170; Norwich Freemen, ed. Millican, 101; Norwich Central Lib. mss NRS 12981/27 F5, NRS 8873/21 F5.
  • 2. Norf. Arch. xii. 158, 161; C. J. Palmer, Yarmouth, 152, 340; Yarmouth ass. bk. 1579-98, ff. 120, 276v; Bull. IHR, xii. 22; Townshend, Hist. Colls. 106, 108, 110, 111, 113, 115, 121; D’Ewes, 552, 553, 555, 558, 561, 563, 565, 567, 568, 569, 571, 572, 578, 581, 582, 583, 622, 624, 635; PCC 56 Hele.