HYDE, Robert (1650-1722), of Dinton, Wilts.
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Family and Education
b. 10 Oct. 1650, 2nd but o. surv. s. of Alexander Hyde, bp. of Salisbury 1665-7, by Mary, da. of Robert Townson, bp. of Salisbury 1620-1. educ. Magdalen Hall, Oxf. 1666; M. Temple 1667, called 1673. m. (1) 4 May 1674, Lady Finetta Pope (d. 16 Oct. 1700), da. of Thomas, 3rd Earl of Downe , and coh. to her bro. Thomas, 4th Earl, 2s. 1da. d.v.p.; (2) 26 Jan. 1704, Arundell, da. of Thomas Penruddock of Compton Chamberlayne, Wilts., s.p. suc. uncle Sir Robert Hyde, c.j.K.b. 1663-5, at Dinton and Heale 1665, fa. 1667.1
J.p. Wilts. 1672-June 1688, Oct. 1688-d., commr. for assessment 1677-80, 1689-90, dep. lt. 1685-June 1688, Oct. 1688-d.; freeman, Salisbury 1680, Wilton 1685-May 1688; commr. for rebels’ estates, Wilts. 1686.2
Hyde’s father was the elder brother of Sir Frederick Hyde. Hyde himself seems to have passed his early manhood chiefly at Dinton, the lease of which had been settled on him by his uncle. Returned to the Cavalier Parliament at a by-election in 1677, he was accused in A Seasonable Argument of selling his vote to the Court for £1,000 before he even took his seat, and Shaftesbury marked him ‘thrice vile’. But Danby did not list him as a court supporter in 1678, which seems to dispose of the allegation, whatever the Opposition thought. Probably his only committee was for the estate bill of John Bankes, whom he remembered in his will as one of his worthy friends. He was included in the list of the ‘unanimous club’, and probably did not stand in 1679, though with his kinsman Thomas Lambert he was commended at the assizes in 1680 for his zeal in seeking out Papists. In 1681 he was invited to contest Shaftesbury, but refused in order to concentrate on Hindon, where, however, the Thynne interest was too strong for him. The sale of burgages after the death of Thomas Thynne II in the following year and the acquisition of West Hatch, two miles from Hindon, in 1683 strengthened Hyde’s interest in the borough. He was returned with Lambert to James II’s Parliament, probably unopposed, but was appointed only to the committee for the encouragement of woollen manufactures. To the lord lieutenant’s questions in 1688:
He will not declare what he will do, before he comes into the House of Commons. He will not contribute to the election of such Members as shall be for taking away Penal Laws and Tests, by reason ’twould declare his opinion beforehand. With all his heart he will live friendly with all persons of what persuasions soever, and is for a toleration.
The King’s electoral agents wrote that Hyde had the chief interest at Hindon, and he was duly returned to the Convention. After voting to agree with the Lords that the throne was not vacant, he obtained leave to go into the country on 6 Mar. 1689. But he may have served on the committee of elections and privileges in the second session. Hyde continued to sit for Hindon as a Tory till 1698, though he did not refuse the Association. He represented the county from 1702 till his death ten days after the general election of 1722, being regarded as a possible Jacobite under the Hanoverians. His estates passed under entail to a cousin and namesake, the last of this branch of the family, who never sat in Parliament and died shortly afterwards.3