HASSARD, Robert (1553-1627), of Lyme Regis, Dorset.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
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Family and Education

b. 1531, 4th (?1st surv.) s. of Robert Hassard (d.1545) of Beer, (?Devon) by his w. Agnes. m. Thomasine, da. of John Parrot, 1s. 2da.

Offices Held

Mayor, Lyme Regis 1567-8, 1572-3, 1578-9, 1582-3, 1588-9, 1594-5, 1606-7.


Hassard was a merchant and shipowner whose name figures prominently in the surviving manuscript records of his borough. He traded with Exeter in 1570, exported grain in 1576, rode to Dorchester on the town’s business in the following year, and supplied wine to the 2nd Earl of Bedford. He was prosecuted by (Sir) Walter Ralegh for infringing one of his patents, and, in 1585, narrowly escaped imprisonment for sending a ship, the Fleur-de-Lys, to the ‘Isles of Surreis’, whence it had returned with a cargo of captured sugar. Another ship, the Advantage, of Lyme, of which Hassard was part-owner, captured a Portuguese prize worth £700 in 1590, again laden with sugar and some cotton. He also traded with France. On 27 Feb. 1585, Hassard was given charge of the bill dealing with the Lyme Regis cobb, and rendered the town an itemized bill for £52 12s., which included his own wages and expenses. In 1586 he rode several times on the town’s business from London, where he was attending Parliament, submitting a ‘remembrance’ to Walsingham about repairs to the cobb. In this Parliament his wages amounted to £20 17s. He died 7 Nov. 1612. Apart from a contribution of 10s. to the Geneva collection of 1583, there is no evidence of Hassard’s religious opinions. Another John Hassard was a puritan preacher in 1616.1

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: P. W. Hasler


This biography is based upon the Roberts thesis.

  • 1. Harl. 1539, f. 189v; H. B. Swanzy, Fam. of Hazzard, 10; Hutchins, Dorset, ii. 46, 48, 69; G. Roberts, Hist. Lyme Regis and Charmouth, 382; St. Ch. 5/H32/4, M21/18; Lyme Regis mayors’ accounts; Trans. Dev. Assoc. xx. 83-4; Dorset Mus. doc. no. 6267/47; G. S. Thomson, Two Cents. Fam. Hist. 244; E112/10/48; SP12/182/48; HCA 13/96; CSP Dom. 1581-90, p. 647; D’Ewes, 361; Lyme Regis, fugitive pieces, 6, 34; Lyme Regis recs.; HMC Exeter, 93-6.