HOUBLON, Jacob (1710-70), of Hallingbury, Essex.
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Family and Education
b. 31 July 1710, o. surv. s. of Charles Houblon, Portugal merchant, of Bubbingworth Hall, Essex by Mary, da. and h. of Daniel Bate, London merchant, of Barton Court, Abingdon, Berks. educ. Corpus Christi, Camb. 1725; migr. to Emmanuel 1730. m. 31 July 1735, Mary, da. of Sir John Hynde Cotton, 3rd Bt., of Madingley, Cambs., 3s. 2da. suc. fa. 1711; and his fa.’s 1st cos. Sir Richard Houblon 1724.
Sheriff, Herts. 1757-8.
Coming over from Flanders as Protestant refugees in the sixteenth century, the Houblons in the seventeenth attained great eminence in the city of London. Three Houblon brothers were founding directors of the Bank of England, one of whom was its first governor, and another M.P. for London 1698-1700. The governor’s son, Sir Richard Houblon, himself a director of the Bank, left his real and personal property in trust to his cousin, Jacob Houblon, then a minor, in tail male, ordering that the personal estate should be laid out in the purchase of further lands to be similarly entailed. The estate of Hallingbury on the confines of Essex and Hertfordshire, was bought in 1729 by the trustees.1
Jacob Houblon completely severed his family’s Whig and city of London ties to become a Tory squire. Returned for Colchester and then for Hertfordshire as a Tory, he joined the Cocoa Tree Club, becoming connected with the extreme Tories by his marriage to Sir John Hynde Cotton’s daughter. During his first 12 years in Parliament he regularly voted against the Government, except on the motion for Walpole’s removal in 1741, when he was among the Tories who walked out. His father-in-law and Sir Robert Abdy, another extreme Tory, stood sponsors for his eldest son. The baptism was celebrated ‘with the greatest magnificence imaginable’.
Most of the gentlemen within 15 or 20 miles of Mr. Houblon’s seat in Essex were present, and most of the common people within 4 or 5 miles were made so welcome that they lay in heaps round his house dead drunk ... There were 20 knights and baronets and 150 gentlemen.2
He did not stand in 1747. Re-elected in 1761, he died 15 Feb. 1770.