HOBART, Sir Henry (c.1658-98), of Blickling Hall, Norf.
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Family and Education
b. c.1658, 1st s. of Sir John Hobart, 3rd Bt., by 2nd w. educ. Thetford g.s.; St. John’s, Camb. adm. 6 May 1674, aged 16. m. 9 July 1684, Elizabeth, da. and coh. of Joseph Maynard of Clifton Reynes, Bucks., 1s. 8da. Kntd. 29 Sept. 1671; suc. fa. as 4th Bt. 22 Aug. 1683.1
Steward of duchy of Lancaster estates, Norf., and Cambs. 1680-d.; freeman, Lynn 1681; treas. King’s Bench and Marshalsea prisons 1683-d.; j.p. and dep. lt. Norf. Feb. 1688-d., commr. for assessment 1689-90, v.-adm. 1691-d.2
Equerry 1689-?91; commr. of customs 1697-d.3
Hobart was knighted as a schoolboy of 13 during a royal visit to Blickling in 1671. Notwithstanding this unusual honour, he was returned for King’s Lynn in 1681; as an opponent of the Court. In the Oxford Parliament he was named only to the committee of elections and privileges. After succeeding to an encumbered estate, he was defeated in the Norfolk election in 1685 and listed by Danby among the opposition to James II. Nevertheless in 1688 he was appointed to local office as a Whig collaborator, and the King’s electoral agents reported that he would be proposed as court candidate for the county, his Presbyterian chaplain having ‘engaged for him’ that he was ‘right by inclination’ on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws.4
At the general election of 1689 Hobart defeated Tory candidates both for Norfolk and Thetford. When the Convention met he opted to sit for the county, and moved that ‘the votes of this House might be printed for the satisfaction of the nation in this juncture’, but after debate the motion was laid aside. He may have been responsible for the excellent account of proceedings in the House on 28 Jan. On the next day he complained of the extravagant bail recently demanded and of the conduct of the lords lieutenant. A moderately active Member, he was among those instructed after the debate to bring in a list of the essentials for securing religion, law and liberty, and was appointed to 14 committees in all. He helped to prepare the address promising assistance in support of alliances abroad, in the reduction of Ireland, and in defence of the law and the Protestant religion (1 Mar.). He was added to the revived committee for the bill of rights and settlement (22 Mar.), and named to that to bring in the bill for religious comprehension (1 Apr.). On 8 May he was sent to the Lords to desire a conference on expediting the conviction and disarmament of Papists. Although he held a minor place at Court, he obtained the leave of the House on 28 June to go into the country for a month, and took an active part in disarming the local non-jurors. In the second session he acted as teller for an amendment to the address refusing to make any recommendations for service in Ireland. He served on the committee for the bill to restore corporations and supported the disabling clause. He lost his seat at the general election, but remained a court Whig until he died of wounds received in a duel on 21 Aug. 1698. He was buried at Blickling. His son sat for St. Ives as a Whig from 1715 to 1727 and then briefly for Norfolk, before being raised to the peerage in the coronation honours of George II.5
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: Eveline Cruickshanks
- 1. Vis. Norf. ed. Bulwer, ii. 80-81.
- 2. Sir Robert Somerville, Duchy of Lancaster Office-Holders, 198; Lynn Freemen, 191; HMC Lothian, 89, 129; Norf. Ltcy. Jnl. (Norf. Rec. Soc. xxx), 92, 98; Ind. 24557.
- 3. LS13/231/28; Luttrell, ii. 252; iv. 239.
- 4. HMC 11th Rep. VII, 106; Hist. of Parl. Trust, W. W. Bean, ‘List of Polls’.
- 5. R. Morrice, Entering Bk. 2, p. 437; IHR Bull. xlix. 243; Hardwick SP, i. 422; CJ, x. 125, 300; HMC Lothian, 136; Vis. Norf. ii. 99.