HOARE, Sir Richard (1649-1719), of Fleet Street, London, and Hendon, Mdx.
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Family and Education
bap. 8 Sept. 1649, 1st s. of Henry Hoare of St. Botolph without Aldersgate, London, by Cicely. m. lic. 27 July 1672, Susanna, da. of John Austen, of Brittens, Essex, 11s. (7 d.v.p.) 6da. (4 d.v.p.). suc. fa. 1668; kntd. 29 Oct. 1702.1
Freeman, Goldsmiths’ Co. 1672, prime warden 1703–4; alderman, London 1703, sheriff 1709–10; mayor 1712–13; freeman, Bath 1711.2
Receiver, Salt Duty Act 1694, Malt Duty Act 1697; commr. building 50 new churches 1711–15.
Commr. Greenwich Hosp. 1695; pres. Christ’s Hosp. 1713–d.
Dir. S. Sea Co. 1711–15.3
The founder of a dynasty of bankers, Hoare established himself as ‘a very considerable figure in the City of London’. Boasting an ancient Devon ancestry, his father had been the first of his line to settle in the capital, moving from the Buckinghamshire village of Walton to set himself up as a ‘horse courser in Smithfield’. Hoare inherited from him an annual income of £400, which he used to start up in business as a goldsmith and banker in Cheapside. In March 1690 he was cited by Sir Peter Rich† as a leading Tory financier, and by the end of the year had moved premises to Fleet Street. Thereafter his reputation grew apace, and alongside fellow bankers Sir Francis Child* and (Sir) Charles Duncombe*, he proved one of the Tories’ most influential allies in the capital.4
Hoare’s standing in the City was demonstrated as early as 1694 when he acted as a receiver for the £1 million loan to be raised on the Salt Duty Act. However, sharing the fears of other goldsmiths for their trade, he bitterly opposed the creation of the Bank of England, and helped to circulate pamphlets against it. In early 1696 he subscribed the Association as a member of the Goldsmiths’ Company, and, despite his animus against the Bank, continued to act for the ministry. In 1697 he was a member of a cartel which advanced the King £60,000, and was also appointed one of the receivers for the Malt Duty Act. The following year he was prepared to subscribe £4,000 to the Old East India Company’s proposed loan to the government. Given such prominence in City circles, he may be identified with some certainty as the ‘Mr Hoare’ who in November 1700 was reported to have declined to seek election to the aldermanic bench. However, he revealed his interest in public affairs in January 1701 when railing against the ‘blackest and falsest reflections’ which had been levelled against the majority of Members in the new Parliament, who he thought would act ‘for the good of their King and country’.5
The accession of Anne appears to have galvanized Hoare, for in June 1702 he stood for election as sheriff, and subsequently campaigned with ‘extraordinary diligence’ in support of the Tory parliamentary candidates prior to the City contest. Having overcome ‘great opposition’, he rejoiced in the return of three Tories in the capital, but was also willing to congratulate his Whig customer William Jessop* on election for Aldborough. Soon afterwards Hoare received a knighthood when the Queen attended the mayoral feast at the Guildhall, which honour he thought as ‘unexpected as deserving’. Perhaps encouraged by such public recognition, in September 1703 he finally attained the office of alderman. His eagerness to advance his party’s cause was subsequently revealed by his entreaty to business client Lord Fermanagh [I] (John Verney*) to support the Tory Francis Duncombe* at the Buckinghamshire by-election of November 1704.6
Hoare finally stood for London at the election of May 1705, but could only manage fifth place as the City Tories succumbed to a comprehensive defeat. Before the poll he had expressed concern at the ‘great disadvantages’ which his party faced in the capital, and in the wake of defeat opined that the Tories would continue to struggle ‘unless the members of the New [East India] Company and the Bank are restrained from concerning themselves in being elected’. He again revealed a close interest in the political fortunes of his clients, and actually endeavoured to secure votes for the Tory Samuel Trotman* at Bath. Moreover, he fervently hoped that ‘true well-wishers to the Church of England interest will not fail to give constant attendance next session, there being an absolute necessity for it’.7
Debate surrounding the renewal of the Bank’s charter in 1707 predictably saw a forthright contribution from Hoare, who stubbornly opposed it. His outspokenness on this issue rebounded on him in March 1708, for he was accused of promoting a run on the Bank following the abortive Jacobite invasion. ‘So concerned at his being reflected on’, he went into print to deny the ‘several false and malicious reports industriously spread abroad’ against him. That same month he actually received an endorsement from the Whig John Dolben*, who thought Hoare ‘a damned Tory’, but admitted that he did have ‘the fairest character and is the most secure of any of his calling’. However, such attributes failed to rally sufficient support for him at the City election of 1708, when he finished a lowly seventh as the Whigs once again dominated the poll. Later that year he acted as a mediator between rival factions within the court of aldermen, arguing against going to the vote on a motion to print Francis Atterbury’s recent sermon, which had angered the Whigs by its apparent support for passive obedience. However, by March 1710 he was clearly identified with the High Church party, when he had to defend himself against charges of sympathizing with the Tory rioters who had recently caused disturbances within the capital.8
Hoare’s political career blossomed in tandem with his party’s revival after the trial of Dr Sacheverell. In late July Robert Harley* sought his advice for the raising of a £200,000 loan, and in the following month the new administration enlisted his bank’s support for remitting supplies to the army in Flanders. The mayoral election of September 1710 saw ‘great interest made by the Tory party’ for Hoare, but he was unable to provide an effective challenge to the Whig leader (Sir) Gilbert Heathcote*. He found greater success at the ensuing parliamentary contest in London, where he finished second in the poll. He subsequently liaised with (Sir) Simon Harcourt I* and Lord Poulett to procure a Tory-dominated City lieutenancy, and was accordingly appointed one of the colonels of the London militia.9
At Westminster Hoare was identified as a supporter of the ministry, acclaimed as one of the ‘worthy patriots’ who in the first session of the 1710 Parliament helped detect the mismanagements of the previous administration. He was also declared a ‘Tory patriot’ in 1711 for opposing the continuation of the war. His support for the Established Church was demonstrated in the first session when he acted as a teller on 27 Feb. 1711 to refer to committee a petition for the rebuilding of St. Botolph without Aldersgate. On 3 Mar. he was named to the drafting committee on a bill to prevent combinations in the coal trade, another pressing metropolitan concern. Later that year both Hoare and his son Henry were appointed to the commission to build 50 new churches in London, of which they subsequently proved active members.10
In September 1711 Hoare contested the mayoralty, and although his name was returned to the court of aldermen, it was Sir Robert Beachcroft who took the chair. That same month Hoare was elected a founding director of the South Sea Company, and another sign of his close ties with the ministry came in November when Hoare’s son Richard petitioned Lord Oxford (Robert Harley) for an office, observing that the lord treasurer had assured Sir Richard of preferment. Hoare was certainly in Harley’s thoughts in the course of the ensuing session, the banker’s name appearing on a canvassing list, possibly in preparation for the attack on the Duke of Marlborough (John Churchill†). He acted as a teller on 5 Apr. 1712 to block a resolution of the committee of ways and means to impose a duty on building materials in the London area.11
Although bolstered by the direct support of the ministry, Hoare still encountered much opposition from the City Whigs, and he failed to secure office in the Honourable Artillery Company at the elections of 1711 and 1712. Despite these disappointments, he gained the mayoralty of London in September 1712, celebrating his success with ‘a most splendid entertainment’ attended by most of the leading ministers. However, although he was prepared to act as a government creditor in January 1713, he deserted the ministry only five months later, voting on 18 June against the French commerce bill. Before that division a pamphleteer had directly challenged Hoare on this issue, and alongside other Tory businessmen he evidently felt that the bill offered insufficient protection for British trading interests. He predictably ceased to act as a government financier.12
Despite strenuous attempts by the City Whigs to discredit their rivals over the French commerce bill, the City contest of 1713 saw a second successive triumph for Hoare and his Tory colleagues. It proved a bitter struggle and Hoare received much adverse publicity for actually striking one of his adversaries, Robert Heysham*, on the hustings. Metropolitan and commercial interests featured prominently in his subsequent activity in the House which included nomination to drafting committees for bills to enforce contracts made by commission for 50 new churches, to prevent the covert importation of aliens’ goods, and to explain the Act to encourage woollen manufacture. He was also a teller on 28 June against the passage of a bill to relieve poor debtors. Although he had rebelled against the Oxford ministry, the Worsley list later confirmed his Tory allegiance, and he struggled to maintain any influence under George I. He soon lost his colonelcy of militia, and did not even contest the City election of January 1715, which saw a comfortable Whig victory. However, even a London Whig club was prepared to acknowledge his standing in the capital, endorsing his appointment to the City committee on the Irish Society in February 1716.13
For a year before his death on 6 Jan. 1719 Hoare was laid low by ‘an indisposition’, causing him to retire from public life. He died at his country residence at Hendon, and ‘a great number of persons of all qualities’ were reported to have attended his funeral at St. Dunstan-in-the-West. Among the ‘loving friends’ whom he appointed as administrators for his ‘very large estate’ were the Tories (Sir) Gilbert Dolben* and Edward Jennings*, and by his will he made charitable bequests to the London workhouse, Christ’s Hospital and the Goldsmiths’ Company. Most significantly, the monument erected by his son paid tribute to Hoare’s ‘piety and strict adherence to the Church of England’. The bank subsequently passed to his sons Henry and Benjamin. Its prosperity ensured continuing prominence for his successors, and Hoare’s parliamentary success was emulated by his grandson Henry Hoare†, while another grandson became lord mayor of London in 1745.14
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: Perry Gauci
- 1. IGI, London; E. Hoare, Some Acct. of Fam. of Hore and Hoare, 44; Lipscomb, Bucks. iv. 389–90; London Mar. Lic. ed. Foster, 690.
- 2. DNB; Beaven, Aldermen, ii. 120; Bath AO, Bath council bk. 3, p. 574.
- 3. Cal. Treas. Bks. x. 549; xii. 152; Add. 10120, ff. 232–6.
- 4. Wilford, Mems. and Characters, 777; Hoare, 6–8, 44; Frag. Gen. n.s. i. 122; H. P. R. Hoare, Hoare’s Bank, 3–4, 7; Dorset RO, Fox-Strangways mss D124, box 235, bdle. 4, Rich to Sir Stephen Fox*, 17 Mar. 1690.
- 5. Hoare’s Bank, 18; DNB; CJ, xii. 321; BL, Trumbull Alphab. mss 50, Thomas Bateman to Sir William Trumbull*, 1 Nov. 1700; Hoare mss at Hoare’s Bank, boxfile 24, folder 13, Hoare to William Benson, 6 Jan. 1701.
- 6. Hoare mss, letterbk. 1701–6, pp. 80, 82, 96, 310; Luttrell, Brief Relation, v. 231; Hoare’s Bank, 30.
- 7. Hoare mss, letterbk. 1701–6, pp. 350, 374, 376; Hoare’s Bank, 20.
- 8. Hoare’s Bank, 18; Boyer, Anne Annals, vi. 355; Post Boy, 20–23 Mar. 1708; PRO, C 110/28, Dolben to Thomas Pitt I*, 1 Mar. 1708; HMC Portland, iv. 507; Hoare mss, boxfile 23, folder 3, shrieval diary, 30 Mar. 1710.
- 9. Hoare mss, boxfile 23, folder 3, shrieval diary, 29 July 1710; Luttrell, vi. 622, 640; Cobbett, Parlty. Hist. vi. 914, 1223; Add. 70230, Harcourt to Robert Harley*, 9 Sept. 1710.
- 10. London Rec. Soc. xxiii. 3–4, 180.
- 11. Boyer, Anne Annals, x. 383; Pol. State, i. 525; Add. 70199, Richard Hoare to Ld. Oxford, 28 Nov. 1711.
- 12. G. S. De Krey, Fractured Soc. 263; Boyer, Pol. State, iv. 263; v. 380; Post Boy, 28–30 Oct. 1712; Cal. Treas. Bks. xxvii. 83, 92.
- 13. Cumbria RO (Carlisle), Lonsdale mss D/Lons/W2/3/13, Jane Lowther to James Lowther*, 27 Oct. 1713; London Rec. Soc. xvii. 39.
- 14. Wilford, 777; Powell’s Weekly Jnl. 10–17 Jan. 1719; PCC 9 Browning; Original Weekly Jnl. 10 Jan. 1719; J. P. Malcolm, Londinium Redivivum, iii. 457; Hoare’s Bank, 32.