HYDE, Robert (1650-1722), of Dinton and Hatch, Wilts.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



23 Feb. 1677 - Jan. 1679
1685 - 1687
1689 - 1698
1702 - 27 Apr. 1722

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 (d. 1700), da. of Thomas Pope, 3rd Earl of Downe [I] and coh. to her bro. Thomas, 4th Earl, 2s. 1da. d.v.p.; (2) 26 Jan. 1704, Arundell (d. 1713), da. of Thomas Penruddock† of Compton Chamberlayne, Wilts., s.psuc. uncle Sir Robert Hyde†, c.j. Kb 1663–5, at Dinton and Heale 1665, fa. 1667, cos. Edward Hyde at Hatch 1669.1

Offices Held

Freeman, Salisbury 1680–4, Oct. 1688–d., Wilton 1675–June 1688, Oct. 1688–d.2

Trustee, Bishop Ward’s College of Matrons, Salisbury.


Hyde’s success at Hindon was based upon the several properties in south Wiltshire inherited from his uncle and cousin, and his subsequent lengthy representation for Wiltshire was safeguarded by his popularity among the county’s gentry: he came from one of the most prolific political dynasties in the county, and was unusually active at the Salisbury and Warminster divisions of the quarter sessions. He was returned for Hindon in 1690 and listed as a Tory and probable Court supporter by Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†). The presence in the Commons until November 1694 of William Hyde makes it difficult to ascertain which ‘Mr Hyde’ is being referred to in the Journals. He was listed by Carmarthen in December as a supporter in case of an attack on his ministerial position and classed with the Court party in Robert Harley’s* list of April 1691. He was given a fortnight’s leave of absence on 15 Feb. 1693 on health grounds, and was granted indefinite leave on 23 Mar. 1695. He was forecast in January 1696 as likely to oppose the Court on the proposed council of trade, and, although signing the Association, voted against fixing the price of guineas at 22s. He did not register a vote over the bill to attaint Sir John Fenwick†. He was once more given leave of absence, this time for three weeks, on 20 Apr. 1698, and in the general election three months later lost his seat after a contest. An analysis of September classed him as a Country supporter.3

Hyde seems to have considered standing for the county in November 1701 with Richard Grobham Howe*, and supported by the outgoing Member Sir George Hungerford he was thought to have an excellent chance of carrying the election, but nothing came of it. In 1702, however, he and Howe were both returned. In March 1704 he was listed as a supporter of the Earl of Nottingham (Daniel Finch†) over the Scotch Plot. Forecast as a probable opponent of the Tack, he duly voted for it on 28 Nov. 1704. It was no doubt as a result of this vote that he was marked as ‘True Church’ in an analysis of the 1705 Parliament, to which he was again chosen as knight of the shire on the Tory interest ‘by above 300 votes’. He voted on 25 Oct. 1705 against the Court candidate for Speaker and was listed as a Tory early in 1708. His one tellership occurred on 12 Feb. 1709 in favour of Sir James Howe, 2nd Bt.*, in a disputed election for Hindon. In the next session he voted against the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell. In the new Parliament he was classed in the ‘Hanover list’ as a Tory and was included among the ‘Tory patriots’ opposed to the war and the ‘worthy patriots’ who, in the 1710–11 session, exposed the mismanagements of the previous ministry. He was also a member of the October Club. In the 1713 election he and (Sir) Richard Grobham Howe (3rd Bt.), the other outgoing county Member, were unsuccessfully opposed by Thomas Pitt I* and the Whig Edward Ashe*. In the 1714 session, he was included on the committee for drafting the bill to improve highways in Wiltshire. Not surprisingly, Hyde was classed as a Tory in the Worsley list and in two lists of the Members re-elected in 1715.4

Hyde continued to be active in the county until the end of his life. He drew up a long and complex will in November 1720, bequeathing the profits of land in Swindon to his sisters Barbara Hyde and Anne Eyre, and granting Swallowcliffe manor, Wiltshire, to be held in trust for his nephew, also Robert. Hyde died at Hatch on either 18 or 27 Apr. 1722 and was buried in Tisbury church. Despite the properties which he had inherited from various relatives, he was in considerable financial difficulties towards the end of his life. An inventory of his chattels included portraits of numerous family members and goods worth £1,200 but these were held in trust from his aunt Mary, while a solicitor’s report of 1728 recommended the sale of Swallowcliffe, worth only £259 p.a., to help clear debts amounting to £8,401.5

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Authors: D. W. Hayton / Henry Lancaster


  • 1. Wilts. N. and Q. vi. 389; Hoare, Wilts. Underditch, 143–5.
  • 2. Hoare, Wilts. Salisbury, 480, 487; Wilts. RO, G25/1/21, pp. 448, 482, 492, 497; 22, p. 36.
  • 3. Wilts. RO, A1/100, Hilary and Easter sessions, 1672–c.1707; Bath mss at Longleat House, Thynne pprs. 12, f. 95.
  • 4. Diary of Thomas Naish ed. Slatter (Wilts. Arch. Soc. xx), 46–48; HMC Portland, iv. 26; Wilts. RO, Ailesbury mss 1300/1309, Charles Becher to Ld. Bruce (Charles*), 6 July 1704; 1300/998, 1003, Ld. Bruce to Ailesbury, 30 Jan., 25 May 1705; HMC 15th Rep. VII, 189, 212; PRO 30/24/20/93, Hungerford to Robert Hall, 31 Dec. 1691.
  • 5. PCC 158 Shaller; The Gen. n.s. iv. 28; Wilts. N. and Q. 389; Wilts. RO, 413/1373; 727/9/22.