Sir Edward HOBY

Born: 30 Mar 1560, Bisham, Berkshire, England

Died: 1 Mar 1617, Queenborough Castle, Kent , England

Father: Thomas HOBY (Sir) (See his Biography)

Mother: Elizabeth COOKE (B. Russell)

Married 1: Mary (Margaret) CAREY 21 May 1582

Married 2: Elizabeth DANVERS (dau. of John Danvers and Elizabeth Neville)

Married 3: Cecilia UNTON (dau. of Edward Unton and Anne Seymour, C. Warwick) (w. of John Wentworth of Gosfield)

Associated with: Catherine PINKNEY


1. Peregrine HOBY (b. 1602 - d. 1678)

Copyright of David Nash Ford.

Biography reproduced by kind permission of the Royal Berkshire History Website.

Eldest son of Sir Thomas Hoby of Bisham Abbey (Berkshire), by Elizabeth the third dau. of Sir Anthony Cooke of Gidea Hall. He was educated at Eton, where he formed a lasting friendship with Sir John Harrington. He matriculated at Oxford as a gentleman-commoner from Trinity College on 11 Nov 1574. He was allowed to graduate as a BA, on 19 Feb 1576, after keeping only eight terms and, before he had completed ten terms, proceeded to become an MA, on 3 Jul of the same year, being the senior master in the comitia. At college, Thomas Lodge, the dramatist, was servitour or scholar under him. In Jun 1576, he obtained a dispensation for two years and two terms in order to travel on the continent. Subsequently, as he states in his 'Counter-snarle', he entered himself at the Middle Temple.

Under the auspices of his maternal uncle, Lord Burghley, Edward rose into high favour at court and was frequently employed on confidential missions. His fortunes were further advanced by his marriage, on 21 May 1582, with Margaret the daughter of Queen Elizabeth's cousin, Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon. The day after the wedding, he was knighted by the Queen.

In Aug 1584, Sir Edward accompanied his father-in-law on a special mission to Scotland. His affability and learning greatly impressed James VI and, after attending the Scottish Ambassador, Patrick, Master of Gray, as far as Durham, Hoby received a flattering letter from the Scottish King, dated 24 Oct 1584, in which James intimated his longing for his company, and how he had 'commanded his Ambassador to sue for it'. Arran also wrote to the same effect and enclosed a 'small token', which he begged Hoby to wear in 'testimony of their brotherhood'. These amenities proved displeasing to Queen Elizabeth and Hoby found it convenient, for a time, to plead the ague as an excuse for not attending the court. Domestic troubles also harassed him.

On 24 Sep 1586, Sir Edward was returned as Member of Parliament for Queenborough in Kent and gained distinction as a speaker in Parliament. On 31 Oct following, he complained that he had been "not only bitten but overpassed by the hard hand of Walsingham', and appealed to Secretary Davison to use his influence with the Queen on his behalf. Being ultimately restored to favour, Hoby, in Jul 1588, was chosen to report to the Queen the progress of the preparations against the Armada. In the ensuing Oct, he was elected Member of Parliament for Berkshire and he was made JP for Middlesex by a special renewal of the commission on 17 Dec 1591. In 1592, the Queen visited Sir Edward and his mother, Elizabeth, at Bisham Abbey. He was chosen Member of Parliament for Kent in Feb 1593 and, in 1594, was granted letters patent for buying and providing wool 'for sale in England for ten years' and the grant was ratified in the succeeding reign.

Hoby accompanied the expedition to Cadiz in 1596, was made Constable of Queenborough Castle on the Isle of Sheppey (Kent), on 9 Jul 1597, and, on the following 28 Oct, received a commission to search out and prosecute all offences against the statute prohibiting the exportation of iron from England. His reward being half the forfeitures arising therefrom. He represented Rochester in the parliaments of 1597, 1601, Feb 1604 and 1614. James I made Sir Edward a gentleman of the Privy Chamber, forgave him, by warrant dated 7 Jan 1605, for the arrears of rent of the Royal Manor of Shirland in Derbyshire - amounting to over 500 - and, on 21 Aug 1607, granted him an exclusive license to buy wool in Warwickshire and Staffordshire. He frequently entertained the King at Bisham.

Hoby married at least three times and died at Queenborough Castle on 1 Mar 1617. He was buried in Bisham Church. By his first wife, who died in 1605, he had no issue, but he left an illegitimate son by his lover, Catherine Pinkney, named Peregrine, whom he brought up and made his heir. Upon Sir Edward's death, the boy's care was committed to George Abbot, Archbishop of Canterbury. Peregrine eventually sat in Parliament for Great Marlow in Buckinghamshire, in 1640, 1660 and 1661; and, in 1666, his eldest son, Edward, was, created a baronet.

An excellent scholar himself, Hoby cultivated the friendship of learned men, especially that of William Camden, who eulogises his bounty and accomplishments in his "Britannia" (under 'Bisham' and 'Queenborough'). Camden also dedicated his 'Hibernia' (1587) to Sir Edward. In 1612, Hoby presented Sir Henry Savile's sumptuous edition of 'St. Chrysostom' to the library of Trinity College, Oxford. Hoby was also a keen theologian, as his contests with the Papists, Theophilus Higgons and John Floyd sufficiently prove. He wrote several works, including 'A Letter to Mr. T[heophilus] H[iggons], late Minister: now Fugitive... in answer of his first Motive' (1609), which was answered by Higgons during the same year; 'A Counter-snarle for Ishmael Rabshacheh, a Cecropidan Lycaonite' (1613), being a reply to 'The Overthrow of the Protestants Pulpet Babels' by John Floyd, after which Floyd rejoined with his 'Purgatories triumph over Hell, maugre the barking of Cerberus in Sir Edward Hoby's Counter-snarle' (1613); and 'A Curry-combe for a coxe-combe... In answer to a lewd Libel lately foricated by Jabal Rachil against Sir Edward Hoby's Counter-Snarle, entitled Purgatories triumph over Hell' (1615), written under the ponderous pseudonym of 'Nick Groome of the Hoby Stable Regino-burgi' in the form of a dialogue. Sir Edward also translated, from the French of M. Coignet, 'Politique [discourses on] truth and lying' (1586); and, from the Spanish of B. de Meudoza, 'Theorique and Practise of Warre,' (1597).

Sir Edward Hoby

Unknown Artist, 1583

Oil On Panel

(National Portrait Gallery)



Dictionary of National Biography" (1891).
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