Henry Hoare 1677-1725

From Book Owners Online

Henry HOARE 1677-1725

One of Hoare's bookplates (from a copy of Theophrastus, Characteres, 1712, private collection)

Biographical Note

Born in London, second son of Sir Richard Hoare, a successful banker. He joined the firm as a partner in 1699 and developed the business further, becoming hugely wealthy when he inherited his father's estate in 1719; in 1717 he bought an estate at Stourton, Wiltshire, where he built the house now known as Stourhead. He also bought property in Dorset and Hampshire. He was noted for his philanthropy and Anglican faith, making many charitable gifts including the establishment of the Westminster Charitable Society, which evolved into Westminster Hospital.


Hoare used engraved armorial bookplates (Franks 14859-61). The extent of his library is not known; in his will, he left to his wife "the use of all my books which shall be in my house in London ... and my glass book cases except such books as relate to ... trade or estate or any accounts". His family were to have discretion to dispose of the books, as and when they thought fit. In a codicil, he established a generous fund to distribute and print Bibles, prayer books, and "books in the English tongue ... entirely in agreement with the principles and doctrine of the Church of England".