Henry Hobart ca.1658-1698
Sir Henry HOBART, 4th bart ca.1658-1698
Son of John Hobart, 3rd bart (1628-1683), Henry succeeded him as 4th bart in 1683, matriculated at St John's College, Cambridge in 1674 (MA 1675). He became MP for King's Lynn in 1681 and sat in several subsequent parliaments of the 1680s and 90s, continuing the whig tradition of his father. He fought with William III at the Battle of the Boyne and died of wounds received in what was reputedly the last duel fought in Norfolk.
The first documentary evidence of Hobart book ownership dates from the time of the 3rd baronet, Sir John Hobart. There is archival evidence of Sir John ordering books from Henry Herringman in London in 1661, and an inventory of books at Blickling from ca.1676 lists about 380 titles, housed on eight bookshelves. Susie West suggests that this represents a one-bay study, perhaps adjacent to Sir John's bedchamber on the first floor of the house. After the death of Sir Henry in 1698, his probate inventory listed a library of ca.1100 volumes, together with scientific instruments, kept in a study with gilt leather on the walls, walnut book stands and a reading desk.
The library at Blickling Hall was remodelled in the 1740s when the very large library of Sir Richard Ellys (1682-1742) was inherited by Sir Henry's son John (1693-1756, 5th baronet but also created 1st Earl of Buckinghamshire in 1746). The Long Gallery library there today, the result of that, is largely filled with Ellys books and it is not known whether any earlier Hobart books are there (or, if so, how many). No books have been traced there with identifiable early Hobart provenance and it is known that some house contents, possibly including books, were sold after Sir Henry's death in 1698. His very brief will, concerned primarily with making arrangements for holding his estates in trust for his children, has no mention of books.
No Hobart books have been identified.
- Handley, Stuart. "Hobart, Sir John, third baronet (bap. 1628, d. 1683), politician." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
- History of Parliament.
- Mandelbrote, G. & Y. Lewis, Learning to collect: the library of Sir Richard Ellys, 2004.
- West, S. An architectural typology for the early country house library, The Library 7th ser 14 (2013), 441-464, pp. 450-1.