John Hoyle d.1692

From Book Owners Online

John HOYLE d.1692

Biographical Note

Son of Thomas Hoyle, of York. Matriculated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge 1658, but did not graduate; admitted at Gray's Inn 1660. He subsequently pursued a career as a lawyer but is best known to history as the lover and muse of Aphra Behn, who features in some of her poems as Amyntas and Lycidus; he had a reputation as a bisexual libertine and a freethinker, who was prosecuted (but acquitted) for homosexuality in 1687.


In his will, which reveals extensive property held in Yorkshire, Hoyle bequeathed "all my books printed and written" to Henry Fane of Stamford. Hoyle's library was sold by auction in London, beginning 14 November 1692. The introduction to the catalogue (which states that the contents are "principally" Hoyle's, so books from other sources were evidently included) refers to the value of his marginalia: "neither was he an idle possessor, but a careful and diligent reader, as will appear from the remarques he has made on most of them, characterising the whole, or referring you to the most nervous part of the book ... His references and notes on his common, canon and civil law, as they are considerable for their number ... will not be censured as trifling". The catalogue lists 1196 lots but only 602 of these may be Hoyle's. It opens with sections on Latin miscellaneous books (197), books in French, Italian and other modern languages (175), law books (118), and miscellaneous English books (112) before starting again with a section of Latin miscellaneous (341) and English miscellaneous (253) so those last two may be the books from other sources.

Characteristic Markings

None of Hoyle's books have been identified.