Nicholas Hobart ca.1605-1657

From Book Owners Online

Nicholas HOBART ca.1605-1657

Biographical Note

Born at Lindsey, Suffolk, son of William Hobart. BA King's College, Cambridge 1624, MA 1627, fellow 1624-50, proctor 1641; also resided for a while at Trinity Hall. Secretary to Sir Thomas Bendish, ambassador to Turkey and agent for the Levant Company at Constantinople, where he spent some time.


Hobart acquired a number of oriental books, including Persian and Arabic manuscripts, via his contacts with the middle east (some at least came via Edward Abbott, an English merchant and consul at Cairo). He gave a little over 20 of these to Cambridge University Library in 1655, and bequeathed a few more "Turkish, Arabic and Persian books" when he died, along with a collection of coins. He also bequeathed 20 marks to King's College Library, to be spent on civil law books; £20 to Cambridge University, also for civil law books; £10 to Eton, for "books for the common use of the College"; £5 to Trinity Hall, Cambridge, to be spent on books; and £10 to Bury St Edmunds School, to be spent on books. The residue of his goods and chattels were left to his wife Sarah.

A number of the oriental books and manuscripts can be traced in Cambridge University Library today and are described by Oates. The bookcase incorporating Hobart's initials which was built at King's College in the Chapel, to house the books bought with his bequest, is described and illustrated in Clark, The care of books. Examples: Cambridge UL Rel.d.64.1, MSS Dd.12.1, Ff.3.30, Ll.6.24.

Characteristic markings

Hobart's books in Cambridge UL are not inscribed or annotated by him.


  • Clark, J. W. The care of books, Cambridge, 1901, 254-5.
  • Oates, J. C. T. Cambridge University Library: a history, vol 1, Cambridge, 1986, 289-94.
  • Venn, J. & J. A. Alumni Cantabrigienses. Cambridge, 1922.