Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Hare, Hugh (1606?-1667)
HARE, HUGH, first Lord Coleraine (1606?–1667), royalist, born about 1606, was the son of John Hare, by his second wife, Margaret (d. 1653), widow of Allan Elvine of London, and fifth daughter of John Crowch of Corney-Bury in Buntingford, Hertfordshire (Cooke, Members of Inner Temple, 1547-1660, p. 69). John Hare (1546-1613) was eighth son of John Hare of Stow Bardolph, brother of Nicholas Hare [q. v.]; he lived in Fleet Street, London, and at Totteridge, Hertfordshire (will registered in P. C. C. 66, Capel). Hugh Hare's uncle, also Hugh Hare, a bencher of the Inner Temple and master of the court of wards, who died in March 1620, bequeathed to him by will dated 25 Dec. 1619 (P. C. C. 24, Soame) one half of his immense fortune. He also left him his law library in the hope that he would follow the legal profession, but Hare contented himself by becoming a student of the Inner Temple in November 1620 (Cooke, pp. 59, 230). On 26 April of that year his mother became the third wife of Sir Henry Montagu [q. v.], lord chief justice of the king's bench, afterwards Earl of Manchester. On being introduced at court Hare became such a favourite that Charles raised him to the Irish peerage as baron of Colelaine, co. Londonderry, on 31 Aug. 1625 (Hardy, Syllables of Rymer's Fœœdera, ii. 859). He was a good classical scholar, spoke at least three modern languages, and travelled frequently. He had a wide knowledge of art and music, and was famous as a landscape gardener. A passionate admirer of chivalry, he strove to follow many of its usages, and became a noted coxcomb. In 1625 he purchased the manors of Tottenham, Pembrokes, Bruces, Daubeneys, and Mockings Farm, Middlesex, of his cousins Thomas and Hugh Audley (Lysins, Environs, iii. 527). He bought, in 1641, the stately seat of Longford or Langford, Wiltshire, of Edward, second lord Gorges. At the outbreak of the civil war he attended on the king, and supplied him with several sums of money. In 1644 he was called upon to give up Longford to Charles for a royalist garrison. He took a small house in the adjoining village of Britford, hoping to save it from dilapidation; but, expecting that the whole must soon become a ruin, he obtained leave from the king to quit the west. Longford surrendered to Cromwell on 18 Oct. 1645. By the influence of Edward, lord Kimbolton, Coleraine's brother-in-law, the fabric was preserved from the general decree for pulling down all such houses. It was, however, ordered to be dismantled in May 1646. Coleraine revisited his mansion about 1650 and found little but the bare walls; and, though his losses by the civil wars were estimated at 40,000l., he immediately set about levelling the ditches and mounds and rebuilding the offices. His eldest son completed what his father had begun (Hoare, Modern Wiltshire, 1 Hundred of Cawden,' iii. 26, 32, 34). Coleraine, as a reward for his services, had an offer of an English peerage, which he declined. He died suddenly at Totteridge on 2 Oct. 1667, aged 61, and was buried in his own chapel there on the 9th (Smyth, Obituary, Camden Soc. p. 76). His will, a most extraordinary composition, was proved on 11 Nov. 1667 (P. C. C. 143, Carr; 69, Cooke). He married, in 1632, Lucy, second daughter of his stepfather, Henry Montagu, first earl of Manchester, by his first wife, Catherine, second daughter of Sir William Spencer of Yarnton, Oxfordshire (Collins, Peerage, ed. Brydges, ii. 57), and had, with other issue, Henry (1636-1708) [q. v.], and Hugh (1637-1683), who inherited the estate at Docking in Norfolk. Lady Coleraine survived until February 1681-2, and was buried on the 9th at Totteridge (will registered in P. C. C. 15, Cottle). The year before her death she published one of her husband's literary exercises, of which the first part was entitled, 'The Ascents of the Soul; or David's Mount towards God's House. Being Paraphrases on the fifteen Psalms of Degrees' (translation from the Italian of Loredano). 'Render'd in English Anno Dom. 1665' (anon.), folio, London, 1681. It includes a poem by Coleraine on the recovery of his wife, entitled 'The Eucharist at Easter 1657,' and paraphrases of three psalms by himself. The second part is called 'La Scala Santa; or a Scale of Devotions, musical and gradual; being Descants on the fifteen Psalms of Degrees, in Metre; with Contemplations and Collects upon them, in prose, 1670' (anon.), folio, London, 1681. Each part has an emblematic frontispiece, as unintelligible as the contents of the books, designed by Coleraine himself. The first picture was engraved by W. Faithorne, and represents Coleraine in pilgrim's garb. He wrote also a spiritual romance called 'The Situation of Paradise found out; being an History of a late Pilgrimage unto the Holy Land. With a necessary apparatus prefixt, giving light into the whole designe' (anon.), 8vo, London, 1683. An intended second part does not appear to have been published.