Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Hare, Robert
HARE, ROBERT (d. 1611), antiquary, and benefactor to the university of Cambridge, the second of the three sons of Sir Nicholas Hare [q. v.], master of the rolls, and Catharine, daughter of Sir John Bassingbourn, was matriculated as a fellow-commoner of Gonville Hall, Cambridge, 12 Nov. 1545. His elder brother, Michael, was matriculated as a fellow-commoner of that house on the same day. Robert Hare took no degree, and on leaving the university was admitted a student of his father's inn of court, the Inner Temple, on 2 Feb. 1547-8 (Cooke, Students of the Inner Temple, p. 4). He was one of the gentlemen appointed to bear the bannerols at the funeral of the Lady Anne of Cleves on 15 July 1555, and on 29 March 1558 he was in the service of William Paulet, marquis of Winchester, lord high treasurer to Mary and Elizabeth. It would appear that his office under the marquis was connected with his office of lord treasurer. On 14 June 1560 he was admitted clerk of the pells on the nomination of the marquis, and he was returned for Dunwich in Suffolk to the parliament which met on 11 Jan. 1562-3. In or about 1571 he vacated the clerkship of the pells, Chidioc Wardour occurring as the holder of the office in that year.
The remainder of Hare's long life was chiefly spent in collecting and arranging the numerous documents which elucidate the history, rights, and privileges of the university and town of Cambridge. The result was a series of valuable volumes, now preserved among the academical archives. These he presented to the university, receiving its special thanks and being enrolled among its chief benefactors. Hare's noble collections afford historical materials of the highest value. Although he bore no particular relation to Oxford, he presented to that university two volumes of collections relating to its rights, privileges, and history.
In a list of papists in London, drawn up in October 1578, his name occurs, and it is stated that he used to repair to the house of Lord Paulet to hear mass (Cal. of State Papers, Addenda 1566-79,p. 551). On 21 Jan. 1583-4 he joined his brothers Michael and William in conveying to their cousin, Nicholas Hare of London, the hundred of Clackclose in Norfolk.
Hare was residing in Norton Folgate at some period between 1581 and 1594. In 1600 he was in some trouble, probably on account of his religion. On 23 Jan. 1600-1 the senate passed a grace that a letter should be written in the name of the university to Sir Robert Cecil, the chancellor, praying for his favour towards Hare so that he might not be hindered in his good works touching the highways, and other matters of value to the university. His brother Michael died on 11 April 1611, and, though he had been twice married, left no issue. Hare consequently inherited the estate at Bruisyard in Suffolk, but survived only till 2 Nov. in that year. He was buried in old St. Paul's Cathedral. The estates passed to his uncle John, father of Hugh Hare (1606?–1667) [q. v.], first lord Coleraine.
In 1568 he gave to Caius College, Cambridge, a volume or roll, written on parchment, treating principally of the church of Winchester, and referring also to the origin of the university of Cambridge. The library of Caius College contains two volumes of his collections. It is supposed they were given by him. He presented also to the university library two curious ancient manuscripts (Ff. 6-11 and Ff. 6-13), and his name is to be found on rare printed books there, but whether they were his gift or otherwise acquired is not apparent. To the library of St. Paul's Cathedral he presented a manuscript of considerable interest, which had belonged to the monastery of Syon. To the library of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, he gave many books, including Thomas de Elmham's 'History of St. Augustine's, Canterbury,' stipulating that the volume should be restored to that monastery in the event of its being, Deofavente, refounded. He also gave to Trinity Hall 600l. in augmentation of a fund for repairing highways in and near Cambridge. In 1594 he gave to the university a valuable book relating to its privileges, written by Thomas Marhaunt, B.D., early in the fifteenth century. It is supposed that he was also a benefactor to Great St. Mary's Church, Cambridge, inasmuch as his arms are over the south door of that edifice. His works are: 1. 'A Treatise on Military Discipline, and Rules to be observed in Time of War,' written in 1556 (Cotton MS. Jul. F. v.) 2. 'Registrum novum Monimentorum Universitatis Cantabrigiensis, in quo indultorum pontificalium, cartarum regalium, petitionum in parliamento, fundationum et donationum collegiorum, literarum patentium, brevium clausorum, confirmationum, inquisitionum, querelarum, assisarum, processuum, arbitramentorum, compositionarum, et aliorum monimentorum, quæ jura, franchesias, libertates, privilegia, et consuetudines Universitatis prædictæ et Burgi sive Municipii ibidem concernunt, exemplaria ab archivis magno labore extracta et fideliter transcripta continentur,' manuscript, 2 vols. fol., of large size on vellum, handsomely and curiously illuminated. In the registry of the university of Cambridge. The first volume is from King John to 23 Ric. II, 1399; the second from Henry IV to 31 Eliz., 1589. 3. 'Liber Privilegiorum Libertatum aliorumque rescriptorum negotia almæ Universitatis Cantabrigiensis concernentium ex archivis regiis variisque registris antiquis et monumentis fide dignis magno labore et sumptu in ordinem per regum seriem collegit et redegit in favorem et commodum tam modernorum quam futurorum venerabilium Cancellarii Magistrorum et Scholarium ejusdem celebratissimæ Universitatis,' manuscript, 3 vols. folio, in the registry of the university of Cambridge. 4. 'Liber Privilegiorum et Libertatum almæ Universitatis Cantabrigiensis,' manuscript, 2 vols. folio; 'Liber diversorum negotiorum . . . Universitatis Cantabrigiensis ... ad annum 1588,' manuscript, folio; 'Liber Privilegiorum et Libertatum necnon aliarum rerum memorabilium Villam sive Burgum Cantabr. concernentium,' manuscript, 8vo. These four volumes, now in the registry of the university of Cambridge, were formerly kept by the vice-chancellor for the time being. It is said that there were formerly five volumes in this set, and that vol. iii. was lost by Dr. James in 1684, but this seems doubtful. 5. 'Liber Privilegiorum Acad. Oxon.' and 'Liber Memorabilium Acad. Oxon.' Wood says that the university was at the charge of having these books transcribed on parchment from Hare's own copy. 6. 'Collectanea de academia et villa Cantabrigiæ' (Cotton MS. Faust. C. iii.) 7. 'Collectanea de academia et villa Oxoniæ' (Cotton MS. Faust. C. vii.) 8. 'Miscellaneæ Collectiones,' 2 vols. (manuscripts in Caius College, 391, 392). 9. 'Magnus Annulus' (manuscript on parchment, 11 feet 9½ inches by 6¼ inches); among the muniments of Sir Thomas Hare at Stow Bardolph, Norfolk, exhibited to the Society of Antiquaries on 20 Jan. 1859. It consists of a table of the Golden Number, Sunday Letter, and date of Easter from 1286 to 1817. On the margin are notes of obits.[Baker's MSS. xiii. 227-9, 235-8; Bentley's Excerpta Historica, pp. 305, 414; Blomefield's Norfolk, vii. 441; Cal. Chancery Proc. temp. Eliz. i. 42, ii. 41; Cambridge Portfolio, pp. 36, 149; Cooper's Annals of Cambridge, i. 188, iii. 45; Cooper's Athenæ Cantabr. iii. 47; Cowie's Cat. St. John's Coll. MSS. p. 67; Thom. de Elmham's Hist. Monast. S. Aug. Cantuar. ed. Hardwick, Introd. p. xviii; Forshall's Cat. of Arundel and Burney MSS.; Fuller's Cambridge, ed. Prickett and Wright, pp. 34, 138; Gough's Topogr. i. 218, ii. 91; Hearne's Pref. to Fordun, p. ccxxiii; Hearne's Robert of Gloucester, p. 584; Leonard Howard's Letters, p. 238; Lansdowne MSS. Miscell. pp. 684, 707; Nasmith's Cat. of C. C. C. C. MSS. p. 117; Proc. Soc. Antiq. iv. 258-60; 3rd Rep. Dep.-Keeper Records, App. ii. 158, 6th Rep. App. ii. 231; Smith's Cat. of Caius Coll. MSS. p. 186; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1547-80, pp. 147, 432; Todd's Cat. of Lambeth MSS. pp. 89, 90; Willis's Not. Parl. vol. iii. pt. ii. p. 75; Wood's Annals, ii. 248.]