Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Honywood, Robert

HONYWOOD, Sir ROBERT (1601–1686), politician and translator, born at Hollingbourn, Kent, on 3 Aug. 1601, was eldest son of Sir Robert Honywood of Pett's Court, in the parish of Charing, Kent, and of Alice, daughter of Sir Martin Barnham of Hollingbourn. He served on the continent in the wars of the Palatinate, having the rank of colonel, and became steward to the queen of Bohemia, who in her letters refers to him as Sir Robin. He was knighted on 15 June 1625. In May 1659 he was among those appointed to the council of state who had not seats in parliament, and in the following July, with Thomas Boone, Edward Montague, and Algernon Sidney, he was sent on an embassy to Sweden. At the Restoration (May 1660) he obeyed the royal proclamation recalling him. In 1673 he translated and published (London, fol.) ‘The History of the Affairs of Europe to this present Age, but more particularly of the Republick of Venice, written in Italian by Battista Nani.’ In the dedication to his ‘Dear Brother’ Sir Walter Vane the translator says that ‘the circumstances of an uncomfortable old age and ruined fortunes,’ brought about ‘rather by public calamity than private vice or domestick prodigality,’ have induced him to undertake the work of translation; the allusion may be to the troubles of his son, who failed to obey the proclamation of April 1666 recalling Englishmen who were serving in the army of Holland, and lost his property at Charing in consequence. Honywood was married to Frances, daughter of Sir Henry Vane, by whom he had nine sons and seven daughters. He died on 15 April 1686, and was buried at Charing, where a monument commemorates himself and his wife, who survived till 17 Feb. 1687–8.

[Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. iv. 322; Cal. of State Papers, Dom. passim; Whitelocke's Mem. 678, 680, 698; P. Parsons's Monuments of Kent, p. 121; Hasted's Hist. of Kent, iii. 212; Collins's English Baronetage, 1741, iii. 1, 106.]

R. B.