Broughton, John Cam Hobhouse, Lord

BORN 27 Jun 1786, Redland (near Bristol) - DIED 3 Jun 1869, London: Berkeley House
GRAVE LOCATION London: Kensal Green Cemetery, Harrow Road, Kensal Green (065/PS (21396))

Son of Sir Benjamin Hobhouse (a rich brewer) and Charlotte Cam. He met Lord Byron during his studies at Trinity College, Cambridge and together they travelled to the Peninsula, the Balcan and Turkey in 1809. Hobhouse supported Byron after his separation in 1816 and the poet dedicated the fourth canto of his famous "Childe Harold" to him.

His sympathy for Napoleon (expressed in his "Letters written by an Englishman During the Last Reigh of Napoleon", 1815) got him into trouble and we can guess his feelings when after Napoleon's first fall he watched the victorious Wellington parade through London at 5 Apr 1814, together with Louis XVIII.

In 1819 Hobhouse served some time in Newgate Prison after he had gone too far in one of his writings. In 1820 he entered the House of Commons as a Radical and harassed the Tories whenever he could. Hobhouse investigated the Peterloo Massacre himself and was always critical of the way demonstrators where treated in those days. He was also a warm supporter for the cause of Greek independence.

After the Reform Act of 1832 was passed he left the radicals and became a conservative Whig. Between 1831 and 1852 he served as Irish Secretary and several other important posts under Melbourne and Russel. In 1851 he was granted the title Lord Broughton de Gyfford and shortly afterwards he retired from politics.

Writings: "Journey through Albania (1813)"; "Historical Illustrations of the Fourth Canto of Childe Harold" (1818); "Recollections of a Long Life (1865)".

Related persons
• was a friend of Byron, George Noel Gordon
• employed Falcieri, Giovanni Battista
• admired Napoleon I Bonaparte

14/8/1812Newstead Abbey is offered for sale. Newstead Abbey was the family seat of the Byrons and Lord Byron needed money. At Garroway's Coffee House bids could be left. Byron's friend Hobhouse was among the bidders but he stopped at 113.000 guineas. The bidding stopped at 113.500 guineas for the largest part and 13.000 guineas for the smaller part of Newstead Abbey. This was less than the minimum price and thus there was no sale. [Byron, George Noel Gordon ]
17/5/1824Lord Byron's memoirs are burnt. It was to protect his reputation (and that of his publisher John Murray) after his death and took place in the drawing room of John Murray in Albermarle Street, London. Present were Murray, John Cam Hobhouse, Thomas Moore. Several people had read them before they were burnt and Mary Shelley stated there she had read them in Venice and that there was nothing much in it. [Byron, George Noel Gordon ][Murray, John]
12/7/1824Lord Byron's funeral procession in London. A huge procession moved through London. A smaller procession moved to Hucknall, Nottinghamshire in four days. In the first coach were Colonel Leigh, Captain Byron, Hanson and Hobhouse. In the second coach were Burdett, Kinnaird, Bruce, Ellice, Stanhope and Travanion. In the third coach Moore, Rogers, Campbell and others. Mary Shelley saw the procession when it passed her house moving towards Highgate Hill. Caroline Lamb broke down once more when she saw the funeral processon of the former lover. [Byron, George Noel Gordon ][Lamb, Caroline ][Shelley, Mary]


John Hobhouse's tomb at Kensal Green Cemetery, London.
Picture by Androom (11 Dec 1993)


• Stephen, Leslie [Sir], Sidney Lee [Sir] [Editors], The Dictionary of National Biography, From the Earliest Times to 1900, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1960
• Marchand, Leslie A., Byron: a Biography, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1957
• Quennell, Peter, Byron, The Years of Fame - Byron in Italy, Collins, London, 1974
Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909
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Browning, Elizabeth

Published: 1 Jan 2006
Last update: 10 Jun 2017