James Hyde (1617–1681)

James Hyde was born in Wiltshire in 1617, the eleventh son of Sir Laurence Hyde, of Heale, near Salisbury. His father, who had matriculated at Magdalen Hall in about 1579, was a barrister at the Middle Temple, and also served as MP for Heytesbury, Chippenham, and Marlborough.

Hyde himself was matriculated at the University of Oxford from Hart Hall on 13 April 1632 at the age of 14. He obtained his BA on 8 May 1635 when he was only 17, and his M.A. on 23 February 1638/9. He was incorporated at the University of Cambridge in 1640.

Hyde was a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford from 1641 to 1648, and during this period he was created B.Med. on 10 December 1642 and D.Med. on 17 June 1646.

In 1641 Hyde was the only member of the University who refused to take the “Protestation” imposed by Parliament. Others objected to the way that this Protestation was pressed on the University, but they absented themselves from the Convocation in which it was proposed.

James Hyde married Margaret St Lowe, daughter of a London merchant and they had at least five children:

  • Robert Hyde (born in London in c.1661)
  • Mary Hyde (born in Oxford in 1663 and baptised at St Peter-in-the-East Church on 10 June)
  • Anne Hyde (born in Oxford in 1665 and baptised at St Peter-in-the-East Church on 9 June;
    buried there on 23 January 1665/6)
  • Laurence Hyde (born in Oxford in 1667 and baptised at St Peter-in-the-East Church on 29 November)
  • Henry Hyde (born in Oxford in 1669 and baptised at St Peter-in-the-East Church on 2 September;
    buried there on 16 April 1670).

Hyde was nominated Principal of Magdalen Hall by the Earl of Clarendon, Chancellor of the University, and was duly admitted on 22 September 1662. In April 1665 he was also appointed Regius Professor of Medicine.

Hyde does not appear to have lived in college, and by 1681 he was living in the parish of St Peter-in-the-East, next door to the Saracen’s Head (which stood on the site of the present No. 85 High Street, Antiques on High).

His son Robert was matriculated at the University of Oxford from Magdalen Hall at the age of 15 on 7 April 1677 and was a demy of that college from 1678 to 1681, obtaining his BA in 1680.

James Hyde remained Principal of Magdalen Hall and Regius Professor until his death on 7 May 1681 at the age of 64. He was buried at St Peter-in-the-East Church, Oxford two days later, and was described in the burial register as a “Dr of Physick” as well as Principal of Magdalen Hall. He gave a large number of books to the library of Magdalen Hall: most of them were medical, but they included the Sarum Missal of 1556.

The “Will of Doctor James Hyde, Doctor of Physic and His Majesty’s Professor of Physic, Doctor in Medicine of University of Oxford”, dated 22 June 1681, was deposited at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury: ref PROB 11/366.

Hyde’s widow, Margaret Hyde, was buried at St Peter-in-the-East Church on 27 December 1711.

James Hyde’s three surviving children
  • Robert Hyde (born c.1661) was a Fellow of Magdalen Hall from 1681 to 1722. In 1685 he was a lieutenant of a company of scholars that stood against the Duke of Monmouth’s rebellion. He became a barrister-at-law in the Middle Temple in 1689, obtaining both his BCL and DCL in January 1706/7. He died on 29 March 1723, and was buried at St Peter-in-the-East Church on 11 April 1723.
  • Mary Hyde (born 1663) married Dr Baptist Levins in St John’s College Chapel on 31 July 1683.
  • Laurence Hyde (born 1667) was still at Eton at the time of his father’s death in 1681. He was matriculated from Magdalen Hall on 16 December 1681 at the age of 14. He obtained his BA in 1685 and his MA in February 1687/8, and then became a Fellow of Magdalen College, gaining his BD on 23 March 1699/1700 and his DD in 1707. He died at Oxford in about 1715.

Some of James Hyde’s siblings
  • Laurence Hyde (born c. 1594) matriculated at Magdalen Hall in March 1609/1610, aged 15, obtaining his BA in July 1612. He became a student of the Middle Temple in 1608. He was MP for Hindon in 1624/5 and 1628/9.
  • Robert Hyde (born c. 1595) matriculated at Magdalen Hall 1609/10. He was a barrister-at-law in the Middle Temple in 1617, serjeant at law in 1640, and Justice of Common Pleas from 31 May 1660. He was knighted on 2 June 1660. He was Chief Justice of the King’s Bench in 1663, and Recorder and MP of Salisbury from 1640 until he was disabled in 1642. He died on 1 May 1665.
  • William Hyde (baptised at Salisbury on 17 January 1596) was subscribed in 1613 and was a Fellow of Exeter College from 1615 to 1631. He obtained his BA in 1618 and his MA in 1621. He was buried in Salisbury Cathedral on 24 November 1630.
  • Alexander Hyde (born c. 1597) matriculated from New College in 1615. He gained his BCL in 1623, his DCL in 1632, and was Rector of Little Langford and of Wylye, Wiltshire in 1634, Vicar of South Grantham, Lincoln in 1639, Sub-Dean of Salisbury in 1637, Canon in 1639, Dean of Winchester in 1660, and Bishop of Salisbury from 1665 until his death on 22 August 1667.
  • Edward Hyde (born c.1607) was elected to Trinity College Cambridge in 1625 from Westminster. He was Rector of Brightwell, Berkshire from 1647, but was ejected in 1647; he then preached at Holywell, from which he was also ejected. He was nominated Dean of Windsor in 1658, but died (before the restoration) at Salisbury on 16 August 1659, aged 52.
  • Thomas Hyde (born c.1609) was matriculated from New College in 1627, aged 18, becoming a Fellow in 1629. He obtained his BA in 1631, and his MA from New Inn Hall in January 1634/5. He gained both his BCL and his DCL in 1640. He became a Judge of the High Court of the Admiralty. He was buried at Salisbury on 20 October 1661.

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