Captain John Hubbard served upon seven royal naval vessels during the reign of Charles II when the country was at war with the Dutch. In 1665 he commanded the Happy Return at the Battle of Lowestoft which saw a great victory. In 1666 he was made captain of the Royal Charles, previously known as the Naseby (and one of Cromwell’s most prized vessels). The following year he joined the Rupert; then the Plymouth, the Milford, and the Assistance. It was while on the Assistance that Captain John Hubbard was killed in action against some Algerine corsairs. Pepys talks about Hubbard being killed as a result of being overly brave.
The Royal Charles became one of the Royal Navy’s biggest shames. The Dutch fleet sailed up the Thames to Chatham in 1667. They cut the flagship from the fleet and carried it away. The ship was the Royal Charles.
But on to Old Mother Hubbard who went to the cupboard. According to the rhyme she was going to fetch her doggy a bone. Of course the cupboard was bare. Apparently Old Mother Hubbard was, in fact, Cardinal Wolsey, making the cupboard in this instance the Catholic Church. The doggy (a.k.a. King Henry VIII) wanted an annulment from his queen – Katherine of Aragon – which was not forthcoming because the Pope found himself under the watchful eye of Katherine’s nephew.
That just leaves the viking. Hubba the Horrible or Ubba was a brother of Ivar the Boneless and Halfdan. There is another school of thought that says it is a name that made its appearance with the Normans. Whatever the case Internet research suggests that anyone with the surname Hubbard, Hubbert or Hobart is descended from one John Hubba who is recorded as living in Suffolk in 1274. His family possibly descended from “Euro, filius Huberti” who can be found in the Domesday Book and who appear to have some familial link to William the Conqueror but I need to do much more research as yet.
All exciting stuff – but made even more so by the fact that, in so far as I can rely on parish records, Captain John Hubbard is my eight times great grandfather…