A captain, a cupboard and a viking – a cupboard full of Hubbards

charlesCaptain 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…

15 thoughts on “A captain, a cupboard and a viking – a cupboard full of Hubbards

  1. Hi there I have done quite a bit of digging on the Hubbards too as I believe John Hubbard is my 7th great grandfather. Have you ever been able to find out who his father was? I know from John’s will his father had houses in Portsmouth and John’s children John and Rebecca were baptised in Portsmouth in 1655 and 1658. Son Nathaniel was however baptised in Bermondsey, Surrey, in 1666. Would love to know what you might have found about him. I have transcriptions of the Hubbard grave stones in Barking, Essex.

    • Hello – I’ll dig out my notes and get back to you. Bear with me as I have recently moved and as a consequence most of my paperwork is in a rather large box!

      • Thanks. Yes do let me know. I have found the baptisms of three of his children (not two of the daughters) and various wills. But haven’t cracked his father yet!

  2. This is fascinating to me – I’m a Hubbard in Dublin, Ireland and have been researching my family tree on and off since January 2015! It was relatively easy to get back to 1274 and to that John Hubba in Suffolk fellow! I uncovered a trail that took my line from, it appears, Loughborough to Liverpool to, in the latter half of the 1800s, Dublin. I have found a link back to the 1650s and the Orkneys, specifically one Rogar Meddowes who married Mary. Their eldest daughter married a John Hubbard in Liverpool..if anyone has any further pieces of the jigsaw..? (Incidentally, and quite amazingly, Roger (Meadows!) Taylor is the drummer in the band Queen – fame by association perhaps?)

      • Yes, especially in Ireland! Never seen an “O’Hubbard” or “McHubbard”!..
        There are no more than seven Hubbards in the telephone directory in Ireland, myself and my father included: his only brother lives in the south of England and he too bears one of the traditional family first names. In fact, up until three generations ago, the middle names “Davis” and “Meadows” was used, presumably as a nod back to the earlier Mary Davis and Mary Meadows who married into the family line. My father and I carry my great-grandfather’s first name, Edward, as middle names, with one of his sons being the last of the “Meadows Hubbard” line (William Meadows Hubbard). I really want to find out why Edward came across from Liverpool to Dublin in the mid 1800s, I imagine for economic reasons as Liverpool also had a Guinness plant – perhaps he “transferred”. It is a mystery I want to solve..

  3. ..”John” seems to be the key name going back through the centuries though. Other family names include George, Edward, Frederick, Charles, William, Beatrice, Emma..”tinsmiths” is the main occupation latterly, which fits as my father follows the established career path of “engineer”. He did his apprenticeship with the family company “Hubbard Bros. Engineering” in the Liberties in central Dublin: this was sold on in the early 1960s but the name was still in use in the 80s I think..
    I did discover a possible ancestor who co-owned one of the first “crane manufacturing companies” in Britain (“Taylor and Hubbard”), in Leicestershire. As you say, all fascinating stuff..I think its time to retrace my steps..

  4. My ancestor Captain Nathaniel Hubbard (1665/6-1731) was the son of Captain John Hubbard (c1624/5-1669) and Rebecca Gravitt.

    In his will, Nathaniel leaves the following to his namesake son, “a two Quart Tankard with the family Coat of Arms” and “Boat with my crest”. This coat of arms and crest are also mentioned on other items.

    The will can be read here: https://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=5111&h=894688&tid=5705813&pid=6056848148&usePUB=true&_phsrc=PFZ178&_phstart=successSource

    I would of course like to know more about this crest. As the Hubbards were buried in Barking, Essex it seems they were probably from there.

    Burke’s General Armory has this Hubbard listed:

    Hubart, Hubert, or Hubberd (Birchanger, co. Essex: granted May, 1578). Quarterly, ar. and sa. on a bend gu. three lions pass. or. Crest—A boar’s head couped gu. collared, ringed, and lined ar. in the mouth a spear sa. headed of the second.

    Captain John Hubbard is named in the Diary of Samuel Pepys as Hubbert so I assume this was the link but I am yet to work it out.

    Would love to know if anyone has any more information on this line.

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