Bobart, Jacob (1599-1680) (DNB00)

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BOBART or BOBERT, JACOB (1599–1680), the elder, botanist, was born at Brunswick in 1599, and in 1632 was appointed superintendent of the Oxford Physic Garden on its foundation by the Earl of Danby in that year. In 1648 he published an anonymous catalogue, in alphabetical order, of sixteen hundred plants then under his care ('Catalogus plantarum horti medici Oxoniensis, scil. Latino-Anglicus et Anglico-Latinus'); this was revised in 1658 in conjunction with his son [see Bobart, Jacob, the younger], Dr. Philip Stephens, and William Brown. Very little seems to be known of his life, save a few stray hints, such as Granger's statement that 'on rejoicing days he used to have his beard tagged with silver,' and that a goat followed him instead of a dog. He died on 4 Feb. 1679-80 at the garden house, and was buried in the churchyard of St. Peter in the East, where there is a tablet to his memory. His will was dated 2 Nov. 1677, and was proved at the Oxford registry; in it he desired to be buried near his dear wife Mary. He left houses to his sons Jacob and Tilleman (or Tillemant), and mentions a deceased son Joseph; he left legacies also to six daughters, his second wife Ann being residuary legatee. The following portraits exist: engraving by 'Bougher, dated 1675; a full length as frontispiece to 'Vertumnus,' a poem addressed to his son, and another in the 'Oxford Almanac' for 1719.

[Bobart's (H. T.) Biograph. Sketch (privately printed), 1884; Wood's Fasti (Bliss); Pulteney's Sketches, i. 165 (1790); Granger's Biog. Hist. England, i. 88-9 (1775).]

B. D. J.