History of the Hogben family and name

Below is a newspaper article in the Herne Bay Press dated October 6th 1977 describing the history of the Hogben family as researched by Victor Hogben, my late first-cousin-once-removed (but see the disclaimer below).

The Hogben line goes back 2,000 years

A Herne Bay pensioner claims direct descent from a native chieftan who was farming in the hills behind Folkestone when the Romans conquered Britain.

Laid out in Mr Victor Hogben's sitting room at 62 The Broadway, a chart takes the family tree back to 47 AD, when an elderly Briton named Huckbone made a promise of tribute to the invaders to spare his life.

Hotheads in the old man's family, however, "wiped out that bondage in Roman blood." They took the victim's shield to their settlement at Lyminge, adopting the lion rampant as their device.

The Huckbones, or Hogbens, have been farming in the same southern parts of Kent ever since. Mr Hogben told the Herne Bay Records Society's annual meeting last week that since his retirement - he is now 80 - he had been researching his ancestral history.

He said: "Kent has a few families whose genealogies go back 1,400 to 1,800 years. A descent from Huckbone, who died about 51 AD, seems to be quite in order in Kentish genealogy..."

Actually, the Hogbens go back in a direct line, without a single break, to the fourth year of King Canute, i.e. 1020. Men and women were then beginning to acquire not only a name, but also some degree of character and individuality. But it was not until the 16th Century that national records began to take in everyone.

The name Huckbone, said Mr Hogben, referred to a peculiarity in the person's gait. A legend handed down from medieval times indicated that a Huckbone provided material for the founding of Queen Ethelburga's convent at Lyminge in the year 639. There are traces of the foundations still to be seen.

In 670, a Huckbone at Eastry discovered the bodies of the two murdered princes in King Egbert's palace, which led to the monarch making his famous confession to Archbishop Theodore who imposed penances.

Oswald Hugbene "Lord of the manor of Lyminge," is mentioned in Domesday. The title Baron Lyminge was conferred by Henry I on William Hogben, when the modern spelling of the name first came into use. In 1255 another William joined the Crusades and adopted the palm tree in his shield device.

Foulmead, in the parish of Sholden, came into the family possession when Dionys was created Baron de Foulmead by Edward I. A subsequent member of the family, Stephen, became Mayor of Romney and Chief Bailiff of Romney Marsh.

From about 1300 onwards, there were a dozen generations of Hogbens who were farmers and landowners. A William Hogben was Mayor of Folkestone in 1626. He succeeded to the title Baron Lyminge and registered the family coat of arms in the name of Lyminge in the reign of James I.

A sister married into the Knatchbull family, ancestors of Lord Brabourne who, of course, is related to the Royal Family through his wife, a Mountbatten.

However, there were "black sheep" as in all families and in the late 18th Century, a James Hogben was a leading smuggler. He was eventually caught and sentenced to death, but was reprieved at the lastmoment as crowds waited to see him hanged on Penenden Heath.

Oliver Stephen Hogben in 1866 married a cousin Augusta Mary Hogben, who claimed descent from the Vane family. He farmed Heronden, Eastry and Foulmead farms.

In the year of Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee the couple had a son - Victor. "I am therefore present head of the house of Hogben," said Mr Hogben, who for years farmed at Foulmead.

A magistrate, former chairman of Sholden Parish Council and a member of the now defunct Eastry Rural Council, he has also served on Canterbury Prison Committee and taken an active interest the rehabilitation of prisoners.

Mrs Hogben is a member of the Scottish family of Lucas, of which Sir Joseph, who wears the Lamont tartan, is chief of the clan.

Mr and Mrs Hogben have a son Stephen, a graduate of Reading University, who has been teaching farming methods in Kenya and Zambia, and who has a son, Richard Stephen, to carry on the family name.


It has since come to light that Victor was prone to some exaggeration, and that his research was not of the highest quality. Indeed, it has been said that much of what he claims in the article is utter rubbish! So please take it with a large pinch of salt.

Also on this web site: more details on the early ancestry, a Hogben coat of arms and a list of other Hogbens on the net.

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Last revised 20 August 2002

Colin Hogben, hogben@colinhogben.com