A Journey into Italy

On this page, Hoby describes the beginning of his journey to Italy in May 1554. Here, as elsewhere in the journal, he makes his half-brother Philip the main protagonist. This was because he was travelling as part of his brother’s entourage.

The journey was ostensibly undertaken so that Philip, who was unwell, could take the waters at Liège and Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen). This, however, was largely a ruse to enable the Hobys to leave the country. Though the Marian regime had never looked favourably on its Protestant subjects, the unsuccessful rebellion of Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger (1521–1554) in January 1554 created a climate of heightened acrimony and suspicion. Many Protestants, including the Hobys, chose this point to go into exile abroad

Hoby kept a careful record of the route which he and his brother took. He records the towns and cities through which they passed, the distances between them, and, in some instances, the establishments at which they stayed. This information would have been useful to the Hobys if they happened to travel the same route again in the future.

This page shows them travelling as far as Antwerp. From here, they went to Brussels, and then (without visiting Liège or Aix-la-Chapelle) to Cologne. Here they turned south towards Italy.

Thomas Hoby, ‘A Booke of the Trauaile and lief’, fol. 144r. British Library, Egerton MS 2148. © British Library Board.

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