(3rd E. Huntingdon)

Born: 1533/5, Huntingdon, Berwick, Scotland

Died: 14 Dec 1595, England

Notes: Knight of the Garter.

Father: Francis HASTINGS (2º E. Huntingdon)

Mother: Catherine POLE (C. Huntingdon)

Married: Catherine DUDLEY (C. Huntingdon) 25 May 1553, England

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Born at Ashby De La Zouch, Leicestershire, the Family See, he was the first son of Francis Hastings, 2º E. Huntingdon, and Catherine Pole. Nephew of Edward, baron Loughborough. His father was a descendent of the Duke of Buckingham; well his mother was a descendent of the Duke of Clarence. This made him a cousin to the Kings of England. Henry Hastings had a good education: Private Tutors at Ashby and later when Prince Edward started his education he joined him at court as classmate and playmate, being tutored under Richard Cox, John Cheke and Jean Belmain. They provided both youths with an education based in the principles of Humanism.

Caught in the political intrigues of the Duke of Northumberland he found himself married at the age of 18 years to the Duke's 8 year old daughter, Catherine, during a Triple wedding that included Guildford Dudley, Jane Grey, Catherine Grey, and Edward Herbert, son of the Earl of Pembroke. Going from King's playmate to Prisoner in the Tower of London after supporting Jane Grey for the throne must have been sobering. Because his mother was the daughter of the succeeding Queen Mary's old Governess the Countess of Salisbury he soon found himself out of prison and placed in the home of his uncle Cardinal Pole, who took him several times to Calaise, and once to Flanders to escort Prince Felipe of Spain to England. Pole had just returned from Rome, and he often took Henry to Smithfield with him. This activity only seemed to burn in Hastings' devout Calvinism that he had developed as Edward's classmate. He regretted never being allowed to go on the Grand Tour as was the custom for young gentlemen of the time. He did however, spend one year at Oxford.

When Elizabeth came to the throne several years later, she made Hastings a Knight of the Bath, but she didn't place any further honors upon him for many years distrusting any who might have a claim to her throne. This was most noticeable after Elizabeth's close call with the smallpox, when Robert Dudley hoped to place Hastings on the throne, if she did not recover.

His father, Francis, died 23 Jun 1561, and Henry Hastings was then the third Earl. Henry, the new Earl, had the responsibility for supporting his brothers and sisters and arranging the marriages of his five sisters Catherine, Frances, Elizabeth, Anne and Mary. His mother Catherine assisted in this financially. In 1562 she leased him all her lands except the manor of Lubbesthorpe, where she lived until her death, for an annuity of £960 and his promise to double his sisters’ dowries. This lease was cancelled in 1564. In exchange Catherine granted him the lease of the manor of Stokenham in Devon and gave him permission to sell some of her lands in Cornwall. In 1574, she assigned the park of Ware, Hertfordshire to him (he needed to pledge property for his debts to the crown) and received in return an annuity of £33. 6s. 8d. Most of her estates, however, remained in her possession.

During the crisis of the Northern Rebellion, Elizabeth placed Mary Queen of Scotland under Huntingdon's protection. This must have been a trial for them both, for each saw the other as a threat to their own lives and futures. After this the Queen made him a Knight of the Garter in 1570, alongside William Somerset, 3rd Earl of Worcester. Then Huntingdon was chosen to replace the Earl of Sussex as president of the Council of the North where his Calvin influence can still be seen today in the religious makeup of those counties which till that point were still Roman Catholic.

With the threat of the Spanish Armada came new titles and responsibilities including Lord Lieutenantships of all northern England and the northern army that he raised and paid for.

For all intents and purposes Huntingdon was Viceroy of the north, financed on the income of an Earl, which lead to major financial difficulty and a large debt at his death. The debt was so large that neither his wife nor his heir would take possession of his body, and thereby become responsible for his debt.

Huntingdon was responsible for the compilation of an elaborate history of the Hastings family, a manuscript copy of which is now in the British Museum.

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Having no issue with Catherine, his brother George became the fourth Earl of Huntingdon at his death.

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