Richard WINGFIELD

Capt. of Portsmouth

Born: ABT 1510

Died: ABT 1557

Father: Lewis WINGFIELD of Bishops Sutton

Mother: Dau. MACWILLIAM

Married: Christian FITZWILLIAM

Children:

1. Richard WINGFIELD (b. ABT 1550)


The details in this biography come from the History of Parliament, a biographical dictionary of Members of the House of Commons.

Born ABT 1510, son of Lewis Wingfield of Bishops Sutton by dau. of one Macwilliam of Suff. Married Christian, dau. of Sir William Fitzwilliam of Gains Park, Essex, and Milton, Northants. by whom he had at least one son. Kntd. 30 Sep 1544. Capt. Morian 1546, Swallow 1557; paymaster, Portsmouth 1548-54, capt. 1551-4; commr. goods of churches and fraternities, Hants 1553; burgess, Portsmouth by 1553-4.

Richard Wingfield's father, the ninth son of Sir John Wingfield of Letheringham, Suffolk, was comptroller of the household of the Bishop of Winchester, from whom he had a lease of the manor of Bishops Sutton. Lewis Wingfield died in or before 1526, leaving Richard a goblet and the reversion of Sutton after it had been applied to the upbringing of his brother, or stepbrother, Robert. No further trace of Wingfield has been found until 1544, when he was one of those knighted for his part in the capture of Boulogne. Shortly afterwards he was taken prisoner when the French were repulsed in their camisado out of Base Boulogne. Released after 17 months and on the payment of a large ransom, he came home bearing a letter of recommendation to the King from the council at Boulogne. He was promptly made captain of the Morian and saw action in the Channel.

It was probably at about this time that Wingfield married and became brother-in-law to Sir William Fitzwilliam. Of greater significance locally was his sister Anne's marriage to Anthony Pound, whose family owed a tenurial service at Portsmouth castle and was prominent in the town; Pound's own sister was the wife of Ralph Henslowe, one of Wingfield's successors as Member for Portsmouth. Wingfield probably owed his appointment at Portsmouth to John Dudley, Earl of Warwick, the admiral under whom he had served at sea. It was almost certainly Dudley, by then Duke of Northumberland, who procured the return of John Chaderton and Wingfield to the Parliament of Mar 1553 (in Wingfield's case perhaps with the approval of his relative Edward, 9th Lord Clinton, the current admiral), but there is no indication that either of them supported Northumberland in the succession crisis of the following summer. Although Wingfield, who in 1551 had succeeded Sir Thomas Radcliffe, Lord Fitzwalter (another Member of that Parliament) as captain of Portsmouth, was to be relieved of both his posts early in Mary's reign, he received a handsome annuity of 100 for his past services and went to sea again in 1557 as captain of the Swallow.

Wingfield's end is obscure. In Jun 1559 his widow Christian was granted an annuity of 40 from the previous Mar, so that he probably died in 1558 or early 1559; he could have died at sea or fallen victim to the epidemic of the time. His eldest, or perhaps only, son Richard, born about 1550, was to see long military service in Ireland and to be created Viscount Powerscourt in 1618.

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