HUNTINGDON, Richard (d.1430/1), of Hastings, Suss.
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Family and Education
m. Maud, s.p.
Under Henry IV and Henry V Huntingdon held land at Catsfield, Hooe and Wilting in east Sussex. He did not, however, claim exemption from taxation as a Portsman until 1410, so it was perhaps only then that he acquired his property in Hastings.1 Huntingdon may have had some training in the law, which enabled him to come to sufficiently close terms with members of the gentry of east Sussex for them to employ him as a feoffee-to-uses. In this capacity from 1397 until his death he frequently acted on behalf of Sir William Brenchesle, j.c.p., his wife Joan, and their son Richard, regarding settlements of land in the region. In time this connexion brought him into contact with Richard Brenchesle’s father-in-law, John Salerne I* of Iden, and so led to his involvement in settlements of Salerne’s lands as well, not only those promised to Brenchesle and his wife Ann, but also those set aside for the latter’s sister, Eleanor, and her husband, William Cheyne* of Shurland. Then, from 1421 to 1430, he also gave his services to the wealthy Sir Roger Fiennes*, as a trustee of the latter,s estates at Herstmonceux and elsewhere.2
Huntingdon was often employed by the Cinque Ports generally on important missions to Westminster. Thus, between 1416 and 1418 he was engaged with John Garton* of Dover in suits accusing the men of Yarmouth of various injustices committed against Portsmen at the annual herring fair; and in 1425, perhaps while they were attending Parliament, he and James Lowys* of New Romney procured the writs necessary to ensure the Ports, customary exemption from parliamentary fifteenths. During the parliamentary recess of December 1427 the Brodhull delegated him to start proceedings in the following January against the burgesses of Yarmouth for further breaches of the Ports’ liberties, voting him 15 marks for his expenses while so engaged.3
Huntingdon made his will on 14 Nov. 1430 and died before 15 Mar. following, when it was proved. Most probably he was buried in St. Clement’s church, Hastings, to which he left a number of bequests. He ordered that his house in St. Clement’s parish, together with his lands at Wittersham and elsewhere in the Isle of Oxney (Kent) be sold after his widow, Maud, had enjoyed their revenues for seven years, following which, as his executrix, she was to dispose of the proceeds on charity. Huntingdon’s other properties in Hastings were either sold immediately after his death, or else were passed on by his feoffees (who included John Edward, his fellow MP of 1427) to his heir, his kinswoman Katherine, wife of Richard Whatton, esquire.