WINGFIELD, Jacques (c.1519-87), of Stone Castle, Kent and St. Giles-in-the-Fields, Mdx.
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Family and Education
Gent. household of Stephen Gardiner, bp. of Winchester 1531-55; master of the ordnance, Ireland c.1558-d.; constable, Dublin castle c.1558-Jan. 1586; member, council of Ireland 1559-62, of Munster 26 Apr. 1587; commr. eccles. causes, Ireland 1568, sewers Kent 1568.2
Jacques Wingfield’s early life was probably spent in Calais and he is said to have spoken excellent French. He entered Gardiner’s household in 1531 (his uncle Lewis had been comptroller of Bishop Fox’s household) and it is as the bishop’s servant that he appears during the next 24 years. He was in Paris with Gardiner in 1538, when Germain Gardiner described him as popular at the French Court, though an outspoken defender of England, and he again accompanied Gardiner on foreign missions in 1546-7. From 1540 he was bailiff of the episcopal manor of Bishops Sutton, Hampshire, and from 1551 of Farnham, Surrey. Clearly it was on Gardiner’s nomination that he sat in Mary’s first Parliament for Taunton, another manor of the see of Winchester. Wingfield had remained faithful to Gardiner during the bishop’s imprisonment under Edward VI; he continually pleaded with the Duke of Somerset for Gardiner’s release and was named one of his proctors at the trial of 1551, in which he deposed as to the numbers and quality of Gardiner’s household and to his master’s loyalty.3
The death of Gardiner (who left him £40) ended the first phase of Wingfield’s career. The remainder of his life centred on Ireland. In May 1556 he arrived at Dublin with the lord deputy Sir Thomas Radcliffe; he was sent home in the following year, probably to fetch more troops, for he returned early in 1558 with 400 men, and by November had obtained the offices of master of the ordnance and constable of Dublin castle. His ignominious defeat by Shane O’Neill in a skirmish in 1561 led Queen Elizabeth to order his removal from all his offices, but through the intercession of Radcliffe (now 3rd Earl of Sussex) and Cecil he was allowed to keep them, and though on bad terms with some of the deputies who succeeded Sussex he did so until his death. Sir John Perrot complained in 1586 that Wingfield was too old and had been four years in England, but in that year he secured large grants of land in the Munster Plantation for himself and his family. He went back to Ireland but died soon afterwards, between April and September 1587. His will, in the name of ‘James Wingfield esquire of St. Giles’s parish, London’, was proved in the prerogative court of Ireland, and letters of administration for his English property were granted at Lambeth on 6 Sept. 1587.4
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: Roger Virgoe
- 1. Aged 19 or under in February 1538. Vis. Hunts. (Cam. Soc. xliii), 131.
- 2. Foxe, Acts and Mons. vi. 197; CSP Carew, 1515-74, p. 278; CSP Ire. 1509-73, p. 158; 1585-8, pp. 41, 313; APC, xv. 33; CPR, 1566-9, pp. 173-4; 1569-72, p. 220.
- 3. LP Hen. VIII,, xiii, xxi; Eccles. 2/155883-4, 155889, 155898; Foxe, vi. 120, 197-9, 250.
- 4. PCC 3 Noodes; CSP Carew, 1515-74, pp. 257, 278, 299; CSP Ire. 1509-73, p. 147 passim; 1574-85, p. 584; 1585-8, pp. 17-407 passim; SP63/3, f. 100; A. Vicars, Index to Prerogative Wills of Ireland, 501; PCC admons. act. bk. 1587-92, f. 30.