HUDDLESTON, Richard (c.1535-89), of Thame Park, Oxon. and Elford, Staffs.
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Family and Education
b. c.1535, 1st s. of Richard Huddleston of Elford by his 2nd w. Sybil Crofts. m. Isabel (d.1587), e. da. and coh. of John, 1st Lord Williams of Thame, wid. of Sir Richard Wenman of Thame Park.2
J.p. Oxon. from 1577-c.87, sheriff 1580-1; treasurer at war in Netherlands 1585-7.3
The child of a second marriage, Huddleston came into the family lands in Staffordshire, as his father’s first wife had only daughters. The date of the elder Richard Huddleston’s death has not been found; possibly it was not until after the son had married an Oxfordshire heiress. In any case it was in Oxfordshire, not Staffordshire, that the younger Richard resided and held county office. His return for Lichfield may have been due to either local influence, or to friends at court, possibly dating from his days in the Netherlands: before 1588 the Earl of Leicester had influenced Lichfield elections, and later his stepson the Earl of Essex nominated there.4
Huddleston’s career between 1581 and 1585 is obscure. He was apparently already in the Netherlands, with the rank of captain, when on 2 Aug. 1585 the Queen issued the warrant appointing him treasurer there. In October the same year he received £10,000 from the Exchequer for coat and conduct money, transport and wages of the troops. He held the office of treasurer for about 18 months, but during that period made at least one visit to England: in June 1586 a letter from Burghley to Walsingham spoke of his return from the Continent. He was back in the Netherlands by the middle of August.5
Like other Elizabethan treasurers at war, Huddleston found it impossible to keep either his own finances or those of the army in order. His salary fell into arrears: he received no ‘entertainment’ expenses between December 1585 and October 1586, when Leicester granted warrants for his payment. He became so seriously involved in difficulties with the army accounts that he was suspected of dishonesty as well as ineptitude. Leicester laid the blame on Huddleston, who was eventually dismissed. After this it is difficult to trace his movements. He died intestate 1 Mar. 1589 (before the end of the Parliament that year), perhaps in the Netherlands, or perhaps having returned to England for the Parliament. Administration was granted 2 June 1590 to Sir John Norris who asked, in an undated petition, for a number of allowances and expenses covering the period from Huddleston’s treasurership to his death. A Captain Richard Huddleston appears on an official list of ‘captains dead and slain in wars’, 1576-95.6
Ref Volumes: 1558-1603
- 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
- 2. J. C. Wedgwood, Staffs. Parl. Hist. (Wm. Salt Arch. Soc.), i. 392; Colls. Hist. Staffs. (Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. iii), 53.
- 3. CSP For. 1584-5, p. 646; HMC Hatfield, iii. 230.
- 4. Neale, Commons, 211-12, 237-8.
- 5. CSP For. 1584-5, pp. 635, 646; PRO Index 6800, f. 141; Neale, Essays in Eliz. Hist. 181 seq.; CSP Dom. 1581-90, p. 335; Leycester Corresp. (Cam. Soc. xxvii), 396-7, 433, 446.
- 6. Lansd. 69, f. 202 seq.; 79, f. 37; PCC admon. act bk. 1590, f. 141.