WINGFIELD, Richard (d.c.1591), of Wantisden and Crowfield, Suff.
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Family and Education
3rd s. of Sir Anthony Wingfield, vice-chamberlain to Henry VIII, by Elizabeth, da. of Sir George de Vere; bro. of Sir Robert and ?Henry. m. (1) Mary, da. and coh. of John Hardwick of Derbys., 3s. Anthony II, Sir John and ?Henry 2da.; (2) Johanna or Joan (da. of one Clarke), wid. of John Harbottle of Crowfield, ?s.p.1
J.p. Suff. from c.1559; ?gent. usher c.1578.
Wingfield’s first return for Orford followed that of his relative Thomas Seckford for both Orford and Ipswich. Seckford chose Ipswich, and Wingfield came in for Orford. Members of his family continued to represent the borough for some years thereafter. It is not certain that the same man continued to sit in 1586 and 1589, as a namesake, later 1st Viscount Powerscourt, was old enough to have been the Member. But the latter was a soldier in the Netherlands in the autumn of 1586 and on the Portugal expedition in 1589, and the probability is that Richard of Wantisden was the Member on all three occasions. Little is known of his career, which is difficult to distinguish from that of his namesake. There is no evidence as to which of them was the gentleman usher, but Richard of Wantisden, who had family connexions with the Earls of Shrewsbury and Oxford, is quite likely to have held a post at court. In Suffolk he was important enough to be included in the commission of the peace, and in his own part of the country he had considerable influence. In 1582 he supported the petition of puritan justices to the Privy Council, complaining of the activities of assize judges against radical preachers. By 1585, and presumably earlier, he was a free burgess of Orford, where his family had intermarried with the local Sone family.
Wingfield’s will, drawn up in May 1588, and proved 14 Aug. 1591, is that of a fairly wealthy country gentleman. It begins with an assertion of his belief that redemption came through Christ, ‘by whose only merits, mediation and intercession I look ... to be received into the kingdom of Heaven, there to live in the fellowship of all the chosen saints of God in joy and peace for ever’. Presumably through his first wife, he held lands in Derbyshire, Herefordshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire, and the will sets out the arrangements by which these were to descend to his son Henry, who also received a £100 bequest. Another son, John, was bequeathed the manor of Iken, Suffolk, held on lease from Sir Robert Wingfield. John was also to share the profits of manors at Chiselford, where Wingfield apparently bred horses and owned flocks of sheep. There were bequests to several of his relatives, including the Sones, Sir Robert Wingfield and his son Anthony. A number of servants received 40s. each.2