WINGFIELD, Sir Robert (d.1596), of Letheringham, Suff.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

1st s. of Sir Anthony Wingfield, vice-chamberlain to Henry VIII, by Elizabeth, da. of Sir George Vere; bro. of Richard and ?Henry educ. ?G. Inn 1537. m. (1) Cecily, da. of Thomas Wentworth, 1st Baron Wentworth, 3s. inc. Anthony I 2da.; (2) aft. 1570, Bridget, da. of Sir John Spring of Lavenham, wid. of Thomas Fleetwood, ?s.p. suc. fa. 1552, mother 1559. Kntd. ?2 Oct. 1553.

Offices Held

Sheriff, Norf. and Suff. 1560-1; j.p. Suff. from c.1559, commr. piracy by 1578, grain 1580s, dep. lt. 1585.


Wingfield had extensive lands in Suffolk, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Middlesex and Norfolk. He was active in Suffolk affairs, signing a letter to the Privy Council in favour of John Lawrence the puritan preacher in August 1567, and exerting his influence on behalf of the more radical clergy of the district as an ecclesiastical commissioner for the Norwich diocese in the @57os. 1570s. His name appears among the signatories to the 1582 petition to the Privy Council from the puritan justices of the peace. With others of his religious group he disliked the extremists known as the Family of Love. In 1581 he was an arbitrator in Sir Robert Drury’s tithe dispute with the puritan Oliver Pig.

In April 1565 Wingfield was one of those asked to ‘take care in the good assessing of the subsidy’. The only reference found to him during the 1563 session of Parliament is his being granted leave of absence, ‘for his affairs at the assizes’, 27 Feb. He was a member of the succession committee 31 Oct. 1566 and one of 30 Members summoned from the Commons on 5 Nov. 1566 to hear the Queen’s message on the succession. His other committees concerned the lands of the Woodhouse family (20 May 1572) and the subsidies of 10 Feb. 1576 and 25 Jan. 1581. He died on 19 Mar. 1596. His will, made in 1584, was proved 28 June 1596. Apart from several legacies to the poor, he left everything to his eldest son and heir Anthony.

Viscount Powerscourt, Wingfield Muns. 4-5; Vis. Suff. ed. Metcalfe, 81; DNB (Wingfield, Sir Anthony); CPR, 1558-60, p. 447; 1560-3, p. 381; Collinson thesis, passim; Parker Corresp. (Parker Soc.), 306; APC, xi. 138; xiii. 138, 154, 361, 378; A. Peel, Second Parte of a Register, i. 31, 48; Lansd. 8, f. 80; 48, f. 136 seq.; 109, f. 210; 146, f. 18; CJ, i. 67, 96, 104, 119; D’Ewes, 86, 127, 212, 247, 288; Camb. Univ. Lib. Gg, iii. 34, p. 209; PCC 43 Drake.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge