FEILDE, Edmund (1620-76), of Shephalbury and Marden Hill, Herts.
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Family and Education
bap. 11 Sept. 1620, o. surv. s. of Thomas Feilde, rector of St Andrew’s, Hertford 1598-1623, by 2nd w. Anne, da. of Charles Nodes of Shephalbury. educ. Emmanuel, Camb. 1637; I. Temple 1639, called 1652. m. c.1653, Frances (d.1690), da. of William Pert of Arnolds Hall, Mountnessing, Essex, wid. of his cos. Charles Nodes of Shephalbury, 2s. 1da. suc. fa. 1623.1
Commr. for militia, Herts. Mar. 1660, assessment Aug. 1660-1, 1663-74.
Feilde’s name, in various spellings, is ancient in Hertfordshire, but of his own direct ancestry little is known. His father, born at Weston where he owned both copyhold and freehold land, obtained his education at Cambridge as a sizer. He was ordained in 1595, and after holding various livings in Hertfordshire and preaching in London was able to provide a portion of £1,500 for Feilde’s sister. Feilde’s own early maintenance and education was covered by three annuities totalling £135 p.a., and he inherited property in Hertford, lands in Weston and Bengeo, and the rectory of Rushden. Nothing is known of his activities in the Civil War. He may have practised as a lawyer, though he was not called to the bar until 1652. About this time he married his cousin’s widow, who came of an armigerous family, and obtained a grant of arms himself. He took up residence on her property, and at the Restoration was proposed as a knight of the Royal Oak, with an income of £600 p.a.; but he was apparently never a j.p. About 1672 he bought the manor of Marden, four miles north-west of Hertford, from the wife and sister-in-law of Arthur Sparke. He defeated the court supporter Sir John Gore at a by-election for the borough in 1675 with the support of the sitting Member, Sir Thomas Byde, whose son was married to Feilde’s daughter. Gore petitioned, but Feilde was allowed to take his seat. In his few months in Parliament he was appointed only to the committee for the tithe recovery bill, and he did not speak. Sir Richard Wiseman probably assessed him as a sound churchman, despite his country connexions, and believed that ‘Mr Feilde may be successfully applied to’ on behalf of the Court. But he died on 3 June 1676, aged 56, and was buried in Shephal church, where a memorial described him as a man of strict piety, deep learning and calm and prudent temperament. In the last year of his life he bought Stanstead Abbots, which became the family seat. His son was knighted in 1681, presumably as a Tory, but the next member of the family to enter Parliament was his great-grandson, who sat for Hertford from 1770 to 1780 as an independent Whig.2