WINGFIELD, Sir Richard (c.1510-57/59), of Portsmouth, Hants.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Mar. 1553

Family and Education

b. c.1510, s. of Lewis Wingfield of Bishops Sutton by da. of one Macwilliam of Suff. m. Christian, da. of Sir William Fitzwilliam of Gains Park, Essex, and Milton, Northants. at least 1s. Kntd. 30 Sept. 1544.1

Offices Held

Capt. Morian 1546, Swallow 1557; paymaster, Portsmouth 1548-54, capt. 1551-4; commr. goods of churches and fraternities, Hants 1553; burgess, Portsmouth by 1553-4.2


Richard Wingfield’s father, the ninth son of Sir John Wingfield of Letheringham, Suffolk, was comptroller of the household of the bishop of Winchester, from whom he had a lease of the manor of Bishops Sutton. Lewis Wingfield died in or before 1526, leaving Richard a goblet and the reversion of Sutton after it had been applied to the upbringing of his brother, or stepbrother, Robert. No further trace of Wingfield has been found until 1544, when he was one of those knighted for his part in the capture of Boulogne. Shortly afterwards he was taken prisoner when the French were repulsed ‘in their camisado out of Base Boulogne’. Released after 17 months and on the payment of a large ransom, he came home bearing a letter of recommendation to the King from the council at Boulogne. He was promptly made captain of the Morian and saw action in the Channel.3

It was probably at about this time that Wingfield married and became brother-in-law to Sir William Fitzwilliam II. Of greater significance locally was his sister Anne’s marriage to Anthony Pound, whose family owed a tenurial service at Portsmouth castle and was prominent in the town; Pound’s own sister was the wife of Ralph Henslowe, one of Wingfield’s successors as Member for Portsmouth. Wingfield probably owed his appointment at Portsmouth to John Dudley, Earl of Warwick, the admiral under whom he had served at sea. It was almost certainly Warwick, by then Duke of Northumberland, who procured the return of John Chaderton and Wingfield to the Parliament of March 1553 (in Wingfield’s case perhaps with the approval of his relative the 9th Lord Clinton, the current admiral), but there is no indication that either of them supported Northumberland in the succession crisis of the following summer. Although Wingfield, who in 1551 had succeeded Sir Thomas Radcliffe, Lord Fitzwalter (another Member of that Parliament) as captain of Portsmouth, was to be relieved of both his posts early in Mary’s reign, he received a handsome annuity of £100 for his past services and went to sea again in 1557 as captain of the Swallow.4

Wingfield’s end is obscure. In June 1559 his widow Christian was granted an annuity of £40 from the previous March, so that he probably died in 1558 or early 1559; he could have died at sea or fallen victim to the epidemic of the time. His eldest, or perhaps only, son Richard, born about 1550, was to see long military service in Ireland and to be created Viscount Powerscourt in 1618.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Patricia Hyde


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from family history. Vis. Hunts. (Cam. Soc. xliii), 129; LP Hen. VIII, xix.
  • 2. LP Hen. VIII, xxi; SP11/11, f. 79; APC, ii. 198, 216, 221, 223; iii. 37, 106, 261, 293, 321; iv. 37, 47, 67, 104, 106, 180, 213; CPR, 1550-3, p. 395; 1553, p. 415; C219/20/106, 21/138, 22/76; CP40/1142, f. 719.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, i. xix-xxi; Hants RO, wills R.
  • 4. CPR, 1554-5, p. 72; SP11/11, f. 79.
  • 5. CPR, 1558-60, p. 101.