HUNGERFORD, Thomas (c.1564-95/6), of Stoke, nr. Great Bedwyn, Wilts.
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Family and Education
b. c.1564, s. of George Hungerford of Windrush, Glos. by his w. Edith. educ. Trinity Coll. Oxf. 1580; Barnard’s Inn; L. Inn 1582, called 1591. unm., 1da.
As Hungerford was described on the Crown Office list of Members of the 1593 Parliament as of Stoke, the home of Anthony Hungerford, the two men were clearly related, but no positive identification of the 1593 MP has been made. The probability is that he was a Lincoln’s Inn lawyer who came from the Windrush branch of the family and was possibly staying with Anthony Hungerford at the time of the election. Perhaps he had a house nearby, as in his will he remembered the poor of Lea, a few miles away from Stoke. He also had a residence, perhaps only lodgings, at Bath. In any event his return for Great Bedwyn is explained by the local influence of Anthony Hungerford, who himself took the senior seat at the next two general elections. The Members for Great Bedwyn were appointed to a committee concerning cloth on 15 Mar. 1593, but Hungerford is not mentioned by name in the parliamentary journals. In the will he made on 10 Jan. which was proved 6 Feb. 1596, Hungerford described himself as ‘the unprofitable servant of God’. He left £20 to a Bess Haselwood, £50 to be divided between Mary and Edith Paulet, and £100 and his books to a younger brother. The remainder of his effects went to his mother, the sole executrix, who was left the task of paying his many debts.1
In view of the doubt surrounding the identity of the 1593 MP, two namesakes must be mentioned. Thomas, son of Sir Anthony Hungerford of Down Ampney, Gloucestershire, lived at Lea and Cleverton, Wiltshire in 1576 and would have been, by contemporary standards, old for a first appearance in Parliament.2 Thomas Hungerford, son of Robert Hungerford of Cadnam, who would have been about 30 years of age, was a Catholic who died at Douai. Even supposing he could have avoided taking the oath required from MPs it would not have been in his interests to have sat.3
The Sir Thomas Hungerford printed by D’Ewes (p. 567) as sitting on a committee in the 1597 Parliament should read Sir John Hungerford.