WYNDHAM, Francis (c.1610-76), of Trent, Som. and Pall Mall, Westminster.
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Family and Education
b. c.1610, 5th surv. s. of Sir Thomas Wyndham of Kentsford, Som. and bro. of Edmund Wyndham educ. Padua 1635. m. 1646, Anne, da. and coh. of Thomas Gerard of Trent, 4s. (1 d.v.p.) 3da. suc. uncle Sir Hugh Wyndham, 1st Bt., of Pilsdon, in Dorset estate 1663; cr. Bt. 18 Nov. 1673.1
Col. (royalist) 1643-6; gov. Dunster Castle 1643-6; maj. R. Horse Gds. (The Blues) 1661-d.
J.p. Som. 1643-6, July 1660-d.; commr. for assessment Som. Aug. 1660-d., Dorset 1663-4, sewers, Som. Dec. 1660, loyal and indigent officers 1662; dep. lt. Som. 1666-d., Dorset 1672-4; commr. for recusants, Som. 1675.2
Wyndham took a less prominent part in the Civil War than his brother, but emerged from it with a better reputation as a soldier. His defence of Dunster lasted till all hope of relief was gone, and he surrendered on honourable terms. He compounded on the Oxford articles for under £200; but in the same year he married an heiress. He was one of the leaders of the western association in 1650. On the partition of the Gerard estates in 1651 he took up residence at Trent, Bullen Reymes, who had married the eldest sister, preferring to move to Waddon. The Gerards had been recusants two generations back, and Trent still preserved its priest-hole, enabling Wyndham to offer Charles II a measure of security for several weeks during his escape after the battle of Worcester. He was imprisoned in 1655 as a suspect after Penruddock’s rising, but does not appear to have been actively engaged in any further royalist activities until the Restoration. He was returned to the Convention at a by-election for Milborne Port, six miles from Trent, and was only moderately active. He was named to seven committees, of which the most important was for disbanding the army, but made no recorded speeches. On 17 Dec. 1660, he was thanked by the Speaker in the name of the House for his ‘great and eminent service, whereby it pleased God to make you instrumental in the safeguard and preservation of his Majesty’s sacred person’, and voted a reward of £1,000, to be charged on the excise. He was also commissioned a major in The Blues.3
Re-elected to the Cavalier Parliament after a double return, Wyndham was again moderately active. He probably sat on about 80 committees, though in the earlier sessions there is the possibility of confusion with his brother. The two Colonel Wyndhams acted as tellers against John Coplestone’s estate bill on 21 Feb. 1662. Francis Wyndham was appointed by name to the committee for the additional corporations bill in the same session, and in 1664 to two committees for the new parish of St. James Piccadilly in which his town house stood. He was listed as a court dependant in that year. In May 1667 his wife was granted a pension of £400 p.a. for life in recognition of her services in 1651. Wyndham was appointed to confer with the Duke of Albemarle (George Monck) about the suppression of highwaymen, and to examine the accounts of the loyal and indigent officers fund in the autumn session of 1667, but he is not known to have taken any part in the proceedings against Clarendon. In 1669 he was appointed to committees of inquiry into seditious conventicles and election abuses. His name appears on both lists as a court dependant at this time. On 29 Nov. 1670 he was teller against the motion to recommit the privilege case brought by Christopher Jay. He was noted in a hostile list of government supporters as an equerry (perhaps by mistake for his nephew Thomas Wyndham I) and a captain of horse in the guards. He probably earned his baronetcy by willingness to forego a claim on the Exchequer for £10,800 granted to him by privy seal in 1670. He was included in a list of official Members in 1675, but the spring session was his last, and he never enjoyed another day free from pain. In August he was reported to be very ill at Bath, and though he was again sent the government whip for the autumn session he was unable to attend. ‘I fear’, he wrote to Secretary Coventry, ‘I shall not hereafter be capable to do his Majesty any further service than by my prayers for the long continuance of his prosperity and happiness’. He died on 15 July 1676, aged 66, and was buried at Trent. His second son, Sir Francis, sat for Ilchester in four Parliaments under William III and Anne.4
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Authors: M. W. Helms / Irene Cassidy
- 1. Som. and Dorset N. and Q. v. 268; Hutchins, Dorset, iii. 733; PCC 101 Juxon.
- 2. P. Young, Edgehill, 214; H. A. Wyndham, Fam. Hist. i. 196, 209; R. Hopton, Bellum Civile (Som. Rec. Soc. xviii), 47-48; Q. Sess. Recs. (Som. Rec. Soc. xxviii), p. xx; (xxxiv), p. xx; C181/7/26; HMC Fleming, 56; Som. RO, DD/Pot 162.
- 3. Cal. Comm. Comp. 1372; CSP Dom. 1649-50, p. 355; 1650, p. 153; Wyndham, 242-7; Thurloe, iii. 397; CJ, viii. 210.
- 4. Cal. Treas. Bks. ii. 210; iii. 697; Harl. 7020, f. 38v; CSP Dom. 1675-6, p. 263; Som. and Dorset N. and Q. v. 268; Bath mss, Coventry pprs. 4, f. 359.