WYNDHAM, Sir Hugh (1624-71), of Kentsford, St. Decuman's, Som.
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Family and Education
b. 1624, 1st s. of (Sir) Edmund Wyndham and bro. of Sir Charles Wyndham and Thomas Wyndham I. m. 4 Feb. 1650 (with £1,500), Joan, da. of Sir Francis Drake, 1st Bt.†, of Buckland Monachorum, Devon, 1s. 7da. Kntd. bef. 21 July 1645.1
Col. of horse (royalist) by 1645; lt. of frigate 1649.2
Commr. for oyer and terminer, Western circuit 1661, assessment, Som. 1661-9, loyal and indigent officers 1662, dep. lt. 1668-d., j.p. 1669-d.; collector of customs, Bridgwater 1669-d.3
Servant to Charles II ?by 1664-at least 1667.4
Wyndham, like his father, was an active Royalist in the Civil War, though he doubtless owed his knighthood more to his mother’s influence than his own services. He was among the prisoners at the fall of Bridgwater in 1645, but escaped and took service with the royalist fleet. He was again captured together with William Legge I when they tried to break the blockade of Rupert’s fleet in Kinsale, and sent as a prisoner on a charge of high treason to Pendennis. There he met and married a lady of strongly parliamentarian connexions, the sister of Sir Francis Drake, 2nd Bt. He was allowed to compound for her portion and the reversion to his father’s estate at £942. Some land had to be sold, but the fine was paid on 20 Jan. 1652, and Wyndham remained in obscurity till the Restoration, taking no part in royalist plots.5
Wyndham was returned for Minehead, some seven miles from Kentsford, at the general election of 1661. He was a moderately active Member of the Cavalier Parliament, being named to 87 committees, and making six recorded speeches. In the first session he was appointed to the committees for the corporation and uniformity bills and the bill of pains and penalties. He was noted as a court dependant in 1664. Like his father he opposed toleration, but took less part in the fall of Clarendon. On 16 Oct. 1667, he complained to the House of the ‘unhandsome, passionate speeches’ at the Somerset assizes of the lord chief justice (John Kelyng), who, in a dispute with the grand jury over a murder charge, had told Wyndham, for all his claim of privilege, that he was head of a faction, and that he would make him stoop. He was named to the committee to investigate restraints on juries, and also to those to inquire into the accounts of the loyal and indigent officers fund and to consider the bill for the banishment of Clarendon. When Kelyng appeared at the bar of the House on 13 Dec. he offered no defence to the charge brought against him by Wyndham, who moved that ‘since the chief justice had forgot to answer the reproachful language he gave him, the House would likewise forget it, for he did’. When Sir Richard Temple proposed a new triennial bill on 18 Feb. 1668, Wyndham observed that ‘this bill is brought in, I had almost said with impudence’, which gave offence to many of the Opposition. On 4 Mar. he informed the House of a conventicle in his parish, kept by an ex-captain in Cromwell’s army, and he was appointed to the committee for reviewing the militia and conventicles laws. Later in the same month he seconded the complaint of (Sir) Edward Massey about the exaction of undue fees by customs officials. But at the end of the year, after much petitioning, he was approved as a customs official himself. About the same time his father, who was in financial difficulties, made over the Kentsford estate to him, and he was added to the lieutenancy and the commission of the peace. He appears on both lists of court supporters among those who usually voted for supply, and was named to the committee for union with Scotland in 1670. In the winter session, he acted as teller against the bill for erecting St. James Piccadilly into a separate parish, presumably to annoy his uncle Francis Wyndham who had a mortgage on Kentsford, and he was again appointed to consider the conventicles laws. He was noted (inaccurately) as Charles II’s foster-brother in a list of government supporters about this time. But this was his last session, for on 22 May 1671 his father hurried down to Somerset where he lay ‘dangerously sick’, and he died two months later in his 48th year. He was buried at St. Decuman’s under an inscription complaining of lack of countenance and regard for his sufferings in the Civil War. His son Edmund succeeded to the Kentsford estate, but died childless in 1698.6
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: Irene Cassidy
- 1. Vivian, Vis. Devon, 301; H. A. Wyndham, Fam. Hist. i. 190; ii. 4; Whitelock Mems. i. 482.
- 2. List of Officers Claiming (1663), 148; CSP Dom. 1649-50, p. 235.
- 3. CSP Dom. 1668-9, p. 97; Cal. Treas. Bks. iii. 176.
- 4. Milward, 162.
- 5. Cal. Comm. Comp. 964.
- 6. Milward, 88, 162-3, 169, 206, 236; Keble, Reps. ii. 180-1; Grey, i. 67, 82; CJ, ix. 4, 74, 165; Som. Wills, vi. 106; Harl. 7020, f. 38v; CSP Dom. 1671, p. 260; E. F. Eliott-Drake, Fam. and Heirs of Drake, ii. 13-14.