WINGFIELD, William (?1773-1858), of Lincoln's Inn, Mdx.; Sherborne Castle, Dorset and Blythe Hall, Warws.
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Family and Education
b. ?1773, 1st s. of George Wingfield of Cotham, co. Dur. and Mickleham, Surr. by Mary, niece and h. of George Sparrow of Washington, co. Dur. educ. Tunbridge sch. 1785-8; Christ Church, Oxf. 11 Mar. 1789, aged 16; L. Inn 1792, called 1797. m. (1) 22 July 1796, Lady Charlotte Maria Digby (d. 15 May 1807), da. of Henry Digby†, 1st Earl Digby, 3s. 3da., (2) 2 June 1813, Elizabeth, da. of William Mills* of Bisterne, Hants, 5s. 3da. suc. fa. 1776; Richard Baker of Orsett Hall, Essex and took name of Baker 29 Dec. 1849.
Commr. of bankrupts 1803-16; cj. Brecon circuit June 1816-24; KC 7 Aug. 1818; master in Chancery Feb. 1824-Dec. 1849, bencher L. Inn 1818, treasurer 1828, librarian 1829.
Lt. Law Assoc. vols. 1803; 2nd Lt. Prince of Wales’s Mdx. vols. 1808.
A barrister practising on the home circuit and an equity draftsman, Wingfield was connected by his sister’s marriage to Rev. John Basset with Lord de Dunstanville, who put him up at both Penryn and Bodmin in 1806. Defeated at Penryn, he had the satisfaction of seeing his petition against the return lead to prosecution of his successful opponent for bribery and was in the meantime returned for Bodmin unopposed. In Parliament no minority vote of his is known and only one appearance in debate, when he presented a petition from Penryn, 9 Jan. 1807. He did not seek re-election in 1807 and reverted to his legal career. When in November 1811 Lord de Dunstanville offered him another opportunity to sit for Bodmin, he declined.1 In 1816 he obtained a Welsh judgeship, for which he had applied while in Parliament through Lady George Cavendish.2 As estate manager for the dowager Duchess of Norfolk he was encouraged by Lord Somers to offer for Hereford in 1818 and on a vacancy in August 1819, but nothing came of it.3 He died 20/21 Mar. 1858, ‘aged 84’. Thomas Creevey described him as ‘the most successful humbug simpleton I have known in all my life’.4