Henry Hastings, 1st Baron Loughborough
He was born in Loughborough, Leicestershire, the fifth child and second son of Henry Hastings, 5th Earl of Huntingdon and Lady Elizabeth Stanley. His siblings included, Lady Alice Hastings, Ferdinando Hastings, 6th Earl of Huntingdon (b. 1608), Lady Elizabeth Hastings and Lady Mary Hastings (b. 1612). His mother, at one time, was fourth-in-line to inherit England's throne. She was a great great granddaughter of Mary Tudor, Duchess of Suffolk.
He was educated at Queens' College, Cambridge. Upon the outbreak of the Civil War in 1642, Hastings declared himself a supporter of King Charles I and the family home, Ashby-de-la-Zouch castle, became a vital link between the Royalist south-west and the north – particularly as much of the rest of Leicestershire supported the Parliamentary cause. Hastings was made High Sheriff of Leicestershire that same year (1642) by King Charles.
Hastings, therefore, as Colonel Hastings, became engaged in various skirmishes between the opposing forces, seeing action at the Battle of Hopton Heath, fighting a small battle at Cotes Bridge near Loughborough and later losing an eye to a pistol shot after an exchange near Bagworth, all in 1643. He was thereafter known as Blind Henry Hastings by the Parliamentarians, who refused to recognise his new title. Later that year, his forces captured and lost the town of Burton upon Trent.
However, as the war progressed and Royalist fortunes waned, Ashby—already the target of action in 1644—was subject to a prolonged siege between September 1645 and its surrender in March 1646. Hastings, ennobled as the first Baron Loughborough on 23 October 1643, for his services to Charles I, marched out with the honours of war. The castle was later partly demolished, with the remaining Hastings family moving to Donington Hall near Derby.
In the Second Civil War he and Arthur, Lord Capell in raising troops for the Royalists, joined the Earl of Norwich, Sir Charles Lucas and Sir George Lisle in Essex and took part in the Siege of Colchester. He surrendered with the others on 28 August 1648 and was exiled by Parliament (he fled to Holland) on 18 November 1648. In this he was fortunate as Capell, Lucas and Lisle were all executed for their part in the rebellion.
Upon the Restoration (for which he had worked secretly as a founder member of The Sealed Knot), Hastings was able to return to England and was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire in 1661 although he only ever lived in London from then on, in a Manor House in Lambeth Wick he renamed Loughborough House. He died in 1667 unmarried and without issue and his title became extinct.
Several streets and a railway station in the Brixton area of London perpetuate his name.
- "Hastings, Henry". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- p466, Robert Ashton, Counter Revolution: The Second Civil War and its Origins 1646-48, Yale University Press, 1994
- pp148, 246 in S. R. Gardiner, History of the Great Civil War, Volume Four 1647-49, The Windrush Press, 1987
- Brixton Guide
|English Interregnum||Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire
The Earl of Rutland
|Custos Rotulorum of Leicestershire
The Earl of Denbigh
|Peerage of England|
|New creation||Baron Loughborough