Henry Hastings, 3rd Earl of Huntingdon

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The 3rd Earl of Huntingdon.
Quartered arms of Sir Henry Hastings, 3rd Earl of Huntingdon, KG

Henry Hastings, 3rd Earl of Huntingdon, KG, KB (ca. 1535 – 14 December 1595) was the eldest son of Francis Hastings, 2nd Earl of Huntingdon, and Catherine Pole.

Ancestry[edit]

His great-grandfather was Lord William Hastings esteemed friend and ally of Edward IV and who was beheaded in 1483 at the direction of Richard III. His paternal grandparents were George Hastings, 1st Earl of Huntingdon, and Anne Stafford, Countess of Huntingdon. His maternal grandparents were Henry Pole, 1st Baron Montagu, and Jane Neville, a daughter of George Nevill, 4th Baron Bergavenny, and Margaret Fenne.

Anne Stafford was a daughter of Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, and Catherine Woodville. Henry Pole was a son of Sir Richard Pole and Margaret Pole, 8th Countess of Salisbury. Margaret was the only daughter of George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence, and Isabella Neville, Duchess of Clarence. Both Buckingham and Clarence were descendants of the House of Plantagenet, were close relatives to various monarchs of England and entertained hopes for the throne during their lifetimes.

Early life[edit]

He was born in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire, and was educated at first by private tutors at his family manor. He later joined the future Edward VI of England as his classmate in being tutored under Richard Cox, John Cheke and Jean Belmain. They provided both youths with an education based in the principles of Humanism[citation needed].

His father was a political ally of John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland, and to further their alliance the two elder politicians arranged the marriage of their children. On 21 May 1553, Henry was wed to Katherine Dudley, daughter of Northumberland by Jane Guildford. Edward VI was dying and his appointed heir was his cousin Lady Jane Grey, Northumberland's daughter-in-law. Jane's reign lasted only from 10–19 July 1553 until her cousin Mary I of England prevailed. Due to his marital alliance with her, Henry was incarcerated in the Tower of London. Mary attempted to reconcile with the Hastings family and soon they were free again and by oath loyal to her.[citation needed]

Henry entered the household of his great-uncle Cardinal Reginald Pole and followed him in his visits of Calais, Flanders and the monasteries of Smithfield, London. The two men also escorted the later Philip II of Spain from the Seventeen Provinces to the Kingdom of England for his marriage to Mary. Despite his personal loyalty to Mary and his great-uncle, Hastings practised Calvinism and showed little financial restraint in supporting his puritan beliefs.[1] Among those notables who benefited from his family's friendship and patronage were John Brinsley the elder, Arthur Hildersham, Thomas Cartwright,[2] Lawrence Humphrey, Thomas Sampson,[3] Anthony Gilby,[4] John King,[5] and William Chaderton.[6]

Political career[edit]

He had been loyal to Edward VI, Jane and Mary I during their respective reigns and his father remained an influential politician. When Mary I died childless and was succeeded by her younger half-sister Elizabeth I in 1558, the new queen also counted on the reliable Hastings family among her supporters. He was named a Knight of the Bath by the new queen regnant.

His father died on 25 January 1560 and Henry became the third Earl of Huntingdon. At the time few members of the Tudor dynasty remained alive and several descendants of the previous English royal house of Plantagenet were seen as possible heirs to the throne. Huntingdon was among these possible heirs and won a certain amount of support, especially from the Protestants and the enemies of another claimant Mary, Queen of Scots. Indeed, when Elizabeth fell ill at one point, when someone mentioned Huntingdon's legitimate claim, she seemed to recover with speed. Elizabeth distrusted him at points though, and several honours were kept out of his reach for a time.[7]

However, he was still useful to her. He was named a Knight of the Garter in 1570, alongside William Somerset, 3rd Earl of Worcester. In 1572 he was appointed president of the Council of the North, and during the troubled period between the flight of Mary, Queen of Scots, to England in 1568 and the defeat of the Spanish Armada twenty years later he was frequently employed in the north of England. It was doubtless felt that the earl's own title to the crown was a pledge that he would show scant sympathy with the advocates of Mary's claim. He assisted George Talbot, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury, to remove the Scottish queen from Wingfield Manor to Tutbury, and for a short time in 1569 he was one of her custodians. He was later one of the Peers at her trial in 1586.

Huntingdon was responsible for the compilation of an elaborate history of the Hastings family, a manuscript copy of which is now in the British Museum. Having died without heir his earldom passed to his brother, George.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Cross, Claire, The Puritan Earl, The Life of Henry Hastings, Third Earl of Huntingdon, 1536–1595, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1966, 35.
  2. ^ Cross, Claire, The Puritan Earl, The Life of Henry Hastings, Third Earl of Huntingdon, 1536–1595, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1966, 40.
  3. ^ Cross, Claire, The Puritan Earl, The Life of Henry Hastings, Third Earl of Huntingdon, 1536–1595, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1966, 33. Humphrey & Sampson.
  4. ^ Stone, Lawrence, The crisis of the aristocracy, 1558–1641, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002 (reprint), 341.
  5. ^ Cross, Claire, The Puritan Earl, The Life of Henry Hastings, Third Earl of Huntingdon, 1536–1595, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1966, 276.
  6. ^ Cross, Claire, The Puritan Earl, The Life of Henry Hastings, Third Earl of Huntingdon, 1536–1595, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1966, 257–58.
  7. ^ Claire Cross (1966). The Puritan Earl: The Life of Henry Hastings, Third Earl of Huntingdon (1536–1595). Macmillan. pp. 143–5. 

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Cross, Claire, The Puritan Earl, The Life of Henry Hastings, Third Earl of Huntingdon, 1536–1595, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1966.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Huntingdon
Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire
jointly with The Earl of Huntingdon 1559–1561

1559–1587
Succeeded by
The Earl of Huntingdon
Preceded by
Unknown
Lord Lieutenant of Rutland
?–1595
Preceded by
Francis Cave
Custos Rotulorum of Leicestershire
bef. 1573–1595
Preceded by
Unknown
Lord Lieutenant of Yorkshire
1586–1595
Vacant
Title next held by
The Lord Burghley
Preceded by
Unknown
Lord Lieutenant of Cumberland, Northumberland and Westmorland
1586–1595
Vacant
Title next held by
The Earl of Cumberland
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Francis Hastings
Earl of Huntingdon
1560–1595
Succeeded by
George Hastings
Baron Hastings
(writ in acceleration)

1559–1595