Edward Hungerford (spendthrift)

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Drawing c.1832 of bust of Sir Edward Hungerford formerly in Hungerford Market.[a]
Arms of Hungerford: Sable, two bars argent in chief three plates
Another drawing of the bust of Hungerford, published in Gentleman's Magazine 1832

Sir Edward Hungerford, KB, (20 October 1632 – 1711), was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1659 and 1702. He was famous for his profligate ways and sold thirty manors, including the family seat at Farleigh Hungerford, to fund his extravagant lifestyle. He founded Hungerford Market at Charing Cross as a commercial venture.

Origins[edit]

Hungerford was the son and heir of Anthony Hungerford (1607/8-1657) by his wife Rachel Jones, daughter of Rice Jones of Asthall, Oxfordshire[2] and was baptised at Black Bourton, Oxfordshire.[3] His father was a supporter of the royalist cause in the Civil War. Hungerford was a student of Queen's College, Oxford in 1649. He succeeded to the family estates on the death of his father in 1657.[2]

Career[edit]

In 1658 Hungerford was elected Member of Parliament for Chippenham in the Third Protectorate Parliament. He was elected MP for Chippenham in 1660 for the Convention Parliament.[2] He was made a Knight of the Bath at the coronation of King Charles II on 23 April 1661.[4] In 1661 he was elected for Chippenham again in the Cavalier Parliament but the election was declared void. He was then re-elected in the by-election later in 1661 and also in the two elections in 1679. In January 1680 he presented a petition for the summoning of a parliament,[5] and his avowed opposition to the court party of King Charles II led to his removal as Lord Lieutenant of his county in May 1681.[6] He settled in Spring Gardens, Whitehall, in 1681[4] and was elected MP for Chippenham again in the Oxford Parliament of 1681. He was implicated in the 1683 Rye House Plot and his home at Farleigh Castle was searched for arms.[2] He was elected MP for New Shoreham in 1685, 1688, and 1690, and for Steyning in 1695, 1698, 1700, and 1702.

Hungerford obtained some reputation as a patron of archery, and was lieutenant-colonel of the Regiment of Archers in 1661, and colonel in 1682. However, he was best known for his reckless extravagance. He is said to have disposed of thirty manors in all. By way of restoring his waning fortunes, he obtained permission in 1679 to hold a market, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays on the site of the demolished Hungerford House and grounds. The house, which stood on the site of the present Charing Cross railway station, had been his family's London town house and had been destroyed by fire in April 1669.[7]).[4] In 1682 a market-house was erected there, apparently to the design of Sir Christopher Wren (who coincidently was born on the same day as Edward). A bust of Sir Edward was placed on the north front, with an inscription stating that the market had been built at his expense with the king's sanction.[8] In 1685 Sir Stephen Fox and Sir Christopher Wren purchased the market and received the tolls. The market-house was rebuilt in 1833, and was removed in 1860, when Charing Cross railway station was built on the site,[9] Hungerford sold the manor and his seat at Farleigh Castle in 1686 to Henry Baynton of Spye Park for £56,000,[10] so ending centuries of ownership by the Hungerford family. In about 1700 it was purchased by Joseph Houlton of Trowbridge, in the possession of whose descendants it remained until July 1891, when it was bought by Lord Donington.[4]

Marriage and children[edit]

Hungerford married three times. His first marriage was before 1658 to Jane, a daughter of Clifton Maybank of Dorset. She died on 18 March 1664 and was buried at Farleigh. By her he had one son, Edward (died September 1689), who married in 1680, at the age of 19, to Lady Alathea Compton. Hungerford also had two daughters by Jane: Frances, and Rachel (died 2 February 1732). In March 1684 Rachel married Clotworthy Skeffington, second Viscount Massereene, and on her death she left to her eldest son portraits of her father, of her granduncle (another Sir Edward Hungerford), and of other relations.[11]

His second marriage was on 3 February 1666 to Jane Culme (1637–1674); and his third marriage, to Jane Gerard, née Digby (died 1703) was in July 1679. Both these marriages were childless.[11]

Death[edit]

In his old age Hungerford is stated to have become a poor knight of Windsor. He died in 1711 and was buried in the church of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields.[12] With the death of Sir Edward, the notable history of the family of Hungerford of Farleigh practically closes.[13]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Latin inscription reads: Forum utilitate publicae per quem necessarium Regia Caroli (Secun)di annuente Majestatae propriis sumptibus erexit perfecitq(ue) D(ominus) Edoardus Hungerford Balnei Miles anno MDCLXXXII ("This market for the use of the public, with the royal consent of His Majesty Charles the Second, Lord Edward Hungerford, Knight of the Bath, erected and completed at his own expense in the year 1682"). He wears on his breast the ancient badge of the order of the Bath.[1]
  1. ^ Gentleman's Magazine, 1832, part 2, p.113
  2. ^ a b c d , Hayton & Lancaster 1983.
  3. ^ Lee 1891, p. 255 cites: Notes and Queries, 4th ser. vi. 454, by Canon Jackson.
  4. ^ a b c d Lee 1891, p. 255.
  5. ^ Lee 1891, p. 255 cites: Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. p. 32.
  6. ^ Lee 1891, p. 255 cites: Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. p. 89.
  7. ^ Lee 1891, p. 255 cites: Peyps, Diary, iv. 161.
  8. ^ Lee 1891, p. 255: see drawing in Gent. Mag. 1832, pt. ii. p. 113.
  9. ^ Lee 1891, p. 255 cites: Cunningham, Handbook to London, ed. Wheatley, ii. 248-9.
  10. ^ Lee 1891, p. 255 cites: Luttrell, i. 395.
  11. ^ a b Venning 2004.
  12. ^ Lee 1891, pp. 255–256.
  13. ^ Lee 1891, p. 256.

References[edit]

Attribution

Further reading[edit]

  • D Brunton & D H Pennington, Members of the Long Parliament (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1954)
  • Concise Dictionary of National Biography (1930)
  • Burke, Sir Bernard, Vicissitudes of Families, relates the downfall of the Hungerford family
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Not represented in Second Protectorate Parliament
Member of Parliament for Chippenham
1659
With: James Stedman
Succeeded by
Not represented in Restored Rump
Preceded by
Not represented in Restored Rump
Member of Parliament for Chippenham
with Edward Poole 1660–1661
Henry Bayntun 1661

1660–1661
Succeeded by
Henry Bayntun
Sir Hugh Speke
Preceded by
Henry Bayntun
Sir Hugh Speke
Member of Parliament for Chippenham
with Henry Bayntun 1661–1673
Francis Gwyn 1673–1679
John Talbot 1679
Samuel Ashe 1679–1681
Sir George Speke 1681–1685

1661–1685
Succeeded by
Henry Bayntun
Sharington Talbot
Preceded by
John Hales
Robert Fagg
Member of Parliament for New Shoreham
with Sir Richard Haddock 1685–1689
John Monke 1689–1690
John Perry 1690–1695

1685–1695
Succeeded by
John Perry
Henry Priestman
Preceded by
Sir John Fagg
Robert Fagg
Member of Parliament for Steyning
with Sir John Fagg 1695–1701
Sir Robert Fagg 1701
Charles Goring 1701

1695–1701
Succeeded by
Charles Goring
Robert Fagg
Preceded by
Charles Goring
Robert Fagg
Member of Parliament for Steyning
with Charles Goring

1702–1705
Succeeded by
Charles Goring
William Wallis