William Wingfield (MP)

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William Wingfield
Member of Parliament
for Bodmin
In office
Preceded byJosias du Pre Porcher
Succeeded bySir William Oglander, 6th Baronet
Personal details
Mickleham, Surrey, England
Died21 March 1858
Dorset, England
Spouse(s)Lady Charlotte-Maria Digby;
Elizabeth Mills
Alma materChrist Church, Oxford

William Wingfield (later William Wingfield-Baker) KC, MP (1772 – 21 March 1858), was an attorney, judge, and Member of Parliament in 19th century England.

Early years[edit]

Born in Mickleham, Surrey, England,[1] William was the second son of George Wingfield (died May 1774) of Mickleham.[2] His mother, Mary, was the niece of George Sparrow.[3]

William's brother, George Wingfield, Lord of Akeld,[4] later took the surname Sparrow to comply with the will of a great uncle.[5] The other siblings included three sisters:

  • Anne (married Rev. Thomas Henry Hume, Canon of Salisbury, in 1793),
  • Elizabeth (married John James in 1797),
  • and Mary (married John Basset in 1790).

William's paternal grandfather, also named William Wingfield, owned property in Cleadon.[5]

He entered Christ Church, Oxford in 1789, and received a B.A. degree in 1792.[6] He was admitted to Lincoln's Inn in 1792 and called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn five years later. His early practise was as an equity draftsman, in all likelihood because of the Inn's historical association with the Court of Chancery.[2]


Wingfield served for a short time as a member of parliament for Bodmin during the period of 1806 to 1807 alongside Davies Gilbert.[7] In 1818, he became a Bencher, and was appointed King's Counsel. Eight years later, he was a proprietor (one of 700) of the Russell Institution, a school of literature and science in Victorian London.[2] Wingfield became Chief Justice of the Brecon Circuit.[8] He was appointed Master in Chancery in 1824 upon the death of Sir John Simeon, 1st Baronet.[9]

He held several positions within the Honorable Society of Lincoln's Inn including Master of the Walks in 1824, Keeper of the Black Book in 1825, Dean of the Chapel in 1827, and Treasurer in 1828.[10]

He was a Trustee of the Law Fire Insurance Society.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Orsett Hall

In 1796, he married Lady Charlotte-Maria (died 1807), eldest daughter of Henry Digby, 1st Earl Digby by whom he had several children, including:

In 1813, he married Elizabeth, daughter of William Mills of Bitterne, Hampshire, a former East India Company director. They had several children, including:

He resided for a time at 29 Montague Street in London.[2]

Wingfield legally changed his surname to Wingfield-Baker in 1849 by Royal licensure after his inheritance of Orsett Hall. The inheritance occurred by will when Richard Baker left his estate, Orsett Hall, to his brother's nephew by marriage to Lady St Aubyn (née Elizabeth Wingfield).[12][14]

Wingfield died in 1859 at Sherborne Castle, the home of his eldest son, and is buried at Orsett. A window inscribed in his honour was erected by his children at Gulval Church.[15]

Thomas Creevey described Wingfield as 'the most successful humbug simpleton I have known all my life'.[2]


  1. ^ Boase, George Clement; William Prideaux Courtney (1878). Bibliotheca Cornubiensis: A Catalogue of the Writings, Both Manuscript and Printed, of Cornishmen, and of Works Relating to the County of Cornwall, with Biographical Memoranda and Copious Literary References. Vol. 2 (Digitized 5 Sep 2007 ed.). Longmans, Green, Reader and Dyer. p. 895.
  2. ^ a b c d e Wu, Duncan (2006). "Hazlitt's Unpublished History of English Philosophy: The Larger Context". The Library. Oxford: The Transactions of the Bibliographical Society. 7 (1): 25–64. doi:10.1093/library/7.1.25. S2CID 162360758.
  3. ^ Holland, Lady Elizabeth Vassall Fox (1908). The journal of Elizabeth lady Holland: (1791–1811). Vol. 2 (Digitized 23 Aug 2007 ed.). Longmans, Green. p. 15.
  4. ^ Berwickshire Naturalists' Club (Scotland). (1887). History of the Berwickshire Naturalists' Club, instituted September 22, 1831. Vol. 11 (Digitized 31 Mar 2008 ed.). The Club. p. 413.
  5. ^ a b Surtees, Robert (1908). The history and antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham, Volume 1 (Digitized 7 Sep 2007 ed.). Hills. pp. 120. george wingfield sparrow.
  6. ^ Foster, Joseph (1888–1892). "Wingfield-Baker, William" . Alumni Oxonienses: the Members of the University of Oxford, 1715–1886. Oxford: Parker and Co – via Wikisource.
  7. ^ "STIFFORD". british-history.ac.uk. British History Online. Retrieved 12 April 2010.
  8. ^ Atlay, James Beresford (1906). The Victorian chancellors. Vol. 1 (Digitized 30 Aug 2007 ed.). Smith, Elder. p. 387.
  9. ^ Great Britain. Court of King's Bench (1824). Reports of cases argued and determined in the Court of King's bench: With tables of the names of the cases and the principal matters. Vol. 2 (Digitized 15 Sep 2009 ed.). J. Butterworth and son. p. 538.
  10. ^ Walker, James Douglas (1902). William Paley Baildon, Sir Ronald Roxburgh (ed.). The Records of the Honorable Society of Lincoln's Inn: 1776–1845 ; Calls to the bar, 1776 to 1845 ; The site of Lincoln's Inn, by W.P. Baildon ; Maps and plans ; A catalogue of portraits ; List of painters, and engravers ; Catalogue of plate ; The heraldry of Lincoln's Inn ; Appendix. Vol. 4. London: Lincoln's Inn. pp. 164, 168, 172, 174.
  11. ^ The jurist. Vol. 2 (Part 2) (Digitized 25 Sep 2006 ed.). London: S. Sweet. 1848. pp. 262, 396, 516.
  12. ^ a b Coller, Duffield William (1861). The people's history of Essex: comprising a narrative of public and political events in the county, from the earliest ages to the present time : the hundreds and boroughs, with descriptive sketches of their antiquities and ruins, the seats of the nobility and gentry, and an epitome of the ... (Digitized 6 Sep 2007 ed.). Meggy and Chalk. pp. 510. wingfield baker.
  13. ^ Pepys, Sir William Weller (1904). Alice Cecilia Caroline Gaussen (ed.). A later Pepys: the correspondence of Sir William Weller Pepys, bart., master in chancery 1758–1825. Vol. 2 (Digitized 5 Dec 2008 ed.). John Lane. p. 55.
  14. ^ Burke, Sir Bernard (1858). A genealogical and heraldic dictionary of the landed gentry of Great Britain and Ireland. Vol. 1 (Digitized 5 Jun 2008 ed.). Harrison. p. 42.
  15. ^ "Gulval Lake's Parochial History—1868 (part 1)". west-penwith.org.uk. West Penwith Resources. Retrieved 5 May 2010.