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Wingfield, Sir Richard

WINGFIELD, SIR RICHARD (c. 1460-1525), English diplomatist, was one of the twelve or thirteen sons of Sir John Wingfield (d. 1481) of Letheringham, Suffolk. He became a courtier during the reign of Henry VII. and was made marshal of Calais in 1511. With Sir Edward Poynings and others he was sent in 1512 to arrange a holy league between the pope, the English king and other sovereigns, and in 1514 he went to the Netherlands to try and arrange a marriage between the archduke Charles, afterwards the emperor Charles V., and Henry VIII. 's daughter Mary. In the intervals between these and similar errands Wingfield was occupied in discharging his duties at Calais, but in 1519 he resigned his post there and returned to England. In 1520 Sir Richard was appointed ambassador to the French court, and he helped to make the arrangements for the meeting between Henry VIII. and Francis I. at the Field of the Cloth of gold. Twice during 1521 he visited Charles V., his object being to deter him from making war on France, and he was on an errand to Spain when he died at Toledo on the 22nd of July 1525. In 1524 he had been made chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster. For his services Wingfield received lands in various parts of England, including Kimbolton in Huntingdonshire, where he enlarged the castle.

Sir Richard had two brothers who attained some celebrity: Sir Robert (c. 1464-1539), a diplomatist, and Sir Humphrey (d. 1545), speaker of the House of Commons from 1533 to 1536. An elder brother, Sir John, sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk in 1483, had a son Sir Anthony (c. 1458-1552), who was present at the Field of the Cloth of gold, and became a member of the privy council and captain of the guard. One of his grandsons, Anthony Wingfield (c. isso-c. 1615), was public orator in the university of Cambridge, and another was Sir John Wingfield (d. 1596), a soldier who was governor of Gertruydenberg from 1587 and 1589. Another of Sir Anthony's descendants, Sir Anthony Wingfield (d. 1638), was created a baronet in 1627. Another brother of Sir Richard, Ludovic, had a son, Sir Richard Wingfield, who was governor of Portsmouth under Queen Elizabeth. He was the father of another Sir Richard Wingfield (d. 1634), who served in Ireland and was created Viscount Powerscourt in 1618. He died without issue, and his Irish estates passed to a cousin, Sir Edward Wingfield (d. 1638), whose grandson, Folliott Wingfield (d. 1717), was created Viscount Powerscourt in 1665, but the title again became extinct when he died. In 1744 his cousin, Richard Wingfield (1697-1751), was created Viscount Powerscourt, and his descendants have held this title until the present day. Mervyn Wingfield (1836-1904), the 7th viscount, was created a peer of the United Kingdom as Baron Powerscourt in 1885.

See Lord Powerscourt, Muniments of the Ancient Family of Wingfield (1894).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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