Walter Hungerford, 1st Baron Hungerford
Walter Hungerford, 1st Baron Hungerford KG (1378–9 August 1449) was an English knight and landowner, from 1400 to 1414 Member of the House of Commons, of which he became Speaker, then was an Admiral and peer.
He won renown in the Hundred Years' War, fighting in many engagements, including the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. He was an English envoy at the Council of Constance in 1415. In 1417 he was made admiral of the fleet. On the death of Henry V he was an executor of Henry's will and a member of Protector Gloucester's council. He attended the conference at Arras in 1435, and was a Member of the House of Lords sitting as Baron Hungerford from January 1436 until his death in 1449. For some years he was Treasurer of England.
He was the only surviving son and heir of Sir Thomas Hungerford (died 1398) of Farleigh Castle in Wiltshire, the first person to be recorded in the rolls of the Parliament of England as holding the office of Speaker of the House of Commons. His mother was his father's second wife, Joan Hussey (died 1412), daughter and heiress of Sir Edmund Hussey of Holbrook.
His father had been strongly attached to the Lancastrian cause at the close of the reign of King Richard II (1377–1399), having been steward in John of Gaunt's household. On the accession of King Henry IV in 1399 Walter was knighted and was granted an annuity of £40 out of the lands of Margaret, Duchess of Norfolk.
He served as Member of Parliament for Wiltshire in October 1400, in 1404, 1407, 1413, and in January 1413–14, and served as Member of Parliament for Somerset in 1409. He served as Speaker of the House of Commons on 29 January 1413–14, the last parliament in which he served as an MP.
Hungerford also won renown as a warrior. In 1401 he was with the English army in France, and is said to have worsted the French king in a duel outside Calais. He distinguished himself in battle and tournament, and received substantial reward. In consideration of his services he was granted in 1403 one hundred marks per annum, payable by the town and castle of Marlborough, Wiltshire, and was appointed Sheriff of Wiltshire. On 22 July 1414 he was nominated ambassador to treat for a league with Sigismund, King of the Romans, and as English envoy attended the Council of Constance in 1414-15.
In the autumn of 1415, with twenty men-at-arms and sixty horse archers, Hungerford accompanied King Henry V to France. He can probably be correctly identified as the officer who on the eve of the Battle of Agincourt expressed regret that the English had not ten thousand archers, which drew a famous rebuke from the king. In Shakespeare's ' Henry V,' however, this officer is the Earl of Westmoreland. He fought bravely at the Battle of Agincourt, but the belief that he took Charles, Duke of Orléans prisoner is not substantiated. He was employed in May 1416 in diplomatic negotiations with ambassadors of Theodoric, Archbishop of Cologne and in November 1417 with envoys from France.
In 1417 he was made Admiral of the Fleet under John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford, and in 1418 was with King Henry V at the Siege of Rouen. In November 1418 he was designated Steward of the King's Household, and was granted the barony of Hommet in Normandy (today Le Hommet). He took part in the peace negotiations of 1419 and on 3 May 1421 was installed as a Knight of the Garter.
Hungerford was an executor of the will of King Henry V, and in 1422 became a member of the council of the Duke of Glouster, the Lord Protector. In 1424 he was made Steward of the Household of the infant King Henry VI, and on 7 January 1425/6 was summoned by writ to the House of Lords as Baron Hungerford. The summons was continued to him until his death. Hungerford became Treasurer of England in succession to Bishop Stafford, when Bishop Beaufort's resignation of the Great Seal in March 1426-7 placed Gloucester in supreme power. He acted as Carver at Henry VI's coronation in Paris in December 1430, but on the change of ministry which followed Henry VI's return from France in February 1431-2, he ceased to be treasurer. He attended the conference at Arras in 1435.
Death & burial
Hungerford died on 9 August 1449 and was buried beside his first wife in Salisbury Cathedral, where two beautiful mortuary chapels erected by the Hungerford family existed until removed and destroyed by the restorations of James Wyatt (died 1813). William Hamilton Rogers (1877) wrote as follows concerning the monument:
- "He was buried with his wife in the Hungerford Chapel in the nave, a beautiful structure composed chiefly of iron and which has since been removed to the choir. Their tombs, joined together and despoiled of their brass effigies, remain in the nave. The matrices exhibit the proportions of a knight on the one and of a lady on the other, both stones were powdered over with sickles and a ledger line outside all. The whole has now disappeared, except the stones in which the brasses were set. Forty shields of arms, according to Hutchins (who minutely describes these chapels previous to their removal) were set round outside exhibiting the various alliances of the family. Among these were Hungerford impaling Strange and Mohun, Peverell, Courtenay, St John, Mules, etc".
Hungerford married twice:
- Firstly to Catherine (or Eleanor), daughter of Sir Thomas Peverell, MP, of Parke and Hamatethy, Cornwall (a cadet branch of Peverell of Sampford Peverell in Devon) and his wife Margaret (1355–1422) one of the two daughters and eventual sole heiresses of Sir Thomas Courtenay (died 1356) of Wootton Courtenay in Somerset and of Woodhuish, Devon, with whom he had three sons and at least one daughter:
- Walter, eldest son and heir apparent, who was made a prisoner of war in France in 1425, was ransomed by his father for three thousand marks, was in the retinue of John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford in France in 1435, and predeceased his father without issue.
- Robert, eldest surviving son and heir.
- Edmund, who was knighted by Henry VI after the Battle of Verneuil on Whit-Sunday 1426, and married Margaret, daughter and coheiress of Edward Burnell, by whom he had two sons:
- Elizabeth (died 14 December 1476), who married Sir Philip Courtenay (1404–1463) of Powderham, Devon. On her marriage she took to her husband as her marriage portion the manor of Molland in North Devon, which she gave to her second son Sir Philip Courtenay of Molland (died 1488), who founded a junior branch of the Courtenay family there. A fragment of an ancient chest tomb in Molland Church displays two interlaced Hungerford sickles and a dolphin of Courtenay of Powderham. Her third son was Peter Courtenay (c.1432–1492) Bishop of Exeter and Bishop of Winchester, whose splendid surviving mantlepiece in the Bishop's Palace, Exeter displays much heraldry including Hungerford sickles and Peverell garbs.
- Secondly he married Eleanor (died 1 August 1455), daughter of Sir John Berkeley of Beverstone Castle, Gloucestershire, (by his second wife, Elizabeth Betteshorne, widow successively of John FitzAlan, 6th Earl of Arundel (died 1421) and of Sir Richard Poynings (died 1429)). They had no children.
By his marriages and royal grants Hungerford added largely to the family estates. He was a man of piety, and built chantries at Heytesbury and Chippenham, and made bequests to Salisbury Cathedral and to Bath Cathedral. In 1428 he presented valuable estates to the Royal Chapel in the Palace of St. Stephen at Westminster. He also built an almshouse at Heytesbury for twelve poor men and one woman, and a schoolmaster's residence. The original building was destroyed in 1765, but the endowment, regulated by statutes drawn up by Margaret de Botreaux, wife of Hungerford's son Robert, still continues. In his will he left to his daughter-in-law, Margaret de Botreaux, his "best legend of the Lives of the Saints" and to John, Viscount Beaumont he bequeathed a cup formerly used by John of Gaunt.
- The heraldry was also described at length by Richard Symonds in his Diary of the Marches of the Royal Army, (1644).
- In Nov 1418 he was granted the Barony of Homet in Normandy, office insribed on seal
- Footnote from Britton, John, History and Antiquities of Bath Abbey Church, London, 1825, p.47
- Lee 1891, p. 258.
- Lee 1891, p. 258 cites: Manning, Lives of the Speakers, p. 55.
- Roskell & Kightly 1993.
- Lee 1891, p. 258 cites: Rymer, Fœdera, vol. iv. pt. ii. p. 186
- Lee 1891, p. 258 cites: cf. his accounts of expenses in Brit. Mus. Addit. MS. 24513, f. 68.
- Lee 1891, p. 258 cites: Nicolas, Agincourt, p. 381
- Lee 1891, p. 258 cites: Nicolas, Agincourt pp. 105, 241.
- Lee 1891, p. 258 cites: Rymer, Fœdera, vol. iv. pt. ii. p. 158.
- Lee 1891, p. 258 cites: Rymee, Fœdera, vol. iv. pt. ii. p. 25.
- Lee 1891, p. 258 cites: Rymer, Fœdera, vol. iv. pt. iii. p. 76.
- Lee 1891, p. 258 cites: Beltz, Hist. of Garter, p. clviii.
- Lee 1891, p. 258 cites: Waurin, Chron., Rolls Ser.,iv. 11
- Lee 1891, p. 258 cites: Wars of Henry VI in France, Rolls Ser., ed. Stevenson, ii. 431.
- Rogers 1877, p. 184.
- Lee 1891, pp. 258–259.
- Symonds, Roy & Long 1859, pp. 137–140.
- Pole, p.227 re descent of manor of Wolmerston
- Date of birth "1315 or before" (Knight 2016 cites Richardson & Magna Carta Ancestry; death date "1356" (Knight 2016 cites (Richardson & Magna Carta Ancestry); and & Vivian 1895, p. 244
- Lee 1891, p. 259.
- Lee 1891, p. 259 cites: Metcalfe, Book of Knights, p.1
- Vivian 1895, p. 246.
- Vivian 1895, p. 246, 251-225.
- Richardson II 2011, p. 428.
- Richardson III 2011, pp. 394–5.
- Lee 1891, p. 259 cites: Jackson, Anc. Statutes of Heytesbury Almshouses, Devizes, 1863.
- Lee 1891, p. 259 cites Nicholas Harris Nicolas's Testamenta Vetusta, pp. 257–9
- Pugh & Crittall 1956, p. 302–303.
- Knight, Patrick (September 2016). "Sir Thomas DE COURTENAY, Knt., Of Woodhuish & Dunterton & ... ". Genealogy - KNIGHTs from Continental Europe to England/Ireland, to Philadelphia (PA), to France. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
- Richardson, Douglas. Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families (2nd Edition ed.).
- Pole, Sir William (1791). Pole, Sir John-William de la, ed. Collections Towards a Description of the County of Devon. London. p. 496.
- Pugh, R.B.; Crittall, Elizabeth, eds. (1956). "Houses of Augustinian canons: Priory of Longleat". A History of the County of Wiltshire. 3. pp. 302–303.
- Richardson, Douglas (2011). Everingham, Kimball G., ed. Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families. II (2nd ed.). Salt Lake City. ISBN 1449966381.
- Richardson, Douglas (2011). Everingham, Kimball G., ed. Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families. III (2nd ed.). Salt Lake City. ISBN 144996639X.
- Rogers, William Henry Hamilton (1877). The Antient Sepulchral Effigies and Monumental and Memorial Sculpture of Devon. Exeter. p. 184. Archived from the original on 25 February 2015.
- Roskell, J. S.; Kightly, Charles (1993). "Hungerford, Sir Walter (1378–1449), of Farleigh Hungerford, Som. and Heytesbury, Wilts.". In Roskell, J.S.; Clark, L.; Rawcliffe, C. The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386–1421. Boydell and Brewer.
- Vivian, John Lambrickn, ed. (1895). "Pedigree of Courtenay". The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620. Exeter. p. 246.
- Symonds, Richard; Roy, Ian; Long, C. E. (1859). Richard Symonds's Diary of the Marches of the Royal Army. Cambridge University Press. pp. 137–140. ISBN 978-0-521-62656-9.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Lee, Sidney (1891). "Hungerford, Walter (d.1449)". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography. 28. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 258, 259.
- Dugdale's Baronage; Burke's Extinct Peerage;
- Collinson's Somerset, iii. 354;
- Hoare's Hungerfordiana, 1823;
- Maclean's Trigg Minor, i. 358 sq.;
- Hoare's Mod. Wiltshire, Heytesbury Hundred;
- Kymer's Fcedera;
- Stubbs's Const. Hist.;
- Nicolas's Battle of Agincourt, 1832;
- Monstrelet's Chroniques, ed. Doiiet d'Arcq (Soc. de 1'Hist. de France), 1862, ii. 404, iv. 93, vi. 314;
- Manning's Lives of the Speakers.
- Goddard, Edward Hungerford (editor 1869). The Wiltshire archæological and natural history magazine, Volumes 11–12, Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society, H. Bull. p. 154
- Burke, Bernard (1866). A genealogical history of the dormant, abeyant, forfeited, and extinct peerages of the British empire, Harrison p. 291
- Hoare, Sir Richard Colt, 2nd Baronet (d.1838), Hungerfordiana or, The Memoirs of the Family of Hungerford, 1823
|Speaker of the House of Commons
| Succeeded by|
|Lord High Treasurer
| Succeeded by|
The Lord Scrope of Masham