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Walter Hungerford, Baron Hungerford













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WALTER HUNGERFORD HUNGERFORD, Baron (d. 1449), English soldier, belonged to a Wiltshire family. His father, Sir Thomas Hungerford (d. 1398), was speaker of the House of Commons in 1377, a position which he owed to his friend John of Gaunt, and is the first person formally mentioned in the rolls of parliament as holding the office. Walter Hungerford also served as speaker, but he is more celebrated as a warrior and diplomatist, serving in the former capacity at Agincourt and in the latter at the council of Constance and the congress of Arras. An executor of Henry V.'s will and a member of the council under Henry VI., Hungerford became a baron in 1426, and he was lord treasurer from 1426 to 1431. Remains of his benefactions still exist at Heytesbury, long the principal residence of the family.

Hungerford's son Robert (c. 14 00 - 1 459) was also called to parliament as a baron; he was very wealthy, both his mother and his wife being heiresses. Like several other members of the family, Robert was buried in the cathedral at Salisbury.

Robert's son and heir, Robert, Lord Moleyns and Hungerford (c. 1420-1464), married Eleanor, daughter of Sir William de Moleyns, and was called to parliament as Lord de Moleyns in 1445. He is chiefly remembered through his dispute with John Paston over the possession of the Norfolk manor of Gresham. After losing this case he was taken prisoner in France in 1452, not securing his release until 1459. During the Wars of the Roses he fought for Henry VI., with whom he fled to Scotland; then he was attainted, was taken prisoner at the battle of Hexham, and was executed at Newcastle in May 1464.

His eldest son, Sir Thomas Hungerford (d. 1469), was attainted and executed for attempting the restoration of Henry VI.; a younger son, Sir Walter Hungerford (d. 1516), who fought for Henry VII. at Bosworth, received some of the estates forfeited by his ancestors. Sir Thomas, who had no sons, left an only daughter Mary (d. c. 1 534). When the attainders of her father and grandfather were reversed in 1485 this lady became Baroness Hungerford and Baroness de Moleyns; she married into the Hastings family and was the mother of George Hastings, 1st earl of Huntingdon.

Sir Walter Hungerford's son Edward (d. 1522) was the father of Walter, Lord Hungerford of Heytesbury (1503-1540), who was created a baron in 1536, but was attainted for his alleged sympathy with the Pilgrimage of Grace; he was beheaded on the 28th of July 1540, the same day as his patron Thomas Cromwell. As his sons Sir Walter (1532-1596) and Sir Edward (d. 1607) both died without sons the estates passed to another branch of the family.

Sir Edward Hungerford (1596-1648), who inherited the estates of his kinsman Sir Edward in 1607, was the son of Sir Anthony (1564-1627) and a descendant of Walter, Lord Hungerford. He was a member of both the Short and Long Parliaments in 1640; during the Civil War he attached himself to the parliamentary party, fighting at Lansdowne and at Roundway Down. His half-brother Anthony (d. 1657) was also a member of both the Short and the Long Parliaments, but was on the royalist side during the war. This Anthony's son and heir was Sir Edward Hungerford (1632-1711), the founder of Hungerford market at Charing Cross, London. He was a member of parliament for over forty years, but was very extravagant and was obliged to sell much of his property; and little is known of the family after his death.

See Sir R. C. Hoare, History of Modern Wiltshire (1822-1844).



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