Englefield, Francis (DNB00)
|←England, Thomas Richard||Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 17
|Englefield, Henry Charles→|
ENGLEFIELD, Sir FRANCIS (d. 1596?), catholic exile, was the eldest son of Sir Thomas Englefield of Englefield, Berkshire, justice of the court of common pleas, by Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Robert Throckmorton of Coughton, Warwickshire. He succeeded to the inheritance on his father's death in 1537. He was high sheriff of Berkshire and Oxfordshire at the death of Henry VIII, and he was dubbed a knight of the carpet at Edward VI's coronation (Strype, Ecclesiastical Memorials, vol. ii. pt. ii. p. 328, 8vo). He was one of the chief officers in the house hold of the Princess Mary. On 14 Aug. 1551 Robert Rochester, comptroller of the household, Edward Waldgrave, and Englefield appeared, in obedience to a summons, before the privy council at Hampton Court and received peremptory orders that mass should no longer be said in the princess's house. Being afterwards charged with not obeying these injunctions, they were committed to the Fleet, and on 31 Aug. sent to the Tower. On 18 March 1551–2 they were permitted to leave the Tower for their health's sake, and to go to their own homes; and on 24 April 1552 they were set at liberty, and had leave to repair to the Lady Mary at her request (ib. vol. ii. bk. ii. pp. 253–6, fol.)
On Queen Mary's accession Englefield was, in consideration of his faithful services, sworn of the privy council, and appointed master of the court of wards and liveries. He also obtained a grant of the manor and park of Fulbroke, Warwickshire, which were part of the lands forfeited by the attainder of John Dudley, duke of Northumberland. He sat in the House of Commons as knight of the shire for the county of Berks in every parliament held in Mary's reign (Willis, Notitia Parliamentaria', vol. iii. pt. ii. pp. 25, 40, 47, 54). He was allowed by the queen to have one hundred retainers. In January 1554–5 he was present at the trial of Bishop Hooper (Strype, Ecclesiastical Memorials, iii. 180, fol.) In May 1555 he was joined with others in a commission to examine certain persons who used the unlawful arts of conjuring and witchcraft, and in the following year he was in another commission which was appointed to inquire into a conspiracy against the queen. He often complained to Gardiner, bishop of Winchester, that Roger Ascham, secretary for the Latin tongue to Queen Mary, was a heretic, and ought to be punished on that account, or at least removed from his office, but the bishop declined to take any action, and remained a firm friend to Ascham throughout the queen's reign (Strype, Life of Smith, edit. 1820, p. 50; Cooper, Athenæ Cantabr. i. 265).
Being a firm adherent of the catholic religion, he fled abroad in 1559, soon after the accession of Elizabeth, and retired to Valladolid. His lands and goods were seized to the queen's use in consequence of his disobedience in not coming home after the queen's revocation, and for consorting with her enemies. On 18 Aug. 1563 he wrote to the privy council, expostulating and apologising on account of his conscience, which ‘was not made of wax’ (Strype, Annals, i. 409, fol.) In 6th Eliz., being indicted in the queen's bench for high treason committed at Namur, he was outlawed. Subsequently he was attainted and convicted of high treason in parliament on 29 Oct. 1585, and all his manors, lands, and vast possessions were declared to be forfeited to the crown. Englefield had, however, by indenture dated in the eighteenth year of the queen's reign (1575–6), settled his manor and estate of Englefield on Francis, his nephew, with power notwithstanding of revoking the grant if he should deliver or tender a gold ring to his nephew. Various disputes and points of law arose as to whether the Englefield estate was forfeited to the queen. After protracted discussions in the law courts the question remained undecided, and accordingly the queen in the ensuing parliament (35th Eliz.) had a special statute passed to confirm the attainder and to establish the forfeiture to herself. After tendering by her agents a ring to Englefield, the nephew, she seized and confiscated the property. By this arbitrary stretch of power the manor and estate of Englefield, which had been for upwards of 780 years in the family, were alienated and transferred to the crown. A full account of the legal proceedings in this remarkable case is given by Lord Coke in his ‘Reports’ (edit. 1777, vol. iv. bk. vii.).
After his retirement to Valladolid the king of Spain allowed him a pension; and a great part of the collections for the English exiles were dispensed by him and his friend Dr. (afterwards Cardinal) Allen (Dodd, Church Hist. i. 530). On 8 April 1564 he wrote from Antwerp to the privy council, praying them to intercede with Elizabeth in his favour. He stated at great length his circumstances, the causes which had induced him to remain abroad, confuted the slanderous imputations against him, and supplicated the queen's forgiveness (State Papers, Dom. Eliz. vol. xxxiii. No. 99). In 1567 the king of Spain endeavoured without success to induce Elizabeth to allow Englefield the income of his estate, with permission to live abroad where he listed. The queen ordered her ambassador in Spain to inform the king that none of her subjects were disturbed for their religion if they were quiet in the state (Strype, Annals, i. 410, ii. 27, folio). It is asserted by Strype that the queen allowed Englefield the revenue of his estate in England, and retained only a small part of it for the necessary maintenance of his wife.
In a list of English exiles, about 1575, in the State Paper Office it is stated that ‘Sir Frauncis Ingelfeld, knight, abideth commonly at Bruxelles; somme tyme he is at Machlin. He hath his owld pencion still, which he had beinge councellour in Q. Maries tyme, of the K. of Spaigne, by moneth [no amount mentioned]. He rideth allwayes with 4 good horse’ (Douay Diaries, p. 299).
He stood high in the estimation of his exiled fellow-countrymen. Thus Dr. Nicholas Sander, writing in 1576 to the cardinal of Como, classes Allen with Englefield as one of the two catholics whom it would be a mistake not to consult in all questions concerning England (Knox, Letters and Memorials of Card. Allen, p. 28). Englefield was engaged in January 1585–6 in corresponding with the pope and the king of Spain in behalf of the queen of Scots (Cotton MSS. Calig. C. viii. 277, C. ix. 406). In 1591 John Snowden, in a statement made to the English government respecting jesuits in Spain, says that Englefield ‘has six hundred crowns a year, and more if he demands it, and is entirely one with the Cardinal and Parsons’ (State Papers, Dom. Eliz. vol. ccxxxviii. art. 161). For many years he was afflicted with blindness. Writing in 1596 he remarks that more than twenty-four years had elapsed since he could write or read (Knox, p. 137).
On 7 May 1598 Thomas Honyman, one of Cecil's spies, wrote that ‘postmasters in Spain weigh out the letters to their servants, and are easily corrupted for 28 ducats a month; the one at Madrid, Pedro Martinez, let me have all Cressold's and Englefield's letters, returning such as I did not dare to keep’ (Cal. of State Papers, Dom. Eliz. 1598–1601, pp. 47, 48). Englefield died about 1596, and was buried at Valladolid, where his grave was formerly shown with respect to English travellers.
He married Catherine, daughter and heiress of Sir Thomas Fettiplace of Compton Beauchamp, Berkshire, but had no issue. The family was continued by his brother, John Englefield, lord of the manor of Wootton Basset, Wiltshire, whose son Francis was created a baronet in 1612.[Dodd's Church Hist. i. 529, ii. 240; Douay Diaries, p. 421; Morris's Troubles of our Catholic Forefathers, iii. 26; Knox's Letters and Memorials of Card. Allen, hist. introd. pp. xxxii, xxxiii, 464; Sanders's Rise and Growth of the Anglican Schism, p. 220; Panzani's Memoirs, p. 27 n.; Burke's Extinct and Dormant Baronetcies (1841), p. 184; Wootton's English Baronetage (1781), i. 125; Betham's Baronetage, i. 147; Addit. MS. 15950; Cotton MSS. Calig. C. ii. 56*, iii. 469, viii. 277, ix. 406; Harl. MSS. 295, art. 2, 3, 304 f. 68 b; Lansd. MSS. 18, art. 79, 96, art. 12; Foss's Judges of England, v. 160; Strype's Works (general index); Calendars of State Papers, Dom. Eliz. (1547–80) 733, (1581–90) 751, (1591–4) 614, (1595–7) 609, (1598–1601) 645, (1601–3) 621, (1603–10) 696, (1611–18) 558; Fuller's Worthies (Nichols), i. 109; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), ii. 74; Zurich Letters, i. 5; Clay's Liturgies &c. in Reign of Elizabeth, p. 656; Foxe's Acts and Monuments (Townsend), vi. 10, 22, 59, 576, vii. 34, 77, 85, 757, viii. 301; Burke's Commoners, ii. 646.]