Hastings, Francis (d.1610) (DNB00)

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HASTINGS, Sir FRANCIS (d. 1610), politician and author, was fifth son of Francis Hastings, earl of Huntingdon [q. v.], by Catherine, eldest daughter and coheiress of Henry Pole, lord Montacute. He was under age on 20 April 1560, when his father made his will. By that document, wherein he is termed the fourth son, he became entitled for his life, on attaining his majority, to certain manors of the clear yearly value of 41l. for eighty years. He was probably a member of the university of Cambridge, as in 1585 he settled 8l. a year on Emmanuel College there (Cooper, Athenæ Cantabr. iii. 27). It is also said that he was educated in Magdalen College, Oxford, under Dr. Laurence Humphrey, in the beginning of the reign of Elizabeth.

He was returned for Leicestershire to the parliament which met 2 April 1571. In the following year he was sheriff of that county, and he served the office a second time in 1581. To the parliament which assembled 23 Nov. 1585 he was again returned for Leicestershire. He was elected for Somerset to the parliament of 4 Feb. 1588–9, and was soon afterwards knighted. In the parliament which met 19 Nov. 1592 he sat for Somerset. On 24 Oct. 1597 he was again returned for Leicestershire, on 7 Oct. 1601 for Bridgewater, and on 19 March 1603–4 for Somerset.

Hastings was a distinguished champion of the puritan party. He promoted a petition to the king from Northamptonshire in favour of the ministers who refused subscription. This petition was presented to the king on 9 Feb. 1604–5, and gave him great offence. Hastings was cited before the privy council, who declared the petition to be factious and seditious, and ordered him to retire to his country house, and to refrain from meddling in public affairs. He was at the same time removed from the offices of deputy lieutenant and justice of the peace. He became somewhat embarrassed in circumstances, and wrote from Holwell, 23 Nov. 1609, to Salisbury, lord treasurer, thanking him for respiting his debt due to the king in the exchequer and court of wards, and begging that he might pay by annual instalments.

He was buried at North Cadbury, Somersetshire, on 22 Sept. 1610. There is a monument in the church with the figures of himself and his wife, and an epitaph for the latter in verse of his composition, which has been printed in Nichols's ‘Leicestershire,’ iii. 588–589, and Bell's ‘Huntingdon Peerage,’ pp. 58–61. There is no inscription in commemoration of him. His wife was Magdalen, daughter of Sir Ralph Langford, and widow of Sir George Vernon. She died on 14 June 1596.

His works are:

  1. ‘A Watch-word to all Religious and True-hearted Englishmen,’ London, 1598, 8vo. Nicholas Doleman (i.e. Father Robert Parsons, the jesuit) replied in his ‘Temperate Wardword,’ printed in 1599, wherein he terms Hastings ‘the meanest beagle of the house of Huntingdon.’
  2. ‘An Apologie or Defence of the Watch-word, against the virvlent and seditiovs Wardword published by an English-Spaniard, lurking vnder the title of N. D. Devided into eight severall Resistances according to his so many Encounters,’ London, 1600, 4to.
  3. ‘The Wardword,’ London, 1601, 8vo. Answered by Parsons's ‘Warnword.’
  4. ‘Meditations,’ said to have been printed several times in 16mo.
  5. ‘Remonstrance to his Majesty and Privy Council on the behalf of persecuted Protestants; setting forth his Majestys Interest lying safely in protecting them, and incouraging the preaching of the Gospel, and in being more watchful against the Papists,’ manuscript.
  6. ‘A Discourse of Predestination,’ manuscript.
  7. ‘Collections relative to Public Affairs in his own time,’ manuscript (see Cooper, Athenæ Cantabr. ii. 201).

[Addit. MS. 5752, f. 107; Ames's Typogr. Antiq. (Herbert); Bell's Huntingdon Peerage, pp. 56–61; Bloxam's Magd. Coll. Register, ii. cvi, iv. 203; Brook's Life of Cartwright, p. 434; Cole's MS. lvi. 343; Collinson's Somersetshire, iii. 67–9; Ellis's Letters, 2nd ser. iii. 216; Fuller's Worthies (Leicestershire); Gardiner's Parliamentary Debates, p. 55; Hazlitt's Bibl. Collections and Notes, i. 203; Lowndes's Bibl. Man. (Bohn), p. 1011; Nichols's Leicestershire, i. 461, iii. 582, 588, 608, 775, iv. 624; Parliamentary History, 1762–3, iv. 416, 486, 495, 502, v. 100, 142, 148; Cal. State Papers, Dom. James I; Strype's Annals, ii. 382; Strype's Parker, p. 448; Strype's Whitgift, p. 279; Watt's Bibl. Brit.; Willis's Not. Parl. iii. (2) 82, 102, 123, 132, 140, 151, 162; Winwood's Memorials, ii. 48, 49; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), ii. 82.]

T. C.