he was sued by John Smith and another of the party for slander, the case was tried by the council and Wingfield was cast in heavy damages. Although a good soldier and an honourable man, Wingfield seems to have been wholly unfitted for his post. He was evidently self-confident, pompous, and puffed up by a sense of his own superior birth and position, unable to co-operate with common men and unfit to rule them. Moreover, as the Spanish government was known to be bitterly hostile to the colony and to be plotting against it, those interested in the undertaking were naturally distrustful of a Roman catholic. In April 1608 Wingfield returned to England. He appears to have been living, unmarried, at Stoneley in Huntingdonshire in 1613.
Wingfield wrote a pamphlet entitled ‘A Discourse of Virginia.’ This was a complete account of the proceedings of the colonists in Virginia from June 1607 till Wingfield's departure. It is in the form of a journal, but is in all probability an amplification of a rough diary kept at the time. Though cited by Purchas in the second edition of his ‘Pilgrimes’ (1614, p. 757), the work remained in manuscript till it was discovered in the Lambeth Library by the Rev. James Anderson, author of the ‘History of the Church of England in the Colonies.’ The discovery was made between the publication of the first edition of Anderson's ‘History’ in 1845 and that of the second in 1856. The manuscript was then edited by Dr. Charles Deane, the New England antiquary, and published in the ‘Archæologia Americana’ (1860, iv. 67–163), a hundred copies being also issued separately on large paper.[Wingfield pedigree in the Visitation of Huntingdonshire, ed. Ellis (Camd. Soc.) 1849, p. 112; Lord Powerscourt's Muniments of the Ancient Family of Wingfield, 1894, pp. 5, 7; Wingfield's own Discourse; Smith's History of Virginia; Cal. State Papers, Colonial, Amer., and West Indies, i. 5, 6; Brown's Genesis of the United States; Winsor's Hist. of America, iii. 155; Neill's English Colonisation in America, chap. i.]
WINGFIELD, Sir HUMPHREY (d. 1545), speaker of the House of Commons, was the twelfth son of Sir John Wingfield of Letheringham, Suffolk, by Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John FitzLewis of West Horndon, Essex. Sir John Wingfield, the father of four daughters and twelve sons, of whom Sir Richard (1469?-1525) and Sir Robert are noticed separately, had been sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk in 1443-4 and again in 1461. He was knighted by Edward IV in 1461, and made a privy councillor. In 1477 he was appointed a commissioner to treat with the French ambassadors at Amiens. He died on 10 May 1481. His wife's will, dated 14 July 1497, was proved on 22 Dec. 1500.
Humphrey was educated at Gray's Inn, where he was elected Lent reader in 1517. He had been on the commission of the peace both for Essex and Suffolk since 1509 at least. Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk [q v.], was a cousin of the Wingfields [see Wingfield, Sir Richard], Humphrey being one of his trustees and probably through his influence Wingfield was introduced at court. In 1515 he was appointed chamberlain to Suffolk's wife Mary, queen of France, and was apparently resident in her house. On 28 May 1517 he was nominated upon the royal commission for inquiring into illegal inclosures in Suffolk (see Leadam, Domesday of Inclosures, 1897, i. 3). He appears to have acted in 1518, together with his eldest brother, Sir John Wingfield [see under Wingfield, Sir Anthony], as a financial agent between the government and the Duke of Suffolk. On 6 Nov. 1620 he was pricked high sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk, and on 14 Nov. was appointed a commissioner of gaol delivery for Essex. In 1523 and 1524 he was a commissioner of subsidy for Suffolk and for the town of Ipswich. On 26 June 1525 he was appointed a commissioner of assize for Suffolk, On 5 Feb. 1526 he was a legal member of the king's council. He is mentioned in a letter dated 25 March 1527 as 'in great favour with the cardinal' and he took an active part in the establishment of the 'cardinal's college' at Ipswich in September 1528. On 11 June 1529 he was nominated by Wolsey one of a commission of twenty-one lawyers presided over by John Taylor (d. 1534) [q. v.] to hear cases in chancery, and on the following 3 Nov. he was returned to parliament for Great Yarmouth.
In 1530 the fall of Wolsey brought with it the forfeiture of his college at Ipswich, and Wingfield was consulted as one of 'the best counsel,' with a view to securing the exemption of the college from the penalties of Wolsey's praemunire. On the other hand, he was nominated by the crown on 14 July 1530 a commissioner to inquire into Wolsey's possessions in Suffolk. In this capacity he, sitting with three other commissioners at Woodbridge, Suffolk, returned a verdict on 19 Sept. that the college and its lands were forfeited to the king. He was at the same time high steward of St. Mary Mettingham, another Suffolk college, and under-steward in Suffolk of the estates of St. Osyth, Essex.
On 9 Feb. 1533 the commons presented