Wingfield, Anthony (1485?-1552) (DNB00)

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WINGFIELD, Sir ANTHONY (1485?–1552), comptroller of the household, born probably about 1485, was son of Sir John Wingfield of Letheringham, Suffolk, by his wife Anne, daughter of John Touchet, sixth baron Audley [see under Touchet, James, seventh Baron]. The father, whose younger brothers, Sir Humphrey, Sir Richard, and Sir Robert, are separately noticed, was the eldest son of Sir John Wingfield [see under Wingfield, Sir Humphrey], was sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk in 1483, in which year he was attainted, but was restored on Henry VII's accession in 1485, and served as sheriff in 1497.

Anthony first appears as commissioner for the peace in Suffolk on 28 June 1510. Like his uncles, he served in the campaign in France of 1513, and was knighted for his bravery on 25 Sept. (Harl. MS. 6069, f. 112). On 7 Nov. following he was pricked for sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk, but six days later was discharged from holding the office; his name appears on the roll in 1514, and he served as sheriff from November 1515 to November 1516. He accompanied Henry VIII to the Field of the Cloth of Gold and to his subsequent meetings with Charles V in 1520 and 1522. He served under his cousin, Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk, in the campaign in France in 1523, approved of Henry's religious changes, and officiated at the coronation of Anne Boleyn. He represented Suffolk in the ‘Reformation’ parliament from 1529 to 1535, but on 15 Dec. 1544 was returned for Horsham. He again served under Suffolk during the northern rebellions of 1536, and was a commissioner for the dissolution of the monasteries in Suffolk, receiving in 1537 grants from the lands of Campsie Priory and, in 1539, the priories of Woodbridge and Letheringham. In the latter year he became vice-chamberlain, captain of the guard, and member of the privy council, at which he was a constant attendant for the rest of his life. He was elected K.G. in April 1541. His capacity as vice-chamberlain necessitated his presence at the court functions of the time, and as captain of the guard he arrested Cromwell at the council-board in August 1540, and conducted Surrey to the Tower on 12 Dec. 1546. Henry VIII made him an assistant-executor of his will, and left him 200l.

Under Edward VI he represented Suffolk in parliament from 26 Sept. 1547 till his death, arrested Gardiner on 30 June 1548, joined in Warwick's conspiracy against Somerset, and was despatched by the council on 10 Oct. 1549 to arrest the Protector at Windsor. This he effected on the morning of the 11th, conveying Somerset to the Tower three days later. He was rewarded by being promoted comptroller of the household on 2 Feb. 1549–50 in succession to Paget, and in May 1551 was appointed joint lord lieutenant of Suffolk. He died at Sir John Gates's house in Bethnal Green on 15 Aug. 1552, and was buried in great state on the 21st, apparently at Stepney (Machyn, pp. 23, 24, cf. note on p. 326). A memorial inscription is extant in Letheringham church, and a fine portrait, by Juan Pantoxa, preserved at Powerscourt, is reproduced in Lord Powerscourt's ‘Muniments of the Wingfield Family.’ His will, dated 13 Aug. 1552, was proved on 15 April 1553.

Wingfield married Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Sir George Vere and sister of John de Vere, fourteenth earl of Oxford, and left a large family; the eldest surviving son, Sir Robert (d. 1597), was father of Sir Anthony (d. 1605) and grandfather of Sir Anthony (d. 1638), first baronet; another son, Richard, was father of Anthony Wingfield (1550?–1615?) [q. v.] and of Sir John Wingfield (d. 1596) [q. v.], and a third, Anthony (d. 1593), was usher to Queen Elizabeth.

[Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, vols. i–xvi.; State Papers, Henry VIII, 11 vols.; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1547–80; Addit. MSS. 25114 ff. 333, 344, 346, 27447 f. 77; Cotton. and Harl. MSS. passim; Nicolas's Proc. Privy Council, vol. vii.; Dasent's Acts P. C. vols. i–iii.; Lit. Rem. of Edward VI (Roxburghe Club); Official Ret. Memb. of Parl.; Chron. of Calais, pp. 22, 31, 33, 42, Rutland Papers, pp. 32, 37, Wriothesley's Chron. ii. 27, 33, Troubles connected with the Prayer-Book, ed. Pocock, passim (all these in Camden Soc.); Strype's Works (General index); Gough's Index to Parker Soc. Publ.; Davy's Suffolk Collections; Ellis's Original Letters; Notes and Queries, 1st ser. passim; Burke's Extinct Baronets; Lodge's Irish Peerage, ed. Archdall; and Powerscourt's Wingfield Muniments, 1894, which, though ‘fiated’ as correct by the College of Arms, contains various errors.]

A. F. P.