Wyndham, Francis (DNB00)

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WYNDHAM or WINDHAM, FRANCIS (d. 1592), judge, was the grandson of Sir Thomas Wyndham of Felbrigg in Norfolk [see under Wyndham, Thomas, (1510?–1553)], and the second son of Sir Edmund Wyndham of Felbrigg by his wife Susan, daughter of Sir Roger Townshend of Rainham in Norfolk. Sir Edmund was sheriff of Norfolk during the rebellion of Robert Kett [q. v.], and was active in suppressing it. Francis was educated at Cambridge, perhaps at Corpus Christi College, and called to the bar by the society of Lincoln's Inn. He became a bencher in 1569, and in 1572 was autumn reader. He represented Norfolk in the parliament which sat from 1572 till 1583. In October 1573 his name appears in special commission of oyer and terminer for Norfolk. In the award dated 31 May 1575 settling the controversies between Great Yarmouth and the Cinque ports he appears as an arbitrator. In 1577 he was made a serjeant; in 1578 he was elected recorder of Norwich, and is spoken of as a justice of the Oxford circuit; and in 1579 he succeeded Sir Roger Manwood [q. v.] in the court of common pleas. He was placed on the commission of oyer and terminer for Warwickshire and Middlesex, constituted on 7 Dec. 1583 for the trial of John Somerville [q. v.] and others for high treason, and in that for Middlesex constituted on 20 Feb. 1584–5 for the trial of William Parry (d. 1585) [q. v.] for the like offence (Reports of the Deputy Keeper of Public Records, No. iv. App. ii. 272, 273). He was also consulted concerning the trial of Mary Stuart in October 1586 (Strype, Annals, 1824, iii. i. 529). He was one of the judges on the commission for hearing causes in chancery between the death of Sir Christopher Hatton [q. v.] in November 1591 and the appointment of Sir John Puckering [q. v.] in May 1592. Wyndham died in July 1592 at his house in the parish of St. Peter Mancroft in Norwich, (afterwards known as the committee house), and was buried on 18 July in the parish church. An altar-tomb without an inscription, bearing his arms and those of families to which he was allied, was erected against the north wall of Jesus chapel in St. Peter Mancroft. There is also a portrait of him as recorder in the Guildhall at Norwich. He married Jane, daughter of Sir Nicholas Bacon [q. v.], lord keeper of the great seal, but left no issue. His wife survived him and married, secondly, Sir Robert Mansfield. A letter from Wyndham to Lord Burghley is preserved in Lansdowne MS. 57, art. 49. Geoffrey Whitney [q. v.] addressed two of his ‘Emblemes’ (1586) jointly to Wyndham and Edward Flowerdew [q. v.]

[Cooper's Athenæ Cantabr. ii. 124–5; Foss's Judges of England, 1857, v. 551–2; Official Return of Members of Parliament; Blomefield's Hist. of Norfolk, 1806, iii. 359, iv. 220–1, 231, 235, viii. 113, 114, ix. 40; Ducatus Lancastriæ, 1834, iii. 214; Dugdale's Origines Jurid. 1666, pp. 48, 119, 253, 260, 261, Chron. Ser. pp. 94, 95; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1547–92; Manship and Palmer's Hist. of Great Yarmouth, 1854–6, i. 186; Green's reprint of Whitney's Choice of Emblemes, 1876, pp. 121–3, 352–3; Wotton's Baronetage, 1741, i. 4, iii. 348; Acts of the Privy Council, ed. Dasent, 1577–90; Weever's Ancient Funeral Monuments, 1631, p. 802.]

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