Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Hastings, George (1488?-1545)

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HASTINGS, GEORGE, first Earl of Huntingdon and third Baron Hastings of Hastings (1488?–1545), son of Edward, second baron Hastings (1466–1507), by Mary, granddaughter of Thomas, third baron Hungerford, was born about 1488. William Hastings, lord Hastings [q. v.], who was executed in 1483, was his grandfather. He was made a knight of the Bath on 17 Nov. 1501, and succeeded his father as third baron Hastings on 8 Nov. 1508, being summoned to parliament in the following year. He was constantly at court, and took part in all the great ceremonies of state. The king appears to have frequently advanced him money. When an entry was made into France in 1513, Hastings was a member of the vanguard retinue; he was present at the Field of the Cloth of Gold; he also was in attendance when Charles V visited England in 1522; and his name appears as a witness to the treaty of Windsor of that year. He joined Suffolk's expedition into France in 1523.

Throughout his life he seems to have been a favourite of the king, although early in the reign he had to appear before the Star-chamber for keeping too many liveried retainers. The king's favour procured him many profitable appointments; he was steward of various manors and monasteries, and a captain of archers in the royal service. In 1529 he was created earl of Huntingdon with an annuity allowed him of 20l. a year; he had long been a privy councillor; and his name was attached to the petition from the English nobles and lawyers to Clement VII praying that the divorce might be quickly settled. An account of Hastings's revenue from land has been preserved for 1532, and it appears to have been just under a thousand pounds. In 1533 he secured a long lease of land from Waltham Abbey, so that he must have been wealthy, in spite of his continual indebtedness to the king. He was present at the coronation of Anne Boleyn; at her trial; and at the trials of Lord Dacre and Sir Thomas More. Hastings was one of the leaders of the king's forces against the rebels in the Pilgrimage of Grace, and gave early information as to the outbreak. He was then living at Ashby-de-la-Zouch. He died at his seat at Stoke Poges in Buckinghamshire, and was buried in the chancel of the church there. He had married, about December 1509 (Letters and Papers of Hen. VIII, ii. 1444), Anne, daughter of Henry Stafford, second duke of Buckingham, widow of Sir Walter Herbert, knight, and by her had five sons; the eldest son, Francis, second earl, and the third son, Edward (d. 1573), are separately noticed. A daughter, Dorothy, married in 1536 Richard Devereux, son of Lord Ferrers.

[Letters and Papers of Hen. VIII, ed. Brewer and Gairdner, passim; Bell's Huntingdon Peerage Case, p. 39; Froude's Hist. ii. 555; Doyle's Official Baronage, ii. 223; Burke's Peerage, p. 742.]

W. A. J. A.