Townshend, Hayward (DNB00)

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TOWNSHEND, HAYWARD (fl. 1602), author of ‘Historical Collections,’ was son and heir of Sir Henry Townshend, knight, of Cound, Shropshire, second justice of Chester, one of the council of the marches of Wales, and M.P. for Ludlow, 1614, by his first wife Susan, daughter of Sir Rowland Hayward, knight, of London. He was born in 1577, entered St. Mary Hall, Oxford, as a gentleman-commoner in 1590, and graduated B.A. on 22 Feb. 1594–5, and became a barrister-at-law of Lincoln's Inn in 1601. On 16 Oct. 1597, and again on 3 Oct. 1601, he was elected member of parliament for Bishops Castle, his colleague in the earlier parliament being Sir Edmund Baynham, one of the gunpowder plot conspirators. He was the youngest member of the House of Commons. In 1601 he made a motion to restrain the number of common solicitors, and to prevent perjury, also in committee to abolish monopolies. Sir Francis Bacon referred to one of his speeches as ‘the wise and discreet speech made by the young gentleman, even the youngest in this assembly.’ He died without issue before 1623.

Townshend's fame rests upon his parliamentary report, published posthumously in 1680, entitled ‘Historical Collections; or, An exact Account of the Proceedings of the Four last Parliaments of Q. Elizabeth of Famous Memory. Wherein is contained The Compleat Journals both of the Lords and Commons, Taken from the Original Records of their Houses, &c., Faithfully and Labori- ously Collected By Heywood Townshend, esq., a Member in those Parliaments.’ This book contains a journal of the proceedings of parliament from 4 Feb. 1588 to 19 Dec. 1601. Part of the original is in Rawl. MS. A 100 (in Bodleian Library), and a seventeenth century transcript is in Stowe MSS. 362–3 (at the British Museum).

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. i. 724, ii. 3; Wood's Fasti, i. 266; Foster's Alumni Oxon. early ser. iv. 1500; Shropshire Archæological Transactions, 2nd ser. x. 38; Nash's Worcestershire, i. 378.]

W. G. D. F.