Over 80 Churches with Visible Wingfield Links
At the Reformation, in the 1530s, there were in addition to monastic establishments and chapels (and excluding Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) some 46,000 churches in England itself. By 1985 only about half survived. By 2040 AD, according to a Christian Research report dated 2005, it is estimated another 18,000 British churches will have closed.
In England (mainly) and also in Ireland, Wales, the USA, France and Spain, there are today over eighty churches (including half a dozen cathedrals) – the vast majority “Church of England” or “Church of Ireland” (i.e. Protestant) containing fascinating Wingfield family memorials: tombs, brasses, effigies, coats of arms, misericords (likenesses in wood), likenesses in stained glass windows or names on patron and incumbent boards, dating from about 1350-1950 (mainly from 1550-1650). This rich heritage is surely unrivalled by any other family in England, so we are indeed fortunate in the extreme. To keep this list short we have concentrated on the Wingfield-specific historical and genealogical aspects and have not discussed architecture. It is sad to think that within two more generations that Wingfield family members may actually not be able to visit some of these wonderful churches containing their heritage, or that all that they may see by then of many of these magnificent buildings, if they have not actually been destroyed may be just ruins, or these churches deconsecrated and turned into offices or shops.
In England it is only feasible to visit those in one county in one day, except for Suffolk – which would take two to four days. All churches in the British Isles are Church of England (Anglican/PE) parish churches except where stated otherwise.
After pay-outs in 1995 to half of Britain’s 16,000 Anglican churches,the 1996 estimate for insurance premiums to cover them all against arson, vandalism or theft, was $9,000,000. Consequently, today a very large number of English churches are, finally and regrettably, locked up, except during services. One parson may serve about four to ten or even more churches, and so many small country churches may only have a service once every two to four weeks.
Cathedrals will be open and free (except for St. Paul’s and Westminster Abbey). For country churches details of two key-holders are usually displayed on the porch door or notice-board. If you are in an English city (not town), it is safer perhaps to go to or call the Reference Library and ask for Crockford’s Directory. Look up the village name and this will give you the vicar’s name; then look up the vicar’s name in a different section and this will give his telephone number. You’re not finished yet! Call the vicar – evenings are best – and ask for the telephone number and/or address and location of who controls the church key.
Near the church stood (1829-1953) the mansion of Sir Anthony Wingfield (1857-1952), Ampthill Park. The north and south windows of the Middle Gothic church [c.1175-1275] are memorials to members of the Powerscourt cadet line of Ampthill Wingfields: East: the son and two daughters of Mrs. Sophia Wingfield (three of the representatives of the orders of angels in the upper part of the window are portraits). Principalities: Captain Granville Foulis Wingfield, angels honor Emily and Isabella Wingfield. South: in memory of Mrs. Wingfield: three large figures in the three lights represent the patron saints of the three dioceses in which she lived: St. Albans, St. Helen’s and St. Elfrida.
Three miles SW of Groton. William A. Dutt notes “on the nave floor a brass of a man and a woman in fifteenth century costume, supposed to represent two members of the Wingfield family.” [Dutt, Suffolk, 1904, 59]. These are listed in the V&A Museum Catalogue of Rubbings of Brasses as “Anonymous, Military Costume, c.1500.” [1968, 44, 92] The soldier looks very like the 1510 brass of Sir Thomas Wingfield (d. 1471) at Letheringham, but Dr. D. E. Smith believes the Assington man represents Robert Taylboys (d. 1506), since he provided for such a memorial in his will. [T. M. Felgate, Knights on Suffolk Brasses, 1976, #21, 70-71].
Henry Wingfield, Rector of Baconsthorpe Castle nearby (1480/2-1500), and of Hempstead and of Rendlesham (Suffolk), is commemorated here on the Rector’s Board. Henry was the first recorded Wingfield to go up to Oxford (college unknown), indeed the first to attend university – he matriculated in 1474. [Foster, Cantab.Alumni]. He had a special dispensation from the Pope “that though his fingers were crooked, he might take Holy Orders”. [This fact is listed on the church parsons and patrons board, incorrectly, against his successor]. Henry Wingfield was presented in 1480 by his uncle Sir Robert Wingfield of East Harling, Comptroller for King Edward IV, and by his brother, Sir John Wingfield of Letheringham. Henry died in 1500 and directed in his will that he be buried at Letheringham and that “palms be laid on my grave in Passion Week” – a delightful custom that had fallen into abeyance, but which is maybe to be restarted. In 1500 Seaman Truvald was presented here as rector by W. Wingfield – who was probably Henry’s uncle, William Wingfield who served with Edward IV in France in 1474 and who died in 1510. Henry’s cousin, the future Prior William Wingfield of West Acre, Norfolk (1520’s – 1538) would have been too young. [See WFS 36 Anecdotes, #131]. In Henry Wingfield’s time Sir Henry Heydon II, Steward to Cecily, mother of Edward IV, was Lord of the Manor at Baconsthorpe Castle alias Baconsthrope Hall.
An inscription of the altar rails reads: “Elizabeth Wingfield, [u/i] wife of the Rev. John Wingfield and mother of above Elizabeth (d. 9th March 1784 aged 57, m. John Smyth, died Feb 10th1804 aged 72”). [SIANH, 1913, p. 100]. Not located. Badingham was where the senior Letheringham Wingfield lived in the 1440’s.
Bicton Heath (Shropshire)
Built in 1885-1887 for £3,400 on a site presented by Walter Wingfield’s cousin, Colonel John Wingfield of nearby Onslow. The last 3-4 generations of the Onslow Wingfields are buried here in the Wingfield Vault. Exit south door, turn east for 50 yards. On the left.
Boxgrove Priory (Sussex)
Contains the arms of Wingfield in several places. Katherine Wingfield, who was buried here in 1498 (priory ruin) was wife of John Bonville. Their son, Sir John Bonville’s daughter Elizabeth married Thomas, 9th Baron de la Warr (dsp 1554). The latter’s great nephew was Thomas de la Warr, 3rd Baron (of second generation) and Governor of Jamestown, Virginia. And Katherine’s great great nephew was Edward-Maria Wingfield, the first President at Jamestown, Virginia (1607)
Here is a monument within the altar rails to the memory of Anne, daughter of Humphrey Wingfield of Brantham, Speaker of the House of Commons (1533-1536), wife of Alexander Newton, Esquire. There was a brass of Alexander Newton “in the remains of the old church, which was due to be moved in 1976 to the Ipswich Museum. Newton died 30th August 1569, and, since Anne married (ii) Robert Warner of Westhorpe and Norwich, and apparently died that year of 1569-70. On Alexander’s grave slab are two shields: one being Newton, the other Newton impaling quarterly Wingfield, Bovile, Gawsell [Gousill], and Warenne. [Wingfield Muniments, 8, 52; Felgate, Knights on Suffolk Brasses, 1976, 107].
The Wingfield Chapel in the church was built in 1868 by the 4th Baron Dynevor “of Bromham” of Barrington Park (d. 1869) in memorial to his eldest daughter, Frances Emily Wingfield nee Rice-Trevor who died in 1863 aged 37 and her husband, Captain Edward Folliott Wingfield, 2nd Life Guards, my great great grandfather (1823-1865).
Sir Robert Wingfield (d. 1481), Comptroller in 1474-1481 for King Edward IV, placed his arms in the church window at Buckenham. Old Buckenham’s All Saints Church and nearby Priory are 10 miles northeast of East Harling in the middle of an army Battle Training Area – as are New Buckenham’s St. Martin’s Church and the adjoining ruined Castle. The two Buckenhams (aka Buckingham in old MS) are either side of the hamlet of Cake Street.
From 1558 (or earlier) to March 1594 schoolmaster, philanthropist and benefactor, the deeply religious Thomas Wingfield taught at Bungay School. (U/i, but probably son of Robert Wingfield of Bungay – will 1523; Thomas’s will is dated January 21, 1583. His scholars included one Anthony Wingfield, of six so named). He left £20 in his will through his “Wingfield’s Charity” for the schooling of an orphan at the Grammar School for two years, 10 shillings a year out of rent on lands – to be spent on good cheer for the feofees (those invested with land “in fee” or for a reward), numerous benefactions to the poor of Bungay, and10 shillings for to preach what became known as “the Wingfield Sermon” annually at St. Mary’s church here. The annual “Wingfield Dinner” was held in late February 1933 after a lapse of some years. Before this it had been held regularly for 300 years, ?1594-1894) in either the King’s Head or the Three Tuns. Traditionally the Wingfield Charity Account was annually audited (in 1933 the auditors wrote about two “Wingfield scholars” from 1910 to 1920, a practice “revived” in 1932), followed by the feofees “being of good cheer” and preserving Thomas Wingfield’s memory. The toasts at Dinner included the Loyal Toast (by the town reeve) and “Thomas Wingfield” by the senior feoffee. Even though schoolmasters were paid only £6-9-0 a year, Wingfield, a bachelor, lived in style in a luxurious house, with a superb library of books in Latin, Greek, French and English. He left 100 marks to a William Wingfield and ten silver spoons to William’s wife, and £30 each to his two sisters. [The last located reference is the Eastern Daily Press dated February 27th, 1933].
Burnham Thorpe (Norfolk)
William Wingfield of the Dunham Magna Line is shown here on the Rectors’ and Incumbents’ Board as the parson here (where the great Nelson was to be raised) from 1538 to 1554. Previously, he had been Prior of West Acre Priory (Norfolk) 1520s-1538. It was he who pawned St. Andrew’s finger for two pounds sterling. [See WFS 36 Anecdotes, #13]
A coat of arms high up on the north side of the chancel near the pulpit is that of Sir Richard Wingfield, Governor of Portsmouth, the naval base (then and now), and of his bride, Christiana, daughter of Sir William Fitzwilliam of nearby Milton, Northants. She was also sister of Sir William Fitzwilliam, the Younger, Lord Deputy in Ireland in 1571-1575 and 1488-1594.
There was a memorial here of ca 1520 to Margaret Wingfield of Easton who married Sir Thomas Seckford. Not found. Church built by Michael de la Pole, 2nd Earl of Suffolk and son of Catherine Wingfield the 1st Countess.
Church Norton, St. Wilfrid’s Chapel (West Sussex)
The chapel is basically 13th century and was the chancel of the original church here. In 1866 the church – except for the chapel/chancel – was dismantled and was moved two miles away to become St. Peter’s Church, Selsey. Set on the edge of Pagham Harbour, the setting for St. Wilfrid’s (whose only Service now is on St. Wilfrid’s Day, October 12th) is most attractive. Captain Maurice F.R. (“Tolly”) Wingfield (b. 1879, of the Barrington cadet line of Powerscourt), “Ox & Bucks Light Infantry”, and his 2nd wife of October 10th 1916, Stephanie Agnes Cooper, lived here at Norton Priory in the 1stWorld War (1914-1918), after Maurice had been wounded in action. Then Maurice’s younger brother, Captain C. John R. (“Jack”) Wingfield (60th Rifles/KRRC) died of his wounds (April 29th 1915), followed by a great friend of Maurice’s, Captain Thomas Agar-Robartes, Coldstream Guards (formerly a Member of Parliament, heir to Lanhydrock), being killed in action; and then, in 1919, by Stephanie Wingfield dying, probably a victim of the great ‘flu pandemic. In 1921 Maurice Wingfield presented a large east window as a memorial to the three of them. Jack & Thomas are dressed as knights in armour and Stephanie is portrayed in a medieval dress. All three are “likenesses” and all three have haloes. The Agnus Dei in the center light is clearly an allusion to the name Agnes. A life-size statue of Agnes Wingfield stands outside in front of the east wall of the chapel.
Claines (Herefordshire & Worcestershire)
In the porch there is an ancient painted board about bequests made in 1812-14 to buy gowns for the poor of Claines, Tibberton, Warndon and St. Martin’s and St. Nicholas in the city of Worcester by Mr. George Wingfield and his widow Anne, who was also widow of Rev. Dr. Sumner of King’s College, Cambridge, her second husband,. In 1909 £141-11-9 in consols produced interest amounting to £3-10-8 yearly, which bought 14 gowns at 5/6 each. The Wingfields of Claines, Worcestershire were a branch of the Wingfields of Lippard aka Leopard in Warndon and must have been a cadet line of the Letheringham Line. [Nash, Worcester q.in Links #18.31; Wrottesley, History of Staffs, XVIII, 1897, pp.6-14: link surely proved by land records; VCH Worcestershire, III, pp.539, 554, IV, p.418].
The sixth coat of arms from the ground on the west side of the outer south porch archway of the Church of St. Margaret of Antioch, bears the coat of arms of Katherine de Wingfield, wife of Michael de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk, of Wingfield Castle, and another coat bears Lord Michael’s 3 leopard heads. The Suffolks were church benefactors in the 1380s – for the refurbishment of this wonderful church with its truly magnificent clerestory
Cranford (Middlesex) 2 miles east of Heathrow Airport
The second monument to the right of the altar in St. Dunstan’s, is the magnificent (rebuilt), vast alabaster Aston monument by William Cure, Clerk of the Works to James I. Sir Roger Aston was the King’s Keeper of the Wardrobe and Gentleman of the Bedchamber (d. 1610). Sir Roger’s monument mentions his three daughters, including the third one who married Sir Robert Wingfield IV (b. 1585) of Upton, (Northamptonshire), knight. (The 1617 monument in London to his uncle, Richard Wingfield, an Esquire of the Body to James I, is in St.Botolph, Aldersgate).
All Saints is a gem – unique in East Anglia and probably unique in England – which stood alongside the Wingfields’ and then the Middletons’ broad-moated Crowfield Hall. It has a 14th century doorway and nave (restored 1862) and 15th century chancel. There is a 17th century floor memorial slab (under the aisle carpet) to Sir Harbottle Wingfield I d. 1645 (brother of Mary Dade of Assington and father-in-law of Francis Dade of Virginia). Harbottle Wingfield’s arms, cut in marble, are impaled with Scrivener. His wife was Elizabeth Scrivener of Ipswich, sister of Matthew Scrivener, who was at Jamestown in 1608, “a particular friend of President Edward Maria Wingfield”. There is another monument to Dorothy Wingfield, Harbottle, and Elizabeth’s daughter. [Wingfield Muniments, p.52; my Virginia’s True Founder, 1531].
East Harling (Norfolk)
The wonderful stained glass east window of the Church of SS. Peter and Paul (1450) is a great treasure. It was made in 1472, the gift of the husband of the heiress Lady Anne Harling, Sir Robert Wingfield (died 1481), Lord of the Manor, Knight of the Shire for the County of Norfolk and Comptroller for King Edward IV in 1474-81. The two Wingfields refurbished the church in 1480. Sir Robert himself is shown at the foot of the window, kneeling on a blue and yellow cushion, wearing armour with a tabard of red, gold and black and a crossbelt and shoulder strap bearing the three pairs of silver wings for Wingfield, thrice repeated, on a red background, with ornate sword and dagger and wicked-looking gold spurs, and with his huge red-plumed helmet by his side. (4th/bottom row, 1st of the figures). The Lovell family hid the Wingfield window in the attic of the manor house in Cromwell’s time (1640’s and 1650’s), until Thomas Wright, the new Lord of the Manor discovered it there and restored it to the church in 1736. This magnificent sight can be seen in the tome, Mason’s Norfolk, donated in 1995 to the WFS so generously by James R. Wingfield III and Susan Wingfield of Crystal Lake, Illinois.
On the underside of the middle seat on the North side of the Choir stalls is an exquisitely carved misericord showing the arms of Sir Robert Wingfield (d. 1481).
Sir John Wingfield became Lord of the Manor here in 1463. 1584: here at All Saints (on the north side of the chancel, under the carpet in front of the sanctuary), there is an excellent memorial brass for John Wingfield, of Easton, (Dunham Magna Line), always quoted as “perhaps the best example of the Elizabethan armour in the country”. He has a peascod breastplate and elaborate buckles and is wearing the Wingfields’ fretty neckerchief [see frontispiece of J. Wingfield, Virginia’s True Founder]. 1601: near this is the unique and exquisite full length brass o Dame Radcliff Wingfield – often likened to Queen Elizabeth I – in a sumptuous patterned farthingale [dress] and wearing a pendant jewel, a superb ruff and the then latest French bonnet. Her dress is folded back to show a brocaded petticoat. She was wife of Sir Thomas Wingfield of Easton (Letheringham line). Sometime before 1643 Sir Anthony Wingfield and his wife, Anne nee Deane, built the white house here at Easton and made this their principal residence. 1650 (circa): On both sides of the sanctuary are a pair of most attractive, unique open-topped Wingfield Family 6-seataer Italian-design box pews that (according to D. P. Mortlock) “were installed by Sir Henry Wingfield of Easton, 6thBaronet about 1650”, rather eccentrically, flanking the altar. Sir Henry married Lady Mary Touchet, daughter of Baron Audley and Earl of Castlehaven. Sir Mervyn had his leg shot off by a cannon ball in France (in Lorraine) and died there in 1677. He had followed the fortunes of the catholic king in exile, James II, and Lady Mary Wingfield actually was a catholic. Their sons, Henry and Mervyn (b. 1672 and 1674) were raised as Catholics and Sir Henry sold the Wingfields’ Easton estate ca. 1700. These family pews were carved with low cornices with wreaths and the Wingfield wings in flight. Since Henry Wingfield was born about 1651, these pews were either (1) installed by his father, Sir Richard (see below) or (2) they were indeed installed by Sir Henry – but in about 1670 rather than 1650. (1) seems more likely. Richard was grandson of Sir Thomas Wingfield, whose 1st wife, Ratcliffe, is mentioned above. 1675: On the north wall of All Saints is Dame Mary Wingfield’s memorial, a large, attractive touchstone [fine-grained marble or jasper] tablest flanked by Ionic columns with looped garlands at the base. Presumably erected by her husband, Sir Henry Wingfield (see above).
In the porch is a board with details of the mother and stepfather (from 1558/62) of Captain Edward Maria Wingfield, founding father of Jamestown, Virginia (1607), Margaret Crews aka Cruwys formerly Wingfield and James Crews. In the church are various historical display boards, one of which mentions Sir Robert Wingfield III of Upton as being present in 1587 at the execution of Mary Queen of Scots just across the road. He was an observer on behalf of his uncle, the great Lord Burghley. Edward Maria Wingfield’s mother and her second husband, his stepfather, James Cruwys, lived in Fotheringhay College House, which adjoined the church on the bank of the south, with wonderful views out across the River Nene. Just 100 yards east of the church stood the double-moated Fotheringhay Castle – the site is marked. [WFS Newsletter, I, :2, 1987]. (Robert was 3rd cousin of Thomas Wingfield of York River, Virginia, 1680).
Great Barrington (Gloucestershire)
This is a beautiful, private Wingfield family church of the Powerscourt cadet line of Barrington Wingfields, It contains two handsome Wingfield memorials. It is used for family christenings, weddings and funerals of the immediate family and for Sunday services.
Great Bealings (Suffolk)
On the south side of the nave is a 1583 memorial which reads: “To his very dear parents, Thomas Seckford” and his wife Margaret, one of the daughters of John Winfield [sic] of Letheringham, a soldier….” Etc, etc.
Great Bedwyn (Wiltshire)
William Wingfield aka Winkefilde aka Winterfield [u/i] was Vicar here 1566-1573. The “preaching cross” is like the 1666 one at St. Paul’s Cathedral used to be. William m. Elizabeth and had a son, Edward.
There is an inscription to Cecily, daughter of Sir Thomas and Lady Wingfield nee Elizabeth Drury, of Letheringham. Cecily married William Blois, M. P., Lord of the Manor of Grundisburgh Hall (held pre-1528 by Thomas Blois and his wife Margaret, daughter of William Styles of Ipswich). [Copinger, Manors of Suffolk, III, p.48].
Gulval (near Penzance, Cornwall)
The Rev. William W. Wingfield of the Wingfield Digby Wingfield line was Vicar here, for seventy-four years (from 1839-1913): a record. He apparently went to Cornwall for health reasons, so it certainly did the trick!
Heathfield (Old Heathfield) (Sussex)
All Saints was the church of the chaplain that Edward Maria Wingfield selected to go on the December 1606 expedition with him to found Jamestown, Virginia, the Reverend Robert Hunt. Hunt was originally going as No 2 to Rev Richard Hakluyt (who backed out at the last moment to translate an important foreign log). Captain Wingfield got the approval of Richard Bancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury. The north-east stained glass window in this magnificent country church was unveiled in 1962 in memory of twin sisters called Ticehurst who died in 1941 and 1953. The window depicts Robert Hunt celebrating “the first Communion on American soil on June 11, 1607” at Jamestown. [Sunday June 21 in Virginia’s True Founder, p. 2121]. Three Councilors (one with his back to the observer), complete with ruffs, are shown taking Communion watched by a native American warrior with two young native boys. Clearly, since Wingfield was then President, he would be in the front row, maybe with his cousin Bartholomew Gosnold. The features and size are not for real, since no likenesses of those two Councilors exist. Smith is not shown. The Jamestown settlers are all listed, as well as those intrepid mariners whose names are known to posterity.
Robert Hunt is shown on a board in the church as being Vicar at Heathfield from 1602 to 1608 (the year he died at Jamestown). He was, we know, allowed to receive the income and benefits from Heathfield even when abroad. The de la Warrs of the 1880s owned part of the manor of Heathfield – and so maybe the Lord de la Warr of the early1600’s, a cousin of Edward Maria Wingfield’s, then too owned land at Heathfield knew Hunt and recommended him to Wingfield. Incidentally, from the church one cannot see the sea (the English Channel, ten miles to the Southeast), as it says in several books – which muddle up Heathfield in Sussex with Reculver in Kent, Hunt’s earlier church, which lies fifty miles northeast of Heathfield (on the North Sea). In 1957 the APVA erected in Heathfield church a wooden memorial plaque to Robert Hunt.
John Wingfield, Esquire is listed on the Rector’s Board here for 1789. (There as also a John Wingfield, Esquire, buried in 1789 at Hampstead, London). [Lyson’s, II, 513].
There is a huge monument against the wall in memory of Lord Morley, which has the Wingfield and De La Pole arms on it. [Wingfield Muniments, 52].
Ipswich, St. Mary’s Quay or Key (Suffolk)
The monument to John Wingfield of Newbourn (Suffolk), son and heir-apparent of Sir Anthony Wingfield, K.G. (d. 1552) is impressive. Possibly a Doctor of Physics and a medical author, “wielding his pen for Lord Burghley,” he predeceased his father in 1546. [Wingfield Muniments, 531].
Ipswich, St Stephen’s (Suffolk)
On the north side of the chancel wall is a brass to the memory of John Wingfield, Esquire, (b. 1545), 2nd son of Robert Wingfield (author of the fascinating Vitae Mariae Reginae or Life of Queen Mary, BL Ad MS 48093 in Latin, translated by Diarmaid MacCulloch in Camden Miscellany, XXVIII, 4th Series, vol. 29, RHS, 1984, pp.181-301), 2nd son of Sir Humphrey Wingfield of Brantham, Speaker of the House of Commons (1533-1536). He married Elizabeth Gilgate and dsp in 1591. This brass was found pre-1894 under the floor when the church was being restored. [Wingfield Muniments, p 52]. It is not in the WFS, 14 Family Brasses 1389-1671.
Kimbolton (Cambridgeshire, formerly Huntingdonshire)
The Bishop’s Transcript (a “back-up” for St. Andrew’s Parish Church Register) shows the following entry: “Kimbolton. Register, Anno Di. 1631. April 13. Edward Maria Wingfield Esquire buryed.” Edward Maria Wingfield (born 1550) who was to be the 1st President at Jamestown, Virginia, was the elder son of Margaret Wingfield nee Kay of Newsome Hall near Huddersfield in Yorkshire and of Thomas Maria Wingfield – whose godmother had been Mary, the sister of Henry VIII, and the widow of Louis XII). He was raised at Stonely Priory, just across the little River Kym, up the hill from Kimbolton church. His father died when he was seven, and by twelve at the latest his mother Margaret had remarried. Her new husband was James Crews aka Cruwys of Fotheringhay College House. EMW spent his life soldiering in Ireland and the Low Countries, being mentioned as a “Captain of Success” in 1589. In 1606 he was instrumental with Hakluyt and six others in obtaining the signature of King James I on the Virginia Charter of 1606, prior to his recruiting – with his cousin Bartholomew Gosnold – about 40% of the just over 100 settlers. The rest of his career can be read on his two church memorials: one here (see picture) and the other at Jamestown, Virginia, USA. He died at Stonely Priory aged 80 or 81.
Knowle near Bristol (Avon)
The Holy Nativity Church. (Church of England). Father Henry de Colsell Wingfield III (b. Keynsham, 1861, grandson of Henry Wingfield, the founder of the famous rowing race, the Wingfield Sculls), was vicar here 1835-1913. A 1913 statue of him stands in the church tower. [See WFS Newsletter, XVIII, 3, p.26].
The arms of are Henry North and his wife Elizabeth, (1678-1706) 2nd daughter of Anthony Wingfield, 1st Baronet, of Letheringham, are visible on the outside of the tower, on the north side.
A church is mentioned here (“at Letheringaham”) in the Doomsday Book (1086). The present St. Mary’s Church is the nave of the former Augustinian Canons; Priory (3-4 canons) founded in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary by William de Bovile in 1194. The priory saw out 23 priors and lasted some 350 years until being dissolved in 1537. It is not clear whether the original Domesday church was on the site of the present St. Mary’s or whether it was about a mile away near the Boviles; and Wingfields’ Old Hall and Letheringham Mill (where numerous skeletons were unearthed- but no church foundations), or whether the 1194 Priory of Letheringham alias Trew was grafted onto the original church i.e. in the present position of St. Mary’s. Thomas Wingfield was brother of the Black Prince’s Chief of Staff, Sir John Wingfield of Wingfield Hall and College and both brothers fought at Crecy in 1346 [Wrottesley, Staffs, II, 33,38]. Sir Thomas married the Bovile heiress, Margaret [see Norwich], and thus this gem of a church became in effect the heart of the Wingfield Family for nearly four centuries – from the 1370’s until 1708. It is still very dear to the hearts of the Wingfield Family Society, and indeed the WFS has made several generous donations to its upkeep – over 600 years since the first Wingfield contribution to the church. It was the treasure house of a unique series of monuments and brasses commemorating Sir William de Bovile (died 1320) and each of the Wingfield Lords of Letheringham from Sir Thomas Wingfield (died 1378, leaving L20 to Letheringham Church) to Sir Anthony Winfield, Baronet, died 1638. The sufferings, destruction and vandalism of these outstanding memorials took place in 1536 (the Dissolution), 1643 (“Cromwell’s desecrator” William Dowsing), circa 1690’s (neglect, because Wingfield head of family was abroad and in debt), 1723-1750 (neglect by Nautons, decay). The Suffolk historian “Honest Tom” Martin, wrote of “the Tombs and Monuments found in “Fabarick”, in 1744 “…I have neither seen nor read of any place (except Westminster Abbey) so fully adorned with such Noble Remains of Antiquity as are to be met with here.” The destruction continued in: 1768 (monuments “in good condition, though soiled by exposure to the elements”), 1766-1780 (roof fallen in, walls down, monuments vandalized, “in a state of complete desolation…perhaps it was in the interest of some of the parties who lately disputed the Letheringham estate, to destroy every record preserved in this place”), 1789 (the churchwardens hired a contractor to refurbish the church, but prior to this allowed him to take away the entire fabric of the chancel and its contents and permitted him to crush the remains of our family tombs for road-making ballast…”and the slabs, deprived of their family brasses, were used to pave the rebuilt nave! It is then that two of the churches greatest treasures vanished: “From the mid-15th century the Wingfields rose above the provision of mere brass memorials and had instead magnificent stone monuments. Two of these were canopied tombs of outstanding craftsmanship. They were almost identical to their architectural detail and face each other on the north and south chancel walls. The south tomb was that of Sir Robert Wingfield who died in 1454 and Elizabeth Gowsell, his wife, and the north tomb of Sir John Wingfield who died in 1481 and Elizabeth Fitzlewis, his wife. And ten to twenty Wingfield Family brasses vanished from the church.
And yet, this, our oldest long-term family church, is once again a treasure house, albeit a wisp of its former glory. It contains (on the north wall) a full-length (5 ft. 2 in.) brass of Sheriff Sir John de Wyngefeld, P.C. (Privy Councillor), K.B. (Knight of the Bath,) (died 1389), in Camail period armour (mixed mail and plate) with his Wingfield arms emblazoned on his jupon [crossbelt]; and on the east wall a circa 1510 (35.5 inches) brass of the long-haired Sir Thomas Wyngfeld of Stoke Albany (died 1471) in armour of the time of the Wars of the roses and wearing the Wingfield family’s “fretty” badge or scarf over his armour. This family badge is a diapered pattern on a pale colour –probably red on silver or white. This badge we should surely carry on today.
There is also a memorial to Sir Anthony Wingfield (died 1605, grandson of Henry VIII’s Captain of the Guard), and to his wife Elizabeth; and on the floor of the center aisle a grand memorial stone to Henry North (died 1674) and his wife, Elizabeth (died 1706), who was daughter of Sir Anthony Wingfield (died 1638). The stone bears the arm of North impaling Wingfield. [My thanks to W. D. Akester, Rev. Harold Welch and Dr. John Blatchly. The Vicar of Letheringham, Charsfield Vicarage, Woodbridge IP137PY; tel: 01473-737740].
Little Wenham (Suffolk)
There is a fine brass – and the most complete brass in Suffolk – to Thomas Brews (d. 1514), son of Robert Brewse and Katherine Brewse, daughter of Sir John Wingfield of Letheringham. The grave slab bears his arms including Brews impaling the quartered arms of Wingfield and Bovile. [See WFS Newsletter, VIII, 3, p.29].
On a marble gravestone in the chancel is: “In memory of Thomas Poole who married Elizabeth, one of the heirs of Roger Wingfield of Great Dunham in Norfolk. He died 13 Feb. 1609.” His wife was buried in St. Giles inthe Fields, London, in 1626.
London, Richmond (Surrey)
In St. Mary Magdalene’s Church (on top of the hill) there is a large, unlit, dark and fading Latin memorial on the south wall of the Chancel to Martha nee Woods wife of Sir Edward Maria Wingfield of Savoy, d. 1677. Her husband wrote in his will that he did not want John Wingfield, York Herald, to succeed him as Master of the Affidavit Office.
London, St. Benet’s [St. Benedict’s], Paul’s Warf
Here in the 1111 (or “pre-1666 Great Fire of London”) church, Thomas Wingfield, later described as “of York River, Virginia” (1680) was christened on March 29th, 1664. Wren’s new 1670’s church is the church of the College of Arms and of London’s Welsh Community. Unfortunately the huge nearby stately Church of the Friars Preachers with its wondrous memorials, where Sir John Wingfield, son and heir of Sir John and Lady Wingfield, (nee Elizabeth Fitzlewis) was buried in 1509, did not see the 16th century out.
London, St. Botolph’s Aldersgate
On a large tomb in this church is a 12-line epitaph for “Elizabeth Wingfield, nee Boyland, wife of Richard Wingfield, Esquire of the body to James I [1603-1620], on which is a 23 line epitaph inverse. [Wingfield Muniments, 52] See Cranford Park (above).
London, St. George the Martyr (Southwark)
Here John Wingfield, York Herald, father of Thomas Wingfield of York River, Virginia, (1680), was buried in 1678, having died “a prisoner at King’s Bench” – clearly for debt. The entry can be seen in the Register, which is kept in the church safe. [St. George’s Rectory, Mancible Street, London SE 1 4LN; tel: 020 7407 2796].
London, St. Giles in the Fields
Under a fine gravestone in 1526 [?surely 1626 miscopied] in the center aisle was buried Elizabeth, wife of Richard Maunsell Esquire, daughter of Roger Wingfield (alias Roger Robert Wingfield) and Elizabeth nee Golding, of Dunham Magna, Swaffham and East Lexham (all Norfolk). See London (Lambeth) for her other husband. Church of Jaques Wingfield, uncle of Edward-Maria Wingfield, Jamestown’s 1st President (and Jaques’s son Thomas).
London, St. Michael’s Cornhill
A monument [unallocated] to Anne Wingfield [u/i] of St.Andrew’s, Holborn (London, d. 26 March 1780), daughter of Richard Wingfield, Esquire, wife of W. Chase, Esquire, is recorded in Wingfield Muniments, p.52].
London, St. Sepulchre’s without Newgate, Snow Hill, Holborn
Here is located the Virginia Kneeler Collection, including one to President Edward Maria Wingfield, founding father of Jamestown, Virginia (1607). Burial place of Captain John Smith.
London, Westminster Abbey
Located here on a west-side pew right on the aisle in the beautiful Knights of the Bath Chapel, is a small, superb shield bearing the coat of arms of “Thomas Wingfield, 1772”. This was Thomas Wingfield IV (of the Alderton (Shropshire) Line, a cadet line of Onslow), 1750-?1812, who was an Esquire to the great Lord Clive of India from, it appears 1764, when Lord Clive was installed here as a Knight of the Bath (and Thomas Wingfield was 14). It was customary to include Esquire’s arms, apparently. Wingfield was Clive’s Esquire until 1772, when he (Wingfield) was 22. Records in the India Office may yet confirm whether Wingfield accompanied Clive to India, when the boy was only 14. [WFS, 36 Anecdotes, #24].
Market Bosworth (Leicestershire)
There is a Wingfield window here.
Market Overton (Leicestershire)
There are many Tickencote Wingfield wall memorials in the church. In the vestry are pictures of John Wingfield, Lord of the Manor of Tickencote and Patron and Rector of Market Overton (d. 1793), and of his great nephew, the Rev. Harry Lancelot Lee Wingfield (1856-1891), the balding bushily-bearded Rector of Market Overton 1856-1901 – a magnificent figure, 2nd son of Johnny and Harriet Wingfield nee Lee (m. 1819) and ancestor of various Australian and South African Wingfields. (Harriet Wingfield was the last of the senior branch of the Cot(t)on Hall Lees, General Robert E. Lee’s family). [See The Robert E. Lee Family Connection with the Wingfields in England, WFS Newsletter, 1995].
There is a memorial “brass plate” (but not a memorial brass with a “likeness”) on the south wall of the choir of St.Mary’s, commemorating the death of Mary Wingfield (daughter of Sir Robert Wingfield of Letheringham, d. 1601), wife of Henry Warner, with Warner quartering Whetenhall impaling Wingfield. [Topography and Genealogy, III, 388].
Nettlestead (1 mile west of Little Blakenham, Suffolk)
A marble monument to Thomas Wingfield, magistrate and feodary for Suffolk (tax and dues collector, died 1632), displays the Wingfield of Brantham arms (with the fleur-de-lys for difference for the 12th son) impaled by the arms of Alice nee Poley, his second wife (died 1629). They are buried beneath it. Their arms are also on the wall in the porch (with Wingfield impaling Poley of Badley). [A. Page, Suffolk, 1847, p.611; Wingfield Muniments, 52]. There is also a “mystery brass memorial” dated 1530, which might well be Sir Edmund Wingfield (1506-c.1526) of Stowlangtoft. [WFS Newsletter, VIII, 4, p.38 & see Stowlangtoft, 20 miles NW].
Norwich Cathedral (Norfolk)
On the underside of the seat of the 5th stall from the west corner in the back row on the north side is the magnificently-carved misericord (3-D wood carving) – believed to have been put there in 1415 (and possibly carved then) of the chubby, jolly-looking Sir Thomas Wingfield and his buxom smiling wife, Lady Wingfield, the Letheringham heiress nee Margaret Bovile, the uncle and aunt of the Countess of Suffolk nee Katherine Wingfield, of Wingfield Castle, who died in 1389 and 1387. In the inside of the steeple over the quire Lord Powerscourt records there are 24 escutcheons. On the north side are: 1 – Norwich; 2 – Wingfield quartering Bovile; 3- de la Pole; 4- Stanley; 5 – Heydon; 6 –Brews, “and in the windows of the cathedral amongst the arms of benefactors are those of Wingfield several times repeated.” Very difficult to see; I have yet to locate them. It is recorded that in the roof of the north chancel the Wingfield arms are to be seen, but I cannot locate them.
Norwich, St. Andrew’s (the Common Hall by 1894)
In the six most western stained glass lights are the arms of Thomas de Kerdeston impaling Wingfield and de la Pole. [Wingfield Muniments, 52].
There is a monument here to Elizabeth nee Wingfield (of Blake Hall, Essex, 1790, wife of John Baker, formerly Lady St.Aubyn (wife of the Sir John St. Aubyn, Baronet, of Clowance, Cornwall and later of St. Michael’s Mount, Cornwall, married at St. James’, Westminster). [WFS Newsletter, XIX, 1, p.8].
The 1603 brass to Alice Wingfield nee Bruce alias de Brews of Wenham (Suffolk), wife of Thomas Wingfelde (“a student in foreign universities for 10 years”, great grandson of Sir Humphrey Wingfield of Brantham) is most interesting. Thomas Wingfield was Patron here Nov. 25, 1607. Alice (died August 20, 1603) was daughter of Sir John de Brews. Augustine Wingfield IV was to be husband of Mary Willoughby of Parham in 1640/90, when the Lord of the Manor there was the 5th Lord Willoughby of Parham, Lieutenant Governor of the Caribbees [Caribbean], 1646 – 1652. (In 1674 a Christopher Winkfield – surely linked? –purchased from Thomas Oliver a plantation in Five Islands Division in Antiqua in the Caribbean). [Oliver, Antigua, II, 3301].
Shrewsbury Abbey [Cathedral} (Shropshire)
The magnificent multicolored marble monument to John Lloyd and his wife, Rebecca nee Wingfield of the Shropshire Line (half-sister of Thomas Wingfield of Shrewsbury d. 1642), stands some 20 feet high in the northwest corner. The center part is an effigy of John but there is no effigy of Rebecca. The Lloyd and Wingfield coat of arms are magnificent. (Dugdale attested the Wingfields of Shrewsbury (Shropshire) to be descended from the Suffolk Wingfields in his Visitation of Shropshire, 15th September 1664).
In St. Alkmand’s Church an 8th Century flagstone at the front entrance proclaims: “John Wingfield, 1769.” He was “the big drinker” and father of the Rev. John Tombes Wingfield . (Onslow-Atcham line)
Snetterton (aka Snetterden, Norfolk)
Next to East Harling. In the window of All Saints Church are the arms of Wingfield, de la Pole and Morley, benefactors. [Wingfield Muniments, 52].
South Weald (Essex)
Here is a 1616 brass to Elizabeth Wingfield, wife of Richard Saunders, died 14 May 1616 aged 76—so born 1540. [N&Q, April 3 1888 and Links, #9. 3 – where the date of birth reads 1530 in error. This brass was omitted from the WFS Newsletter article in Summer and Autumn 1994, 14 Family Brasses. Add as #15 and see Ipswich, St. Stephen’s (above), for # 16].
In All Saints’ Church there is a Wingfield Chapel referred to in “Our Past” (1900), but no mention of it is in the church guidebook today. It can only refer to the side aisle. Why it was so called we do not know, but there must surely be some Tickencote Wingfield connection.
In St. Martin’s, the Stamford church nearest to the George Hotel, stands the grand tomb of the parents of the great Lord Burghley in the northeast corner. At its base are 2-foot-tall colored marble effigies of their children, including Elizabeth Cecil. She became Elizabeth Wingfield in the 1570s when she married Robert Wingfield (later Sir RW II), Member of Parliament and had a substantial sheep farm at nearby Upton.
St. Mary’s church, Stone, near Dartford. The Wingfields’ “Stone Castle”. President Edward Maria Wingfield’s grandmother, Lady Wingfield nee Bridget Wiltshire of Stone Castle, was raised in Calais (now France). Her father Sir John Wiltshire, was Comptroller of Calais 1502-1519. He died in 1526 and has an imposing monument in the Wylshire aka Wiltshire Chantry in the church. Henry VIII stayed twice at Stone Castle with Bridget’s family, together with Anne Boleyn before they were married.
Stonham Aspal (Suffolk)
The unique, magnificent tomb of the Rev. Anthony Wingfield III of Broughton Hall, Stonham Aspal (died 1714) stands on the south side of the chancel of St. Mary and St. Lambert, 100 yards from the Wingfields’ beautiful moated Tudor ancestral home (1667-1762/4), Broughton Hall. Anthony’s tomb was sculpted by the famous Francis Bird, a former pupil of the renowned Grinling Gibbons and renowned for his “Conversion of St. Paul” in the great pediment of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London. D. P. Mortlock describes it thus: “There are precious few 18th century gentlemen taking their ease so elegantly in a country churchyard. The full-length figure of Anthony Wingfield is shown reclining Roman-style, in full Georgian dress on a 6 ft plinth surrounded by railings. Sadly, in the 1960’s the snake, an asp, that he was holding—shades of Cleopatra!—was unfortunately stolen. Anthony’s sister Elizabeth married (1) Dr. John Dade of Ipswich. Anthony pre-deceased his father by 16 years.
There is here a brass monumental inscription of Wingfield impaling Wentworth, which must be Margaret daughter of Thomas Wentworth (whose daughter Cecily married Sir Robert Wingfield, 1523-97). Margaret was widow of John Ashfield and married Sir Edmund Wingfield, (Interpreter for the Bastard of Bourbon in 1492 and Ambassador to Margaret of Angouleme in 1506), 10th son of Sir John Wingfield and Lady Wingfield nee Elizabeth Fitzlewis. Margaret Wingfield in right of her dower was presented to the church here 1506-1515. See Nettlestead, 20 miles to SE.
Lady Wingfield nee Lucy Fane, wife of Sir Charles Wingfield, KCMG, the diplomat, in 1949 presented the church with a tapestry copy of Roger van de Wyden’s “Descent from the Cross.” [VCH Oxon, X, p.100].
The 1624 brass to Mary Wingfield, wife from 1612 of William Dade, Esq. (1579-1659) is magnificent, but unfortunately nearly half is now under the altar! The Dades’ son Francis (who was to die at sea in 1663) in 1662 married aboard “The Maryland,” Beheathland Bernard – who was the daughter of Captain Thomas Bernard and Mary Bernard nee Beheathland, and granddaughter of the Captain Robert Beheathland who had sailed in 1606 with Captain Edward Maria Wingfield (1606), a grantee of the Virginia Charter of 1606, and the founding father of Jamestown, Virginia.
Tickencote (Rutland) St. Peter’s Church
St. Peter’s Church (1130-1150), famous throughout England for its magnificent Norman arch, was restored by Elizabeth Wingfield, who near H. E. Grace Wingfield, author of Our Past (1900) and a key researcher for Lord Powerscourt’s Wingfield Muniments, rests beside the path round the church’s east end. The church contains a wonderful, painted hatchment (Wingfield quartered with Johnson), a Wingfield memorial window, a Wingfield memorial, and a Wingfield inscription from Letheringham. There is a magnificent wooden effigy of (?) Sir Roland le Daneys, Lord of the Manor here, who in 1355 besieged with Sir John Wingfield of Wingfield under the Black Prince, the great Gascon fortress of Carcasonne in southern France. Sir Roland was knighted for his part in that action. Sir John Wingfield had been knighted earlier. The Wingfields have been Lords of the Manor here since 1594. [Omitted in original script]. The original 1130-1150 (22ft by 18ft) Chapel of the Holy Trinity is thought to lie under the south path next to the chancel. Maybe here is where Sir John Wingfield , one of Captain & President Edward Maria Wingfield’s great grandparents lies. [See Kimbolton- above – and Links Five, WFS, 2000, p.40].
There is a renaissance monument on the south wall to Elizabeth nee Cecil (d. 1611), a sister of the great Lord Burghley, Queen Elizabeth’s Secretary of State, and her two husbands; Sir Robert Wingfield II (d. 1580) and Hugh Allington. In 1608 John and Margaret Wingfield presented the church with a paten (still in use hundreds of years later; and in 1932 a chalice and paten were given by Colonel Johnny Wingfield (author of Some Records of the Wingfield Family); and there is an 1841 memorial to John Wingfield. (All Tickencote Line). [VCH Rutland, II, 280-283].
Recorded here as one of two incumbents [priests] in 1678 (appointed by the Patron for 1678-99, Henry Dom Arundell de Wardour with P.M. Northey, so he may have been here 21 years) was a mysterious Augustinus Winkfield; with P.M. Northey. In 1687 the Lord Privy Seal was Lord Arundell. And from 1699 the incumbents here were Thomas Marchant and Winkfield, appointed by Thomas Marchant, “Ex-Conc. Dom Arundell (1699-1740), this 1699 Rev. Wingfield ceased to be vicar in 1740 or earlier. The junior incumbent was usually listed as “P.R.”, “Post Mortem”, or “P.M.” (Maybe there is a link with Augustine Wingfield of Rappahannock County, Virginia). [See WFS CD-ROM “Links,” #12, p. 68].
In 1601-2 Robert Wyngfield of Upton applied to Archbishop Whitgift “to build a sepulture or monument with a vault within the chapel of Upton for himself, [his] wife, children and relations and their heirs that should be Lords Proprietors of the manor of Upton; the chapel or oratory out of memory appropriated to his mansion, united and annexed, being only for the purpose to hear divine service, and to partake of the sacraments and to do all other religious offices, the burial of corpses excepted.” The faculty was granted to him and his heirs.
Since Sir Robert Wingfield III, nephew of Secretary of State William Cecil, Lord Burghley (d. 1598), 1st cousin of Secretary of State Robert Cecil, and his wife, Prudence Wingfield nee Croke, did not die until 1609, the Wingfield sepulcher or mausoleum was surely built. Indeed in 1741, Bridges writes: “Sir William Dove, son & heir of Bishop Dove, Lord of Upton (d. 1630), who had purchased from Sir Robert Wingfield IV of Upton pre-1630 most of the Manor of Upton including Wingfield Manor, the great manor-house, where he resided, and built the new part of the chapel. He excluded the old chancel, in which are several monumental stones for the Wingfields, now overgrown with weeds…The Chapel consists of a body, divided by round pillars with Saxon capitals, from the north aisle or burial-place, which, as well as the chancel, is tiled.” Today only Doves are visible in the vast freestone monument. The Wingfields must be underneath, or under the blocked up arch. [Links Five, WFS, 2000, p.41].
Sir Robert Wingfield III was son of Sir Robert Wingfield II (d 1580) and Elizabeth Wingfield nee Cecil (d. 1611) – see monument at Tinwell and effigy at St. Martin’s, Stamford). His great great nephew was Thomas Wingfield of St. Benet’s (1664 and of York River, Virginia (1780). Sir Robert Wingfield IV did not sell the main manor of Upton to Bishop Dove until 1625. [Strype, Life of Whitgift, 554, quoted in Peterborough Cathedral Tudor Documents, NRS, XIII, 1941, p. xli, (b) & n. 6; Bridges, Northamptonshire, II, 1741, pp.508-509 & 141, 144 in 1791 edition]. I await the location of one of these Wingfield memorials.
Warndon (Herfordshire & Worcestershire)
In the vestry of this exquisite church, half-timbered and not unlike Crowfield (Suffolk), there is a board which states: “George Wingfield, Esq. and Ann his wife of Leopard [Lippard] Herefordshire & Worcestershire bequeathed to this Parish One Hundred Pounds to be Invested in Government Security the Interest there to be expended in Gowns for Poor Women, the Minister and Churchwardens to be the managers of the Charity, the Gowns always given on St. Thomas’s Day every year & no Woman to have a Gown two years together.” They were both living in 1782 [Pegge]. He was George Wingfield III, grandson of the Captain George Wingfield I (flourishing 1702) who applied in vain for the governorship of Montserrat in the Caribbean. Ann was born either Bostock or Summer. The Wingfields of Lippard aka Leopard (3 miles southeast of Claines Church, near Warndon, and Ronkswood and Trotshill (Herfordshire & Worcestershire), were extant here from pre-1586 to post–1873). The Wingfields of Claines, Worcestershire were a cadet line of the Letheringham Line. [Nash, Worcester quoted in Links #18.31; Wrottesley, History of staffs, XVIII, 1897, pp.6-14: proved by land records].
West Acre (Norfolk)
Visible from the church today (on private land) are ruined parts of Prior William Wingfield’s great 1100 A.D. priory – such as the near complete southwest tower, a sizeable chunk of the chapter-house and some ruined outer walls, as well as the 14th century vaulted gatehouse. Across the River Nar are the ruins of the old grammar school, once run by Wingfield’s canons. From 1524 (or 1526) until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1537 Prior William Wingfield (Dunham Magna Line), Lord of the Manor of Westacre and 12 other manors, controlled 15 Augustinian canons at Westacre and four more at nearby Weybourne, and Custhorpe Chapel, 16 churches in Norfolk, kennels of hounds for coursing, a hermitage, a mill, two rabbit warrens and a swannery, and lands and rents in 82 parishes. [36 Anecdotes, WFS, #13].
The window in the apse in the NNE of the parish church has a window dedicated to the memory of Mary Alicia Wingfield (1786-1873). Possibly Mary Alicia Wingfield III of Alderton (Shropshire).
Windsor, St. George’s Chapel
The Knights of the Garter Chapel, an awe-inspiring cathedral in all but name. Here are the Garter stalls and plates (coats of arms) – on the north side – of Sir Richard Wingfield, diplomat and general (installed in 1523 – the year that Henry VIII composed “Lady Winkfield’s Ground” in honor of Lady Wingfield nee Bridget Wiltshire (see Stone), Sir Richard’s wife, on the occasion of the visit to Greenwich by the Holy Roman Emperor. Sir Richard died in 1525. He was the grandfather of Captain Edward Maria Wingfield (1550-1631) the founding father of Jamestown, Virginia (1607) – (see Kimbolton). Another Garter Plate – on the south side of the stalls – is that of Sir Richard’s nephew, Sir Anthony Wingfield, Comptroller and Captain of the Guard for Henry VIII (who presided in that last post at King Henry’s funeral here in 1547 and died himself in 1552). Sir Anthony was installed on May 22, 1541 with the Earl of Surrey (who he subsequently had to arrest). The arms of these two Wingfields appear as bosses in the roof (but I have never managed to locate them).
Wingfield (Suffolk) St. Andrews Church
The present church, St. Andrew’s, really began with the foundation of the adjoining Wingfield College (the ancient Hall of the Wingfields) under the 1361 will of Sir John Wingfield, Chief of the Black Prince’s Council. A provost and 9 priests were to say daily masses for the soul of the College’s founder and his heirs. 1361: in a recess in the south wall there is an imposing effigy of Sir John Wingfield, who died of the plague. The Black Prince, the heir to the throne, paid for his magnificent funeral here. The south porch was built by Michael de la Pole, 1st Earl of Suffolk, who had married Katherine Wingfield, heiress of Sir John. The font was donated about 1405 by Katherine’s and Michael’s son, the 2ndEarl. It bears the arms: north – Wingfield; east and west – De la Pole/Wingfield; south – Stafford. The beautiful south side chancel has delightful Wingfield wings, de la Pole leopards’ heads and Stafford knots.
Sir John Wingfield’s grandson died en route from Wingfield to Agincourt (1415) and his son, William de la Pole, rebuilt the chancel in his memory, extending it eastwards in the 1430s.
In 1996 the WFS presented a cheque for $1,500 towards the major refurbishment scheduled for St. Andrew’s and so “Wingfield Family Society “ was etched in one of the clerestory windows. Two other clerestory windows were funded by Lois Wingfield Wickham in memory of her brother, WFS co-founder, Dr. Bill Wingfield of Marl Ridge, Ashland, Virginia, and by James Reuben Wingfield III and his wife, Susan, of Illinois.
Sir John Wingfield’s 1361/ 62 Wingfield Church On October 30, 2011, a service was held at St. Andrew’s Church in Wingfield,
Suffolk, England, to commemorate the founding of a new church building 650 years ago by Sir John Wingfield. In his will Sir John, the Chief of Staff to the Black Prince (Prince Edward, heir to the throne of England), decreed that upon his death his estate should pay for a new church building. Sir John died in 1361, in the second wave of the Black Death (the bubonic plague of 1349). His funeral was paid for by “the Black Prince” with its cost “£57, 13s, 4d” which currently equates to over £21,000 UK or about $34,000 US. Each Wingfield Family Society tour has visited the church.
The 1361 Wingfield Church
The October commemorative service was conducted by Rev. Canon Andrew Vessey, who began the service by welcoming the writer (author Jocelyn Wingfield) by saying it was fitting to be able now to make a physical connection to the Wingfield Church “… through our guest, Jocelyn Wingfield, with the founder Sir John who was the older brother of Sir Thomas Wingfield.” Sir Thomas is the 17 great-grand-father of Jocelyn, as he is also for many in the Wingfield Family Society. Both brothers fought in the victorious battles at Crecy and at Calais in northern France in 1346-1347. Sir Thomas married the Letheringham heiress Margaret Bovile.
The service was well attended by 120 so persons, including 20 children. As one part of the service the children performed a play (with hymns) concerning the young Black Prince and his mentor, Sir John. The hymns were rousing and impressive. The choir, of a dozen plus the choirmaster, sang anthems in Latin. German. and English – most impressive.
Sir John was mentioned several times during the service. And in the Service Sheet it stated that his sometime aide de camp (and son-in-law, upon marrying daughter Katherine) was Michael de la Pole, of Wingfield Castle note who later was the first Earl of Suffolk.
Worcester Cathedral (Herefordshire & Worcestershire)
There is a 12-foot high white marble monument right in the southwest corner to John Yates, Esquire of Springside, Lancs (d. 1805) and his wife Harriet, daughter and co-heiress of Wingfield Wildman, Esq. of Norton House, Derbyshire, “dedicated to the memory of their deceased parents by William Wingfield and Samuel Wildman Yates”. Wingfield Wildman was son of William Wildman, apothecary, and Priscilla nee Wingfield, 4th sister of Storie Wingfield of Haslebarow [Sheffield], Yorkshire (Brantham-Wakefield Line). In the Cathedral Library is an engraving by Ward from an attractive 1827 portrait by John Constable of John Wingfield, D. D. (Doctor of Divinity), Prebend of Worcester 1803-1826 and Sub-Dean 1819-1820 (5th stall), late Rector of Kempsey (Worcs) and late Headmaster of Westminster School, London, d. 1825. And in the south aisle of the nave under the 8th arch is a tablet to the memory of John Wingfield, D. D. [See Links, #18.2;Wingfield Muniments, 52].
Worcester, St. Martin’s (Herefordshire & Worcestershire)
In the north aisle of the chancel is a memorial stone to Edward Wingfield, gentleman, of Lippard, of Worcester, and his wife, daughter of Dr. Thomas Wilson, Dean of Worcester (both died in 1641 aged about 75) and to Edward’s great grandson, Thomas Wingfield of Lippard, Gentleman, died October 24, 1727 aged 73. [Wingfield Muniments, 1894, 52; Nash’s Worcester, 1782].
On a wall here is beautifully (and perhaps professionally) inscribed “L’Honorable Etd. Wingfield, Gentilhomme Irlandois [=Irish Gentleman], Le 16 October 1815.” Aged 23, the Honorable Edward Wingfield, son of the 4th Viscount Powerscourt, was on a “victory tour” of France, Napoleon’s 68,500 men having been defeated by Wellington’s (and Bluecher’s) 50,000 on June 18th in 1815. On Edward Wingfield’s return to Ireland he was ordained. He died in 1825, aged 33.
Abbeyleix, County Laois
There is a memorial here to the Honorable and Rev. William Wingfield (Powerscourt Line), married 1830, died 1880.
Bagenalstown, (aka Muine Beagh), County Carlow
There is a wall memorial in the church to my 3-greats grandfather, the Honorable and Rev. Edward Wingfield of nearby Myshall (b. 1792, Powerscourt Line, and see FRANCE: Strasbourg Cathedral; half brother of the above Rev. William Wingfield). Edward was also vicar of St. James’s Dublin (“the Governor’s church” and a key appointment), 1821-1825. He died on September 6, 1825 at Powerscourt, “of eating of a surfeit of fruit on a sunny afternoon”.
Clonfeacle, County Armagh
…”This treasure of a plantation church” was built by the Marshal of Ireland, Sir Richard Wingfield, 1st Viscount Powerscourt, from 1618. Supposed to incorporate fragments from Clonfeacle Monastery, Tulldowey.
Dublin, St. Patrick’s [Protestant] Cathedral
On October 17, 1709 Lady Elizabeth Boyle, daughter of Roger Boyle 1st Earl of Orrery (son of the Great Earl of Cork) and wife of Ffolliott Wingfield, Viscount Powerscourt (2nd creation), was buried in the magnificent, massive (some 30 feet high) Earl of Cork’s tomb, “The Boyle Monument” (1632) at the southwest corner of the cathedral (its third position – the great Earl of Strafford having had it “moved out of the way” from its original position in the aisle. Here too “…his lordship [Ffolliott Powerscourt] was also interred on February 17th 1717.” [Wingfield Muniments, p. 41]. (The Lady Elizabeth’s brother, Lieutenant-General Charles Boyle, the 4th Earl of Orrery, had his name given to a new astronomical instrument, the orrery, by its inventor, George Graham).
Powerscourt, Enniskerry, County Wicklow
The foundation stone of St.Patrick’s Church was laid on 14th October 1857, by Mervyn Wingfield, 7th Viscount Powerscourt, on the day he came of age (his 21st birthday), the grandfather of the late Brigadier Anthony Wingfield, WFS, and great great grandfather of WFS honorary member, “Fergie”, the Duchess of York. The church was a parting gift to Mervyn (who had inherited in 1844 – when his father, the 6th Viscount, died aged but 29), being a gift from his stepmother, the Marchioness of Londonderry. It replaced the church built in the 1600s, the ruins of which can still be seen in the old churchyard just to the north of Powerscourt House. That in turn had replaced a medieval church, the ruins of which can be seen at a place now known as Churchtown (on the hill above the drive from Powerscourt House to Powerscourt Fall (the waterfall on the Dargle – the highest in the British Isles), but which had in medieval times been called Stagonil. The new St Patrick’s was consecrated in 1863. Powerscourt Church has always been a prebendal church of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, and from 1303 to 1874 one of the canons of the cathedral was always Rector of the parish. There are several Powerscourt-Wingfield memorials in the church.
Cadiz (Gades) Cathedral (or possibly the Church of Santa Cruz, Cadiz)
Sir On Saturday 26th June 1596 Sir John Wingfield, Letheringham (Suffolk) line (in the Cadiz Raid under Drake and Essex, as a Rear Admiral, the Campmaster (General) and Commanding Officer of Wingfield’s Regiment – one of two regiments so called, in action here), was buried here with full military honors .He had flown his flag in Vanguard, captured three galleys, and then as Campmaster ashore, had led the vanguard of the army, capturing for ransom a senior Spanish cavalry commander, Don Nuno de Villa Vincenza, but was shot in the final minute before the Spanish surrender. Sir John’s body was borne by six knights, with muffled drums and trumpet dirges, the “shot” (foot-soldiers) holding their arms reversed, the pikemen trailing their 16ft pikes. The other generals cast their handkerchiefs wet with tears into his grave and the entire Anglo-Dutch fleet moored nearby in the harbor fired their guns in salute. Some reports however, say that he was buried in the adjoining Church of Santa Cruz (since destroyed by the French). John Donne, who also served in the Cadiz Raid and subsequently became the famous Dean of London’s St.Paul’s Cathedral) composed the epitaph below.:
Beyond th’old Pillars many have travailed
Towards the Son’s Cradle, and his throne, and bed:
A fitter Pillar our Earle did bestow
In that late Island; for he well did know
Farther than Wingfield no man dares to goe.
No trace of Sir John has been found, perhaps understandably, but a visit is a “must”.
Toledo, San Juan de los Reyes
(In all but name, a cathedral, where Spanish royals were buried). Despite there being no trace here of Ambassador Sir Richard Wingfield, K.G. [Knight of the Garter 1523, Army General, 1523, grandfather of Captain Edward-Maria Wingfield, Founder of Jamestown, 1607, born 1550] who died in 1525, we know he was buried here, and it really is worth a visit, so I have left it in the main list.
The Parish of St. Paul’s was officially organized on February 13, 1855, when its first Vestry was elected. St. Paul’s is the third oldest Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Northern California preceded only by St. Paul’s, Sacramento in 1849, and St. John’s, Marysville in 1854.
In July of 1859, Lt. McAlister drew up plans for a new church building that was constructed during November and December of that year. Services have been held in it since without interruption. John Henry Ducachet Wingfield (September 24, 1833 – July 27, 1898) was the first bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California, serving in that capacity from 1874 to 1898. He was consecrated as missionary bishop of Northern California on December 2, 1874, but remained in charge of his parish in Petersburg, Virginia until April, 1875.
Jamestowne, VA Old Church
Constructed in brick from 1639 onward, in Jamestown, Virginia, is one of the oldest surviving building remnants built by Europeans in the original thirteen colonies and in the United States overall. It is now part of Jamestown National Historic Site, and is owned by Preservation Virginia (formerly known as the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities). There have been several sites and stages in the church’s history, and its later tower is now the last surviving above-ground structure from the days when Jamestown was the capital of Virginia. The current structure, active as part of the Anglican church, is still in use today. The ruins are currently being researched by members of the Jamestown Rediscovery project.
Edward Maria Wingfield, sometimes hyphenated as Edward-Maria Wingfield (1550 in Stonely Priory, near Kimbolton – 1631) was a soldier, Member of Parliament, (1593) and English colonist in America. He was the son of Thomas Maria Wingfield, and the grandson of Richard Wingfield. Wingfield was one of the early and prime movers and organisers in “showing great charge and industry” in getting the Virginia Venture moving: he was one of the four incorporators for the London Virginia Company in the Virginia Charter of 1606 and one of its biggest financial backers. He recruited (with his cousin, Captain Bartholomew Gosnold) about forty of the 104 would-be colonists, and was the only shareholder to sail. In the first election in the New World, he was elected by his peers as the President of the governing council for one year beginning 13 May 1607, of what became the first successful, English-speaking colony in the New World at Jamestown, Virginia.
The Edward Maria Wingfield Memorial at Jamestown Church — a gift of Warner Sherman McCall
In the spring of 1955, Dr. Bill Wingfield, a founding member of the WFS, of Marl Ridge, Virginia (then living in Richmond) received a phone call from Warner McCall, who was in town and interested in further information about his Wingfield lineage. He was descended from Thomas Wingfield and Sarah Garland of the Georgia line. They arranged to meet and have lunch at the Jefferson Hotel in downtown Richmond.
When the fact came up that the first president of the colony of Jamestown was a Wingfield, Bill offered to drive Mr. McCall to Jamestown the next day so he could see the site as it currently existed, about 50 miles southeast from Richmond.
The next day at Jamestown, Mr. McCall was especially impressed with the church, but he felt that a sense of history was lacking because there was no visual tribute to Edward Maria Wingfield as the first president of Jamestown. He decided to do something about it.
Warner McCall, with Bill Wingfield’s help, worked through the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities to have a memorial tablet ordered from a monument company in Richmond, with Mr. McCall bearing the financial responsibility.
That tablet was made in Italy from the finest Italian marble. To paint the Wingfield coat of arms above the plaque, Mr. McCall flew a man over from England.
When the memorial was completed, it was placed on the wall of the old church in Jamestown in an impressive unveiling ceremony in May of 1956.
Until recently, this imposing memorial to Edward Maria Wingfield was the only visual reference to Edward Maria Wingfield on Jamestown Island. The wording on the plaque follows, with text, capitalizations, line lengths, the same as on plaque.
Captain Edward Maria Wingfield Born about 1560, Son of Thomas Maria Wingfield, M. P., of Huntingdonshire, and Grandson of Sir Richard Wingfield, K. G. of Kimbolton Castle. A Valiant Soldier in the Armies of Queen Elizabeth in Ireland and in the Netherlands. But his Name is forever identified with this Hallowed Place. Jamestown, a Site which he selected, where English Civilization was First Established on American Soil. A Leading factor in forming the Virginia Company of London. The Only Grantee in the Virginia Charter of 1606 who accompanied the First Settlers to these Shores. First President of the Council of Virginia. Despite Administrative Vexations encountered in 1607, his Faith in the Colonial Venture remained undimmed. Author in 1608 of “A Discourse of Virginia.” A Grantee of the Colony in the Second Virginia Charter of 1609. A Generous Subscriber to the Subsequent
Undertakings of the Virginia Company of London. Died at Stonely Priory, Huntingdonshire, England, after 1613.
Editor’s Note: This article was first published in the Wingfield Family Society Newsletter in 1994. We are grateful for the recollection of details which came from Lois Wickham, sister to Dr. Bill Wingfield. Her sharing this allows us to know about Warner McCall’s generous and dedicated determination that provides a memorial honoring Edward Maria Wingfield in the Church of Jamestown, Virginia.
Mattaponi, King & Queen County, Virginia
Originally the colonial parish church of St Stephen’s Parish, Mattaponi Church has been used by the Baptists since 1824. Here come 50 yards from the porch door stand the memorial to Thomas Wingfield “of York River” (Upton & Tickencote cadet line of Letheringham Wingfields), christened in 1664 at St Benet’s, London – for whom a headright for land not far from this spot, “down Tomocoricond Swamp”, as part of 430 acres, was claimed in 1680 by Joseph Styles.
Portsmouth, Virginia. Trinity Episcopal Church
The crew of the C. S. S. Virginia (the ironclad Merrimac) was blessed at this altar and the acting priest, The Rev. John Wingfield, blessed the ship before it went to the first battle of ironclads. Fr. Wingfield’s refusal to pray for the President of the United States resulted in his being forced to sweep the streets in Norfolk with a ball and chain on his leg (he later became the first Bishop of Northern California).
There is a fine stained glass window honoring Walter C. Wingfield, the inventor of Tennis (1873-1874), who died in 1912. [George Alexander, Wingfield, Edwardian Gentleman, 1986, Portsmouth, NH, p. 169].
There is no trace at Llanwchaiarn, Montgomery, of Charles & Laetitia Wingfield (later of Onslow) and their three sons: Colonel Charles G. Wingfield of Onslow (c. 1833), the Rev. William Wingfield (c. 1834, the Oxford rowing “blue”) or Colonel Anthony Wingfield (c. 1835, father of Frank Wingfield who emigrated to Hollywood); or of Charles’s brother, the Rev. Rowland Wingfield of that church.