HUNGATE, Thomas (by 1516-79), of Saxton, Yorks.
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Family and Education
b. by 1516, 3rd s. of William Hungate of Saxton by Alice, da. of Sir William Gower of Stittenham. m. Isabel, da. of Sir Thomas Metham of Metham, 2s. prob. d.v.p.1
Servant of Sir Anthony Browne by 1535; avener to Queen Jane Seymour by 1537, to Anne of Cleves and Catherine Parr; commr. sewers, Lincs., Notts. and Yorks. 1545; member, household of Princess Mary by 1551-3; forester, Galtres, Yorks. 1554-72; esquire of the body by Sept. 1554-8.2
Thomas Hungate came of a family of substantial gentry in the West Riding of Yorkshire. By July 1535 he was a servant of Sir Anthony Browne of Sussex and as such gave evidence as a witness to the will of Sir Anthony’s mother, Lucy Neville (made on 20 Aug. 1531). His master may have secured him a place in the Queen’s household. In 1538 he obtained a crown lease of Lancashire lands that had previously belonged to Hawkshead chapel, and three years later he leased from the crown three manors in Surrey, and in 1543 extensive ex-monastic lands in the Isle of Man, where Browne had been appointed lieutenant in 1525. In 1544 Hungate was employed to carry money to Scotland for payment of the troops, £8,000 in May and £5,000 in October.3
Hungate was farming the revenues of the archdeaconry of Richmond and the bishopric of Durham from the crown in 1546. Evidently he prospered from this and his court position and connexions, for he was a joint purchaser of monastic lands in Yorkshire for £874 in 1549; three years before he had been assessed for the subsidy at £22 in lands. Although there were several men of this name at the time, there is no reason to doubt that the man who was esquire of the body to Queen Mary was the former avener. In 1557 or 1558 he obtained a 40-year lease of the lands of Watton priory in Yorkshire and three other northern counties. The former servant of Browne and household officer is also much the most likely man to have been the Member for Maldon and for boroughs in the duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall: his name is inserted in a different hand in the election indentures for Lancaster and Newport. At Maldon his nomination was doubtless sponsored by Sir Robert Rochester, a former colleague in Princess Mary’s household and early in 1554 a Privy Councillor and a knight of the shire for Essex, and Hungate was probably able to call on the influence of Henry Radcliffe, 2nd Earl of Sussex, whose sister had married Anthony Browne I, later Viscount Montagu, eldest son of Hungate’s former master; and at Newport his fellow-Member was Thomas Roper, who was married to Montagu’s sister. When Hungate was returned for Lancaster in 1555, Rochester was chancellor of the duchy, and Rochester’s nephew Sir Edward Waldegrave with an interest of his own in the duchy of Cornwall may have had a hand in Hungate’s return for Newport three years later.4
Hungate’s connexions and his lack of employment under Elizabeth suggest that he was a Catholic but there is no direct evidence. He made a will on 16 Apr. 1578 (proved on 22 Aug. 1579), in which he left legacies to a large number of relations but mentioned neither wife nor children. The supervisors were Viscount Montagu, (Sir) William Cordell and Thomas Radcliffe, 3rd Earl of Sussex; Cordell and Sussex were to share an annuity of £20 ‘for the great goodness heretofore I have found and for the great goodness I hope hereafter mine shall find at their hands’.5
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: D. F. Coros
- 1. Date of birth estimated from first office. Dugdale’s Vis. Yorks. ed. Clay, ii. 45-46.
- 2. LP Hen. VIII, xv, xviii; APC, iv. 232; CPR, 1554-5, p. 186; 1557-8, p. 399; E179/69/47, 110/349; 315/161, f. 3.
- 3. NRA 11233 (Suss. Arch. Soc. BA14); Surtees Soc. cxvi. 129-31; E315/161, ff. 3, 8, 211; LP Hen. VIII, xiii, xv, xvi, xviii, xix.
- 4. LP Hen. VIII, xxi; CPR, 1549-51, p. 24; 1554-5, p. 186; 1557-8, p. 399; C219/24/88, 25/20.
- 5. York wills 21, f. 322.