WYNDHAM, Sir Francis, 3rd Bt. (c.1654-1716), of Trent, Som. and Paradise Row, Chelsea, Mdx.
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Family and Education
b. c.1654, 3rd but 2nd surv. s. of Sir Francis Wyndham, 1st Bt.†, of Trent by Anne, da. and coh. of Thomas Gerard of Trent. educ. Merton, Oxf. matric. 11 Nov. 1670, aged 16; M. Temple 1670. m. (1) Elizabeth, da. of Sir Richard Onslow† of Clandon, Suss., wid. of John Berney, 1s.; (2) 18 Feb. 1695, Hester (d. 1708), wid. of Matthew Ingram, s.p.; (3) 8 Apr. 1712, Henrietta (d. 1739), da. of Thomas Wiggington of Ham, Surr., wid. of Sir Richard Newdigate, 2nd Bt.†, of Arbury, Warws. and Harefield, Mdx. suc. bro. Sir Thomas Wyndham, 2nd Bt., as 3rd Bt. 1693.1
Clerk of the errors Kb by 1677–?d.2
Cornet, Duke of York’s Horse 1678; lt. R. Horse Gds. 1679; equerry to James, Duke of York 1679.3
Francis Wyndham was a distant kinsman of the Wyndhams of Orchard Wyndham, Somerset. His father, who had been a colonel in the army and a zealous Royalist during the Civil War, had sheltered Charles II in his house at Trent after the battle of Worcester. For these services he had been made a baronet and granted a pension of £600 p.a. Wyndham himself began his career in the army, joining a regiment of horse in 1678. The following year he accompanied James, Duke of York, to his temporary exile in Holland as one of the Duke’s equerries but he returned to England after a year and resumed his military career. The date of his retirement from the army is not known, although his first marriage to a widow many years his senior may have enabled him to surrender his commission. On the death of his elder brother in 1693 he inherited the family estates at Trent and the £600 p.a. pension. He also owned a town house in Chelsea.4
In June 1695 the death of his kinsman, Sir Edward Wyndham, 2nd Bt.*, left open one of the seats at Ilchester, a borough in which his family had long held an interest, and Wyndham took the opportunity to stand and was returned unopposed. During his first years in Parliament he identified himself as a Tory. In January 1696 he was forecast as a probable opponent of the government on the proposed council of trade, but was an early subscriber to the Association the following month. In March, however, a Jacobite agent made claims implicating him, among others, in the Assassination Plot. He claimed that Wyndham had been present at a meeting in a Holborn tavern where plans had been laid for a rising in the event of a French invasion. This particular intelligence was not taken seriously by the government, however, and he was not charged. Later in March he voted against the Court on fixing the price of guineas at 22s. and in the next session, on 25 Nov., his Tory politics were clearly displayed in his vote against the attainder of Sir John Fenwick†. Within the next year or so, Wyndham appears to have joined the supporters of the Court. A clear sign of this change in attitude was apparent on 3 Dec. 1697 when he was appointed to the committee to draw up the Address, and his pro-Court sympathies were noted in a comparative listing of the new and old Houses of Commons compiled shortly after the 1698 election, while two further lists record his vote with the government on the standing army question on 18 Jan. 1699. He had also been involved during this Parliament in litigation relating to his niece’s claim upon his estate for her marriage portion, and having previously held up proceedings by insisting on his privilege, agreed to waive it on 15 Jan. 1698. A further claim against him by his sister-in-law was examined by the privileges committee in the next session, but he was fully exonerated in their report on 17 Apr. 1699.5
In January 1701 Wyndham was defeated at Ilchester but regained the seat in the November election, his return being classed as a ‘gain’ for the Whigs by Lord Spencer (Charles*). On 9 Jan. 1702 he was appointed to a large committee appointed to prepare a bill for the provision and employment of the poor, and on 13 May was teller against allowing a drawback on salt exported to Scotland. Although forecast in October 1704 as a probable opponent of the Tack, he was none the less included on Robert Harley’s* lobbying list against the measure, and did not vote for it in the division on 28 Nov. He stood down in 1705. A list published in that year of MPs in employments showed he was in receipt of an annual pension of £500. He died at his house in Chelsea on 22 Mar. 1716 and was buried at Trent, his estates eventually passing to his granddaughter, the wife of the 1st Lord Montford (Henry Bromley†).6
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Authors: Paula Watson / Andrew A. Hanham
- 1. H. A. Wyndham, Fam. Hist. Ped.; Lysons, Environs, ii. 134; Manning and Bray, Surr. 54–55.
- 2. CSP Dom. 1677–8, p. 127.
- 3. CSP Dom. 1679–80, pp. 324, 340.
- 4. Wyndham, 9–10; Collinson, Som. ii. 387; Cal. Treas. Bks. v. 520, 1080; xi. 338; F. Brown, Som. Wills, ii. 44.
- 5. CSP Dom. 1696, p. 110.
- 6. Wyndham, 9–10.