You are in [People] [Family History] [Hungerford Family]

The Hungerford family acquired their name from the town of Hungerford. The family history has been studied extensively, and several volumes on the family history have been published.

The following brief notes are from "BERKSHIRE, and the Vale of the White Horse - Roger Higham 1977 - Batsford. [Notes also from V.C.H.]

Robert de Hungerford: gave land to the church in Hungerford. Buried there 1355. Follow this link for more on Sir Robert de Hungerford.

Sir Thomas Hungerford: nephew of Robert, because he was a strong supporter of John O' Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, became, as successor to Sir Peter de la Mare, the first named Speaker of the House of Commons (Sir Peter had no recognised office as such). [In 1325 he founded a chantry in the church of St. Lawrence, for the souls of Robert and Geva, his wife, their ancestors, and the faithful departed. The chantry was dedicated in honour of the Holy Trinity, and in 1331 and 1336, Robert augmented the endowment by a messuage, a mill, and land in Hungerford. At the Dissolution, the value of the endowment is given as £10.3s, £12.17s, and £8 in different surveys].

Sir Walter Hungerford: son of Thomas, continuing the Lancastrian connection, was given the Hungerford Manor by Bolingbroke; he is said to have worsted the French king in a duel near Calais in 1401 (which is not surprising; the king was Charles VI who was frequently off his head!); he accompanied Henry V to France in 1415 with 80 men, and fought bravely at Agincourt; he was eventually created Baron Hungerford.

Robert Hungerford: grandson of Walter, was taken prisoner at Castillon, a disaster for the English at the end of the French Wars in 1452, and remained a prisoner for seven years. On returning home, he was just in time, as a Lancastrian, to be on the losing side, was attainted by Edward IV's first parliament; he was taken prisoner at Hexham, and executed in 1464.

Sir Thomas Hungerford: son of Robert, although changing sides, was no luckier, because when he reverted to Henry VI's cause and supporter Warwick's attempts to restore him, he was caught and executed at Salisbury in 1469.

Robert Hungerford: brother of Thomas, equally inconsistent, finally backed the right horse: he obtained a precarious pardon from Richard III which was withdrawn when Henry Tudor landed, but he escaped from custody, joined Henry, and at Bosworth killed Sir Robert Brackenbury, under whom he had previously served; he was knighted by the usurper on the battlefield, and, like Sir William Norris, was rewarded by the restoration of the family estates.

Sir Edward Hungerford: son of Robert, was a most unsavoury character. His second wife had murdered her husband in order to marry him, and ended at Tyburn after his death.

..?.. Hungerford: Edward's son by his first wife was even worse. He was ambitious, procured from Thomas Cromwell several favours including a barony, treated his third wife with outstanding cruelty, and finally, entangled in an assortment of charges, was beheaded along with Cromwell in 1540.

Sir Walter Hungerford: Their (whose?) son, had an appalling record of matrimonial troubles, finishing by marrying his mistress while his second wife, who he had said had committed adultery, and tried to poison him, was still alive.

Several related Hungerfords of the 17th century, all confusingly called Anthony, fought on both sides of the Civil War.

The son of one of them, Sir Edward, last in the series, was knighted at Charles II's coronation. In 1669 his London home, Hungerford House, was burned down, whereupon he established a market on the site. [Christopher Wren built it. He squandered money, and died in 1711]. The market house was removed in 1860 when Charing Cross Railway Station was built. The bridge which carries the trains to the South Bank of the Thames is still called Hungerford Bridge.

See also:

- E.L. (Jim) Davis, "Is your name Hungerford?", 1984