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Sir Edward Hungerford (1632–1711), was an English member of Parliament from the Restoration until 1702 the last year of the reign of William III. Famous for his profligate ways, he founded Hungerford Market, at Charing Cross as a money making scheme a sold thirty manors, including the family seat at Farleigh Hungerford to fund his extravagant lifestyle.



Sir Edward was the son and heir of Anthony Hungerford (a supporter of the royalist cause in the English Civil War who died in 1657), was born on 20 October 1632, and was baptised at Black Bourton, Oxfordshire.[1] He was made a knight of the Bath at the coronation of Charles II on 23 April 1661.[2]

In 1658 Sir Edward sat in the Third Protectorate Parliament as Member for Chippenham.[3] He and was elected M.P. for Chippenham in 1660, (Convention Parliament), 1661 (Cavalier Parliament), 1678, 1679, and 1681 (Oxford Parliament), for New Shoreham in 1685, 1688, and 1690, and for Steyningin 1695, 1698, 1700, and 1702.[2]

In January 1679-80 Sir Edward presented a petition for the summoning of a parliament,[4] and his avowed opposition to the court party of Charles II led to his removal from 'the lieutenancy' of his county in May 1681.[5] and he settled in 1681 in Spring Gardens.[2] Sir Edward was implicated in the 1683 Rye House Plot and Farley Castle was searched and arms.[6]

Sir Edward obtained some reputation as a patron of archery, and was lieutenant-colonel of the regiment of archers in 1661, and colonel in 1682. But Sir Edward was best known for his reckless extravagance. He is said to have disposed of thirty manors in all. By way of restoring his waning fortunes, he obtained permission in 1679 to hold a market, close to Charing Cross on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays on the site of the demolished Hungerford House and grounds (The house, which had been his London residence was destroyed by fire in April 1669.[7]).[2] In 1682 a market-house was erected there, apparently from Sir Christopher Wren's designs. A bust of Sir Edward was placed on the north front, with an inscription stating that the market had been built at his expense with the king's sanction.[8] In 1685 Sir Stephen Fox and Sir Christopher Wren purchased the market and received the tolls. The market-house was rebuilt in 1833, and was removed in 1860, when Charing Cross railway station was built on the site,[9] Hungerford sold the manor and Farleigh Castle in 1686 to Henry Baynton of Spye Park for 56,000l,[10] so ending centuries of ownership by the Hungerford family. In about 1700 it was purchased by Joseph Houlton of Trowbridge, in whose descendants' possession it remained until July 1891, when it was bought by Lord Donington.[2]

In his old age Sir Edward is stated to have become a poor knight of Windsor He died 8 July 1711 and was buried in the church of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields.[11][citation needed]


Hungerford married thrice. By his first wife, Jane, daughter of Sir John Hele of Devonshire, who died on 18 May 1664, and was buried at Farleigh, he had an only son, Edward, who married in 1680, at the age of nineteen, Lady Alathea Compton, and died in September 1681. By his second wife, Jane Culme (died in 1674), and by his third wife, Jane Digby, perhaps the Lady Hungerford who died on 23 November 1692.[12] he also seems to have left issue.[13]

A daughter of the first marriage, Rachel, married, in March 1684, Clotworthy Skeftington, second viscount Massereene, died on 2 February 1732, and left to her eldest son portraits of her father, of her granduncle (another Sir Edward Hungerford), and of other relations. In her will she mentions a brother and a sister as still living,[14] With the death of Sir Edward, the notable history of the Farleigh family of Hungerford practically closes.[13]


  1. ^ Lee, p. 255 Cites: Notes and Queries, 4th ser. vi. 454, by Canon Jackson.
  2. ^ a b c d e Lee, p. 255
  3. ^ Henning, p. 163
  4. ^ Lee, p. 255 Cites: Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. p. 32.
  5. ^ Lee, p. 255 Cites: Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. p. 89.
  6. ^ Henning, p. 164
  7. ^ Lee, p. 255 Cites: Peyps, Diary, iv. 161.
  8. ^ Lee, p. 255: see drawing in Gent. Mag. 1832, pt. ii. p. 113.
  9. ^ Lee, p. 255, Cites: Cunningham, Handbook to London, ed. Wheatley, ii. 248-9.
  10. ^ Lee, p. 255, Cites: Luttrell, i. 395.
  11. ^ Lee, pp. 255,256
  12. ^ Lee, p. 256, Cites: Lutrell, ii. 623.
  13. ^ a b Lee, p. 256
  14. ^ Lee, p. 256 Cites:Lodge, Irish Peerage, ed. Archdall, ii. 384-5 ra.


  • Henning, Basil Duke. The House of Commons, 1660–1690, Volume 1, Boydell & Brewer, 1983 ISBN 0436192748. pp. 163,164
  • Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography, 1885–1900​. Volume 28. pp. 255,256. Cites:
    • Hoare's Hungerfordiana, 1823;
    • Jackson's Guide to Farleigh-Hungerford, 1853;
    • Gent. Mag. 1832, pt. ii. 113-15;
    • Burke's Extinct Peerage, s.v. 'Hungerford of Heytesbury;' Burke's Vicissitudes of Families, 1st ser.;
    • Notes and Queries, 5th ser. ii. 293.

Further reading

  • D Brunton & D H Pennington, Members of the Long Parliament (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1954)
  • Concise Dictionary of National Biography (1930)
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Sir Edward Hungerford
James Stedman
Member of Parliament for Chippenham
with Edward Poole 1660-1661
Henry Bayntun 1661

Succeeded by
Henry Bayntun
Sir Hugh Speke
Preceded by
Henry Bayntun
Sir Hugh Speke
Member of Parliament for Chippenham
with Henry Bayntun 1661-1673
Francis Gwyn 1673-1679
John Talbot 1679
Samuel Ashe 1679-1681
Sir George Speke 1681-1685

Succeeded by
Henry Bayntun
Sharington Talbot
Preceded by
John Hales
Robert Fagg
Member of Parliament for New Shoreham
with Sir Richard Haddock 1685-1689
John Monke 1689-1690
John Perry 1690-1695

Succeeded by
John Perry
Henry Priestman
Preceded by
Sir John Fagg
Robert Fagg
Member of Parliament for Steyning
with Sir John Fagg 1695-1701
Sir Robert Fagg 1701
Charles Goring 1701

Succeeded by
Charles Goring
Robert Fagg
Preceded by
Charles Goring
Robert Fagg
Member of Parliament for Steyning
with Charles Goring

Succeeded by
Charles Goring
William Wallis


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