Mary HUNGERFORD

(B. Hungerford and Moleyns)

Born: 1467, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England

Died: BEF 10 Jul 1533, Kirby, Leicestershire, England

Buried: Collegiate Church of St. Mary, Newark, Leicester, England

Father: Thomas HUNGERFORD (Sir)

Mother: Anne PERCY

Married 1: Edward HASTINGS (2 B. Ashby Zouche) BEF 18 Jun 1480/1

Children:

1. Anne HASTINGS (C. Derby)

2. George HASTINGS (1 E. Huntingdon)

3. William HASTINGS

Married 2: Richard SACHEVERELL (Sir Knight) (b. BEF 1469 - d. 14 Apr 1534) (son of Ralph Sacheverell and Joan Curzon) 1 May 1509


Mary Hungerford was the daughter of Sir Thomas Hungerford of Chippenham, and Anne Percy, dau. of Henry Percy, third Earl of Northumberland. She was the great-granddaughter of Sir William Moleyns, slain at the siege of Orleans on 8 May 1429, who married, on 1 May 1423, as his second wife, Anne Whalesborough (d. ABT 1487). Their daughter Eleanor married Robert Hungerford, 3rd Baron Hungerford, who was beheaded on 15 May 1464 after the Battle of Hexham. He was attainted, as was his son, Sir Thomas Hungerford (executed 1469), whereby all their honours became forfeited.

When the attainders of her father and grandfather were reversed on 7 Nov 1485, Mary succeeded her great grand mother 1477 as suo jure 5th Baroness of Botreaux, and succeeded to the Baronies of Hungerford, and De Molyens by the reversal of the attainder of those Baronies. She was described as a "wealthy West Country heiress".

She married Edward Hastings, 2nd baron Hastings of Ashby, their marriage settlement dated 1474; and papal dispensation for marriage dated 4 Sep 1475, they being related in the 3rd degree of kindred. Mary and was the mother of Anne, who later became Countess of Derby; George, later 1st earl of Huntingdon; and William. The titles became extinct in Hungerford family, and came to the Hastings family. Lady Mary acquired title to most of the family properties, which on her death in passed to her son George.

The History of Parliament calls Mary "a woman of aristocratic bearing" who "aroused unfavorable comment by using her own title in preferment to her late husband's". She shared both Hastings' "sports and his quarrels". The quarrels were chiefly with the Greys, marquesses of Dorset, who had risen, as had the Hastings, in the service of the House of York.

On 1 May 1509, Mary wed her second husband, Sir Richard Sacheverell of Ratcliffe-upon-Soar, Nottinghamshire. From 1498, and probably earlier, Sacheverell had been receiver-general to Lord Hastings, who died in Nov 1506: less than three years later Sacheverell married his widow. As stepfather to George, 3rd Lord Hastings and later 1st Earl of Huntingdon, he thus became the senior representative of the most powerful family in Leicestershire. 

Both factions retained more men in arms than the law permitted and in 1516 Cardinal Wolsey himself intervened by summoning the principals to appear in the Star Chamber to give bonds for good behaviour. Early in 1519 he ordered the parties to discharge their forces and to avoid the county courts and quarter sessions which were occasions for lawlessness: although this did not prevent an action for murder against Sacheverell's servants, for two years neither party attended the courts, to the great amelioration of justice. The lull was ended, according to the Greys, when Sacheverell resumed his attendance, or sent his servants in his absence, and in 1524 a riot at Leicester, a town traditionally loyal to Hastings, forcibly ejected several of the 2nd Marquess of Dorset's men. There followed a series of clashes over forest and hunting rights, and accusations of embracery, so that in 1526 the whole business reappeared in the Star Chamber.

They lived, by 1517, in apartments within the College of St. Mary in the Newark, Leicester. The appointment of Lord George Grey as dean of the college led to a decade of petty quarrels. Lady Hungerford let her dogs run free in the chapel, organized bear-baitings on the grounds, and allowed her servants to be rude to Grey's supporters. The rivalry grew so heated that Lady Hungerford complained because it was no longer safe for women to walk in the woodlands adjacent to the town. By the spring of 1525, Lady Hungerford and her husband took an armed escort of nearly two hundred men any time they traveled outside of Leicester and men came to blows on a market Saturday in Jul.

Grey accused Sacheverell of profiting from the sale to the college of the manor of Ashley in Wiltshire and of obtaining leases without fine in the dean's absence. The matter was taken to the Council but its settlement was remitted to Bishop Longland of Lincoln: the judgement is lost but Sacheverell and his wife appear to have gone on living there until their deaths.

During the Parliament Sacheverell also obtained the passage of an Act (14 and 15 Hen. VIII, c.26) to ensure his possession of Ratcliffe-upon-Soar, which he had purchased from the 3rd Duke of Buckingham in 1520 but which had come into the hands of the crown following an inquest of office after the Dukes attainder. Sacheverell seems to have been on good terms with Buckingham as it was through him that the Duke had transmitted a proposal for a double marriage alliance with George Talbot, 4th Earl of Shrewsbury, in 1516.

Lady Hungerford and her second husband were both prominent at court. She was still living 30 Jun 1530 but had died BEF 10 Jul 1533. Mary was buried in the collegiate church of St. Mary in the Newark, Leicester, under a pillar in a chapel off the south transept.

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