The Hungate Family

The Manor Of Sherburn

The Manor of Sherburn, along with a number of others, was granted to the Archbishop of York in the year 937 by Athelstan who had just become the first King of all of England. The Archbishops held the Manor until 1545 when it was returned to the King, Henry VIII, as part of an exchange.  It was then passed soon after to the Hungates of Saxton.

In those times ownership of land and property did not mean the same as it does today. It was often “held” for the King with the Lord of the Manor managing the land and taking the income from it  but with no right to sell it or bequeath it to a relative without permission. It could be taken away and granted to another. As such the grant of a Manor was often used to secure loyalty or reward service to the Monarch. Why the Manor of Sherburn was granted to the Hungate family is unknown but some connections to the court of Henry VIII are explored below.

In 1662 the Manor was removed from the Hungates and passed to the Earl of Anglesey, almost certainly as part of the politics associated with the restoration of King Charles II. However it reverted to the Hungates later for unknown reasons. 

By the 18th century the ownership of land could be inherited and the Manor passed to Mary Hungate after the death of her father, Sir Francis, and both of his brothers. When Mary married Sir Edward Gascoigne the manor passed to him either when they married in 1726 or when her Uncle Charles died as the last of the Hungate baronets in 1749.

Sir Edward Gascoigne died in 1750 and his title and property passed to his son Edward and eventually on to Richard Oliver Gascoigne of Lotherton Hall. The basis of the estate was challenged in the courts as to the entitlement of the property that had come to the Gascoignes as a consequence of the marriage of Sir Edward Gascoigne to Mary daughter of Sir Francis Hungate. The famous law-suit Hungate vs Gascoigne was fought between the years 1830 and 1833. This case was brought by a William Anning Hungate, a lieutenant in the navy, who called himself Sir William and claimed descent in the direct male line from the brother of the father of Sir Francis Hungate, (i.e Mary Hungate’s great uncle). He was unsuccessful in his claim.

The Manor Of Saxton 

The Manor of Saxton came to the Hungate family through the marriage, around 1471, of William Hungate to Margaret Sawley. They inherited the Manor from her father William Sawley upon his death in 1492. 

More details of how the Manor came to the Sawley family can be found on this link

Early Hungates

The main sources for the early years of the Hungate family history are “The History of the Parishes of Sherburn and Cawood by W Wheater’ written in 1865 and an earlier document “The Visitation of Yorkshire in the years 1563 and 1564” by William Fowler.

Both of these publications describe 7 William Hungates who form the earliest known heads of the family and claims that each is the son and heir of the one before. The first of these is described as William Hungate of Burnby who married Margery the daughter of Sir Anthony Ughtred of Kexby, and they had sons William and Leonard. Whilst the information given for the next 6 Williams seems consistent with other sources and appear to be in a sensible date order, this first one does not fit at all. Margery Ughtred is well documented to have been born in 1534 which is many years after the 2nd William documented by Wheater, who was probably born over a century earlier.

This anomaly could easily be dismissed as an error in a record written many years after the event and therefore not relevant to the Hungate story but Margery Ughtred is a significant figure in history and, if she was the Mother of one of the Williams, it goes a long way to explain how the family came to prominence. Margery was the daughter of Elizabeth Seymour, sister of Jane Seymour the wife of King Henry VIII and mother of King Edward VI. Elizabeth was also the sister of Edward Seymour who was the all powerful Lord Protector during the reign of Edward VI. So Margery was the niece of a Queen and cousin to a King which would explain why sometime after year 1545 the Manor of Sherburn was granted to the Hungate family. In addition Margery was the granddaughter of Margaret Wentworth whose lineage is traceable back to King Edward III so if Margery and her son William are genuinely in the Hungate family tree this gives a further Royal connection to anyone bearing the Hungate name today. However I have not been able to ascertain how Margery relates to the rest of the Hungate family.

As already described the 2nd William mentioned in the sources married Margaret Sawley about 1471 and their son the 3rd William was born soon after and married Alice, daughter of Sir William Gower of Stitenham about 1490. Their son William born around 1491 is said to have been a courtier at the court of Henry VIII. There has to be some doubt about this as Wheater says that he married Audrey the daughter of John Saltmarshe, they had 10 children. He seems to have died in 1535 and was outlived by his father.

The next William (no.5) married Anne, daughter of Thomas Stillington of Acaster . There is some doubt about the dates but they also had at least 9 children the eldest of whom was William No 6 most likely born in 1534.

It is noticeable how the Hungates were very much part of the minor Yorkshire nobility judging by their marriages. These were notably Catholic families and religion became a big issue in the 16th century. William (No 6) married Margaret Sothaby of Pocklington who in 1558 was imprisoned by the Northern Inquisition for her refusal to give up her catholic faith. William had to pay homage and a fine to Queen Elizabeth in 1576. He was allegedly murdered by Phillip Constable of Washam in 1615 who was subsequently pardoned for manslaughter. This was  recorded in the State Papers of James 1 and William was said then to still be recusant, that is refusing to attend the protestant church. William and Margaret had 10 children and it was their 6th son Robert who founded in his will the Hungate Hospital and School in Sherburn and had very much turned against his parents adherence to the Catholic faith, insisting that any future Patron of the school had to be Protestant. 

The Estates passed on to the last of the Williams in 1615 who had married Eliza the daughter of William Middleton of Stockeld but they had no children so upon his death in 1634 the Estates passed to his brother Phillip.

The Baronets

Baronet is the lowest title of honour that can be awarded. Recipients are addressed as ‘Sir’ and are entitled to use the red hand of Ulster on their coat of arms, as the Hungates do, because the title was first awarded by James 1st to raise funds and support troops in Ulster.

Philip Hungate was born in 1572 and married Dorothy, daughter of Roger Lee of Hatfield. He was created Baronet in 1642 and gave £300 to King Charles I, confirming his loyalty and committing to the royalist cause in the impending Civil War.

Phillip’s son Francis became a Colonel in the King’s army and died at the battle of Chester in 1645. After is death his widow Joan married William Hammond of Scarthingwell.

Having been outlived by his father, who died in 1655, the Baronetcy and the estates were inherited by his son, Francis. 

Sir Francis (2nd Baronet) was born about 1643 married Margaret daughter of Charles Lord Carrington of Wotton. Upon Francis’ death in 1682 everything was inherited by their son Sir Phillip.

Sir Phillip (3rd Baronet) was born in 1661 and died in 1690 at age 28. He had married Elizabeth daughter of William Lord Monson who ironically, given the family history as Royalists, was one of the Regicides of King Charles 1 and died in prison in 1672. 

They had 3 sons Francis (1683 – 1710), Phillip (1685 -1740) and Charles (1686 – 1749). They became the 4th, 5th and 6th Baronets but as none of them had sons the Baronetcy lapsed upon the death of Charles in 1749.

Sir Francis (4th Baronet) married Mary Weld and their daughter, Mary, inherited the family estates which then passed passed to Sir Edward Gascoigne of Parlington upon Mary’s marriage to him in 1726.

American Connections

The Journal of American History states that Charles Hungate the fifth and youngest son of Sir Francis (2nd baronet) was born July 10th 1669 at Huddleston, claiming Wheater as the reference. I can find no reference to this in Wheater which only lists Sir Francis’ children as Philip, Francis, Roger, Margaret and Eliza.

According to the Journal, Charles emigrated to America as a young man and in 1747 obtained a patent to a small tract of land in Virginia (Age 78?). He died in May 1749 (a few months before his nephew Charles, 6th Baronet). His son, also Charles inherited the land and acquired some more which passed to his brother William who occupied the land until his death about 1755 leaving a widow and 3 sons William, Charles and John. They would have had little idea that they would have been entitled to the Hungate Baronetcy.

Compiled by Kevin Sibson  February 2024