Henry Hastings, 3rd Earl of Huntingdon

Henry Hastings, 3rd Earl of Huntingdon

Henry Hastings, 3rd Earl of Huntingdon (c. 1535 – 14 December 1595) was the eldest son of Francis Hastings, 2nd Earl of Huntingdon and Catherine Pole.


His paternal grandparents were George Hastings, 1st Earl of Huntingdon and Anne Stafford, Countess of Huntingdon. His maternal grandparents were Henry Pole, 1st Baron Montagu and Jane Neville. Jane was a daughter of George Nevill, 4th Baron Bergavenny and Margaret Fenne.

Anne Stafford was a daughter of Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham and Catherine Woodville. Henry Pole was a son of Sir Richard Pole and Margaret Pole, 8th Countess of Salisbury. Margaret was the only daughter of George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence and Isabella Plantagenet, Duchess of Clarence.

Both Buckingham and Clarence were descedants of the House of Plantagenet, were close relatives to various monarchs of England and entertained hopes for the throne during their lifetimes.

Early life

He was born in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire and was educated at first by private tutors at his family manor. He later joined the future Edward VI of England as his classmate in being tutored under Richard Cox, John Cheke and Jean Belmain. They provided both youths with an education based in the principles of Humanism.

His father was a political ally of John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland and to further their alliance the two elder politicians arranged the marriage of their children. On 21 May, 1553, Henry was wed to Catherine Dudley, daughter of Northumberland by Jane Guildford. Edward VI was dying and his appointed heir was his cousin Lady Jane Grey. Northumberland was scheming to become the power behind the throne during this new reign since Jane was his daughter-in-law.

The reign of Jane was brief (10 July - 19 July, 1553) and then a revolt deposed her in favor of her cousin Mary I of England. Due to his marital alliance with her, Henry was incarcerated at the Tower of London. However Mary attempted to reconcile with the Hastings family and soon they were free again and by oath loyal to her.

Henry entered the household of his great-uncle Reginald Cardinal Pole and followed him in his visits of Calais, Flanders and the monasteries of Smithfield, London. The two men also escorted the later Philip II of Spain from the Seventeen Provinces to the Kingdom of England for his marriage to Mary. Despite his personal loyalty to Mary and his great-uncle, Hastings privately practiced Calvinism.

Political career

He had been loyal to Edward VI, Jane and Mary I during the respective reigns and his father remained an influential politician. When Mary died childless and was succeeded by her younger half-sister Elizabeth I in 1558, the new queen also counted on the reliable Hastings family among her supporters. He was named a Knight of the Bath by the new queen regnant.

His father died on 25 January, 1560 and Henry became the third Earl of Huntingdon. At the time few members of the Tudor dynasty remained alive and several descendants of the previous English royal house of Plantagenet were seen as possible heirs to the throne. Huntingdon was among these possible heirs and won a certain amount of support, especially from the Protestants and the enemies of Mary I of Scotland. Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, his brother-in-law and favorite of Elizabeth, was a vocal supporter for his succession. However, Elizabeth now had reasons to distrust him and as a result several honors were kept out of reach for him.

However he was still useful to her. In 1572 he was appointed president of the Council of the North, and during the troubled period between the flight of Mary to England in 1568 and the defeat of the Spanish Armada twenty years later he was frequently employed in the north of England. It was doubtless felt that the earl's own title to the crown was a pledge that he would show scant sympathy with the advocates of Mary's claim. He assisted George Talbot, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury, to remove the Scottish queen from Wingfield Manor to Tutbury, and for a short time in 1569 he was one of her custodians.

He was named a Knight of the Garter in 1570, alongside William Somerset, 3rd Earl of Worcester.

Huntingdon was responsible for the compilation of an elaborate history of the Hastings family, a manuscript copy of which is now in the British Museum. As he died childless, his earldom passed to his brother George.



External links

* [http://www.tudorplace.com.ar/Bios/HenryHastings(3EHuntingdon).htm a biography article]

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