Business and political leaders

Wingfield, Frederick

Category: Business and political leaders

Orsett Hall as it is today

Frederick Wingfield was the half brother of Richard Wingfield-Baker  (1802 – 25 March 1880) MP, DL, who was a Liberal Party politician, High Sheriff and Deputy Lieutenant in the English county of Essex.

Like his father, maternal grandfather, half-brother, and brother-in-law, Richard Wingfield-Baker served as a Member of Parliament.  Wingfield-Baker of Orsett Hall had a second residence at 2 Lowndes Square, London SW. He also owned land in Stoke Damerel, Devon.

The reason he is on the site is that Frederick Wingfield ‘saw’ his half brother Richard Wingfield-Baker, as a ghost on the day he died.  

Lowndes square

Richard’s parents were William Wingfield 1772 - 1858), MP for Bodmin, and Lady Charlotte-Maria (died 1807), eldest daughter of Henry Digby, 1st Earl Digby. Wingfield-Baker's siblings were:

  • George-Digby (who succeeded to the estates of the Earl Digby)
  • John-Digby
  • Mary,
  • Caroline (who married Charles Pepys, 1st Earl of Cottenham), and
  • Frances-Eliza.

William Wingfield married again and his second marriage was to Elizabeth, daughter of William Mills of Bisterne, Hampshire, there were several half-siblings including:

  • Charles John Wingfield Member of Parliament for Gravesend
  • William-Wriothesley-Digby (Vicar of Gulval),
  • Frederick
  • Henry
  • Kenelm-Digby, and
  • Julia.
Charles Pepys, 1st Earl of Cottenham
by Charles Robert Leslie

Richard Wingfield-Baker entered Rugby School in 1815, studied at Christ Church, Oxford in 1820, and received a BA degree from in 1827.  He then became a Barrister at law at Inner Temple in 1827.  He was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Essex on 14 September 1852 under Benjamin Mildmay, Lord Lieutenant of Essex, and in 1867 served as High Sheriff of Essex. Wingfield-Baker held the position of Chairman of the Quarter Sessions. For a time, he was Secretary to the Lord Chancellor Cottenham, his sister Caroline's husband.

Richard Wingfield-Baker, a Liberal, was elected a Member of Parliament for South Essex twice, first for the period of 1857-1859 and again 1868-1874.  His military service was with the 2nd Essex Volunteer Artillery, being promoted captain on 13 September 1860. In June 1864, he became Captain Commandant.

The reason the names of the two men is slightly different is somewhat complex.  Upon his (fathers) death - in 1827, William Wingfield inherited the John Baker title. Upon the death of Richard Baker's widow in 1849, the remainder of the estate, including the Orsett title, also passed to William Wingfield who, in the same year, legally changed his surname to Wingfield-Baker by Royal licensure. Upon the death of William Wingfield on 21 March 1858, his son, Richard Baker Wingfield, inherited the estate and assumed the additional surname of Baker.

Wingfield-Baker died in 1880 from injuries sustained in hunting accident.

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