Facts and Events
Born in 1590, and baptised on 5 July at Eye. Edward’s eldest surviving son and heir was named Wingfield, after his mother’s eminent family in a rather unsubtle way. At the remarkably young age of 15 he was admitted to Gray’s Inn – like father and grandfather before him. He was, with his father, appointed joint Receiver General of Revenue in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire in 1604.
In 1609, when his father Edward died, Wingfield was made a ward of John CUSACKE. Wingfield was described as ‘an idiot’ – the term at that time for a mentally retarded or simple person. An ‘idiot’ who was unable to manage his estates was made a ward of court, with the revenues of the wardship going to the Crown. Wingfield remained under the guardianship of CUSACKE all his life – certainly beyond 1641. CUSACKE received £10 to look after the estates of Wingfield, but got into a dispute with the executor. He was later fined and imprisoned for his incompetence (see box), and, given his track record with other cases, may well have swindled the poor simple Wingfield out of much of his wealth.