HIDDEN (EDEN), George (c.1527-81 or later), of Hidden, Berks.
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Family and Education
b. c.1527, 2nd or 3rd s. of John Clydesdale alias Hidden of Edington, Wilts. and Hidden.1
The ‘Georgius Eden, gentleman’ returned for Bedwyn to the last Marian Parliament could have been the George Eden (q.v.) who had sat for Knaresborough in the previous one, but his lack of any known connexion with the borough itself or with those likely to have had a nomination there casts doubt on the identification, especially as he had a namesake who was better placed in both respects. From 1550, when under his father’s will he received a lease of Little Hidden, this George Hidden or Eden was a man of substance near Hungerford on the Berkshire-Wiltshire border, where he already occupied some of his father’s property. His fortunes can be traced through various later references down to 1581 and he may have been the George Hidden buried at Lambourn, Berkshire, on 8 Feb. 1600.
Hidden was usually styled ‘yeoman’, a status which would tell against his identification with the ‘gentleman’ of the return (who is further called ‘armiger’ on a list of the Members of the Parliament of 1558) but for the evidence of his influential connexions. These he derived chiefly from his paternal grandmother Elizabeth Vaus or Vaux, who after the marriage (or conceivably the liaison) which had produced his father became the wife of William Clifford of Boscombe, Wiltshire, and the mother of Henry Clifford (q.v.). Hidden was still a boy when his uncle Clifford’s marriage to a daughter of Sir Anthony Hungerford gave him kinship with that prolific and powerful family; it may have been about the time of the marriage, or while it was in preparation, that Hungerford became godfather to Hidden’s younger brother Anthony. The Clifford-Hungerford connexion seems to have remained a friendly one until the close of Mary’s reign, when Anthony Hidden sued his uncle and his godfather for their alleged retention of a leasehold which had become due to him under his father’s will on his reaching the age of 23. John Clydesdale alias Hidden had named Clifford and Richard Brydges executors, and it may have been Brydges’s death in July 1558 which provoked the suit. The dispute was still unresolved in the spring of 1560, when George Hidden was one of those who attended a meeting at the Bear inn at Hungerford which sought to settle it. If it was he who was returned to the Parliament of 1558, his election would have taken place in the lifetime of both Brydges, himself returned for Ludgershall, and Sir Anthony Hungerford, and it would have made him one of the four, or perhaps, five of Hungerford’s kinsmen to sit for Bedwyn between March 1553 and 1559; at the time of the election Hungerford had recently been succeeded as sheriff by his distant cousin Sir Walter Hungerford.2