HUDDLESTON, Ferdinand (1577-c.1645), of Ulpha, Cumb. and Romaldkirk, Yorks.
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Family and Education
bap. 10 July 1577,1 1st s. of William Huddleston† of Little Haseley, Oxon. and Millom Castle, Cumb. and his 1st w. Mary, da. of one Bridges of Glos.2 m. by 1603, Jane, da. of Sir Ralph Grey* of Chillingham, Northumb., 10s. (1 d.v.p.) 5da. (4 d.v.p.); 1 ch. illegit.3 suc. fa. 1628.4 d. c.1645.
Commr. subsidy, Cumb. 1624.5
Esq. of the body extraordinary 1631-8.6
Huddleston’s ancestors had held Millom Castle since the middle of the thirteenth century, and first represented Cumberland in 1467.7 The estate and castle, ‘a lord-like living’ worth over £800 a year, were hopelessly encumbered by Huddleston’s father, ‘a great swashbuckler ... and great gamester’, and the progenitor of 14 children.8 Huddleston moved out of Millom Castle on his marriage, and mainly resided at Romaldkirk in the North Riding thereafter.9 It was noted in 1607 that neither he nor his wife came often to church, though they were not presented for outright recusancy until 1633.10 From 1614 Huddleston leased a forge at Ulpha from his father at £300 a year, but only ever paid one year’s rent.11 He presumably sought entry to Parliament in order to obtain protection from his numerous creditors, and was elected knight of the shire in 1624, probably with the support of Lord William Howard of Naworth. However, the courtier Sir Robert Banastre petitioned against Huddleston’s return, citing 20 outlawries against him.12 On 19 May the Commons agreed to omit Huddleston’s name from the list of Cumberland papists to be presented to the king, since, like his father, he had never served on the commission of the peace.13 John Glanville* reported Banastre’s petition to the Commons on 28 May, when it was resolved, in accordance with the precedent set in the case of Sir Francis Goodwin*, that his election was valid; but Parliament was prorogued on the following day, and dissolved by the death of King James before it could meet again.14
During his sojourn in the capital Huddleston fathered the illegitimate child of ‘a gentlewoman under the name of his niece’, whom he established in lodgings at Waltham Cross, initially accompanied by his son and a servant; however, he declined to take responsibility for the bastard, and she found herself with little recourse but to petition the House of Lords against a rogue ‘so mightily allied, and of so great a power in that part of the country where he lives that he can have no writ served against him’.15 In 1625 a yeoman of the guard, who leased land in Millom from the duchy of Lancaster, complained of harassment by Huddleston and his followers. Ordered to desist by the judges of assize, Huddleston remained refractory and obstinate, and on 4 Feb. 1628 he was taken into custody by the Privy Council, who settled the case by inducing both parties to disclaim their title to the disputed property.16 Huddleston inherited Millom a few weeks later, together with his father’s mountainous debts. He at first refused to contribute to the Forced Loan, but was eventually obliged to comply, and to compound for knighthood paying £60 in 1631.17
Huddleston sought the protection of the Court, but had difficulty in securing an honorary appointment in the royal Household; the first warrant, dated 25 Nov. 1630, was cancelled, and it was not until the following April that the lord chamberlain was authorized to swear him in.18 He strove to increase the income from his Yorkshire property by overthrowing tenant right, but his financial woes were far from over.19 In 1634 Chancery ordered him to pay £1,800 to a brother and three sisters in accordance with his father’s will.20 By this time he had run up a debt of £580 to the Court of Wards, and the case remained undecided in 1640.21 He was struck off the list of the Household in 1638 for failing to pay the annual registration fee of £5.22 Having lost his last defence against his creditors, he probably died in a debtors’ prison some time between 1643, when he was mentio