By Bob Carr
A manorial lordship of the Manor of Wingfield went on the auction block at Bernard Thorpe in London on November 8, 1989. George Wingfield of Shepton Mallet (Devonshire) notified Vance Wingfield, our genial computer/genealogy expert from Ft Worth, Tx, about the opportunity and Vance felt it should be returned to the Family. He took it upon himself to bid on the title and was successful with a £8.000 ($14,000+) bid.
The title, Lord of the Manor of Wingfield, that Vance Wingfield purchased and now holds can be sold or transferred. Indeed Vance has stated he plans to convey the Lordship to the president of the Wingfield Family Society and presumably this will be transferred to each new president when installed and will remain permanently with the Society.
Vance Wingfield’s enthusiasm was contagious. Once the decision was made to go for the title and a winning bid placed, he made contact with hundreds of Wingfields and asked for donations to cover the purchase he had made. Otherwise the title bid would have defaulted and a substantial deposit lost. But donations came in and Vance was able to raise the necessary $14,000 from 90 Wingfields, one even from New Zealand. There will be a scroll listing all the names of the contributors.
Although the “title” does not cover any tangible property nor is it a peerage, it is a true title that has been out of the family since 1362 when it was transferred to Michael de La Pole. (Married Katherine Wingfield).
No land or property was purchased or conveyed. The sales brochure describes it as an ancient title, of incorporeal property, literally property without body. It goes on to say it confers prestige on the owner and entitles him to be styled Lord of the Manor.
The purchase of lordship entitles the owner to obtain ownership or copies of manorial documents. These records cannot be taken out of England and although it is not known the details of these records that go with the Wingfield title, it is assumed we can make copies thereof for whatever purposes desired.
At this time, you may address the former Mr. Vance Wingfield as, “His Lordship.” He is the 39th known Lord of the Manor of Wingfield.