Richard Wenman, 1st Viscount Wenman

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Richard Wenman, 1st Viscount Wenman (1573–1640) was an English soldier and politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1621 and 1625. He was created Viscount Wenman in the Peerage of Ireland in 1628.


Wenman was the eldest son of Sir Thomas (or Richard according to Burke [1]) Wenman (died 1577) of Thame Park, Oxfordshire, and his wife Jane West, daughter of William West, 1st Baron De La Warr. He matriculated at Oxford University on 8 December 1587 as 'Mr. Case's scholar.'[2]

Wenman served as a volunteer soldier and behaved with great gallantry when Cadiz was captured in 1596.[2] He was knighted by Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex at Cadiz.[3]

Wenman was elected Member of Parliament for Oxfordshire on 20 December 1620, and was elected again in 1625.[4] In 1627 he was High Sheriff of Oxfordshire. He was created Baron Wenman of Kilmainham, co. Meath, and Viscount Wenman of Tuam by letters patent, dated 30 July 1628.[2]

Wenman was a patron of the poet William Basse, who dedicated several poems to him, including his collection Clio, describing him as a modern Maecenas,

Never Maecenas bred more nobly true:
And O what virtue more, than life to give
To verse, whereby all other virtues live?

Wenman died on 3 April 1640, and was buried at Twyford on 7 April.[2]


Wenman married four times. His first wife was Agnes Fermor. By her he had two surviving sons, Thomas Wenman, 2nd Viscount Wenman and Philip (died 20 April 1696), who succeeded as third viscount; and four daughters. After her death, he married Alice Chamberlayne, widow of Robert Chamberlayne and a lady of some wealth, on 4 November 1618 at St. Bartholomew the Great, London. His third wife, Elizabeth, was buried at Twyford on 27 April 1629. His fourth wife was Mary Keble, daughter Thomas Keble of Essex, and she was buried at Twyford on 28 July 1638.[2]


  1. Burke, John. History of the Extinct and Dormant Baronetcies of England Ireland and Scotland. p. 557.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> Google Books
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain[ "Wenman, Thomas (1596-1665)" ] Check |ws link in chapter= value (help). Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Knights of England
  4. Willis, Browne (1750). Notitia Parliamentaria, Part II: A Series or Lists of the Representatives in the several Parliaments held from the Reformation 1541, to the Restoration 1660 ... London. pp. 5V09AAAAYAAJ&pg&#61, RA2-PA229#v&#61, onepage&q&f&#61, false 229–239.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Sir Anthony Cope, 1st Baronet
Sir John Croke
Member of Parliament for Oxfordshire
With: Sir William Cope
Succeeded by
Sir William Cope
Sir Henry Poole
Preceded by
Sir William Cope
Sir Henry Poole
Member of Parliament for Oxfordshire
With: Edward Wray
Succeeded by
Hon. James Fiennes
Sir Thomas Wenman