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Henry Killigrew MP (1528 - 1603)

Henry Killigrew MP
Born in Giddy Hall, Essex, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Husband of — married 4 Nov 1565 in St. Peter-le-Poor, London, Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Lothbury, London, Englandmap
Profile last modified | Created 10 Oct 2013
This page has been accessed 1,738 times.



European Aristocracy
Henry Killigrew was a member of the aristocracy in British Isles.

Sir Henry Killigrew (c. 1528– 1603) was the fourth son of John III Killigrew (d.1567) of Arwenack, the first Governor of Pendennis Castle and Elizabeth Trewenard, second daughter of James Trewenard of Trewenard. He m.(1) 4 November 1566 at St Peter Le Poer, London, Catherine Cooke (d. 1583), fourth daughter of Sir Anthony Cooke and (2) 7 November 1590 at St Peter Le Poer, London Jaél de Peigne (d. c.1632), a French Hugenot who remarried after Henry's death to George Downham, Bishop of Derry on 19 April 1617.

By his first wife Catherine they had four daughters:

  1. Anne, married first to Sir Henry Neville, and secondly to George Carleton, bishop of Chichester
  2. Elizabeth, married first to Sir Jonathan Trelawny, secondly to Sir Thomas Reynell, and thirdly to Sir Thomas Lower.
  3. Mary, married to Sir Reginald Mohun
  4. Dorothy, married to Sir Edward Seymour.

By his second wife, he had a daughter and two sons:

  1. Jane
  2. Joseph
  3. Henry
  4. Joseph, ten years old at his father's death, succeeded to his estates.

Born ABT 1528. Giddy Hall, Essex, England. [1]

Died 1603 Lothbury, London, England. [2]

Buried Lothbury, London, England. [3]

Note: Sir Henry Killigrew (c. 1528 – 1603) was an English diplomat and ambassador in the sixteenth century. He was several times employed by Elizabeth I in Scottish affairs and served as one of the English appointees to the Council of State of the Netherlands in the United Provinces in 1586 and 1587–1589. He served as a Member of Parliament for Newport & Launceston in 1553, for Saltash in 1563, and for Truro in 1571-2.

He was the fourth son of John III Killigrew (d.1567) of Arwenack, the first Governor of Pendennis Castle, of an old Cornish family, by his wife Elizabeth Trewenard, second daughter of James Trewenard of Trewenard. Hewas probably educated at Cambridge, but there is no definite information on thepoint. Killigrew served as a gentleman in the household of John Dudley, Duke ofNorthumberland, and became a lifelong follower of the Dudleys. On 18 February 1553 he was returned member of parliament for Newport-juxta-Launceston. He assisted Sir Peter Carew in escaping to the continent in January 1554, and during the remainder of Queen Mary of England's reign appears to have been in exile. Killigrew was at Paris in July 1556, when he was described by the English authorities as a rebel. From a French base, he and his brother Peter engaged in piracy. In August 1557, Henry was present at the Battle of St. Quentin, where Sir James Melville stated of him that "Harry Killygrew, an Englis gentilman, my auld friend," held his horse while he got his wound dressed after his escape. Killigrew was recalled to England on the accession of Elizabeth, and she employed him on variousdiplomatic missions, including one to Germany in connection with negotiations for a defensive league. In July 1559 he went for a short time to assist Nicholas Throckmorton in France.

Killigrew counted both Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester and William Cecil, Lord Burghley as his patrons. He wrote to Dudley in 1562, regarding their Prostestant policies: "In these cases I take you to be as one". In July 1562 he led a military contingent at Rouen, as part of the Newhaven expedition. In June 1566 he was sent on a mission from Elizabeth to Mary, Queen of Scots, for the 'declaration of sundry things necessary to be reformed betweenthem for the preservation of their amity'. He returned in the following July, and after the murder of Darnley was again sent to Scotland with a special messageto the Queen of Scots, which he delivered to her 'in a dark chamber.'

On20 April 1572 he was elected M.P. for Truro. In September, shortly after the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, he was again sent to Scotland, in connection with the negotiations for the surrender of the Queen of Scots to the Protestant lords, who would then immediately execute her. This was a scheme so secret that, apart from Killigrew, only Queen Elizabeth, Cecil and Leicester were privy to it on the English part. Due to the Earl of Mar's sudden death, nothing came of it. Killigrew ultimately succeeded in persuading Elizabeth to send an English force to assist in the siege of Edinburgh Castle. He remained in Scotland till the castlefell, and in numerous letters to Burghley minutely described the siege, and thenegotiations connected with its surrender. Subsequently, he was employed in similar diplomatic missions in Scotland, Germany, France, and the Low Countries. The Treaty of Nonsuch gave the English crown the right to designate two councillors to the Dutch council of state. Killegrew served as an English Councillor on the Dutch Council of State in 1586, and again in 1587–1589. While in attendance onthe Earl of Essex in France he was knighted on 22 November 1591. He was the first in England to write political memoirs to highlight and defend his actions during his career as a public servant. He died in the spring of 1603, his will having been proved on 16 April.

David Lloyd praises Killigrew in his Worthiesfor his learning and his artistic accomplishments. He states that, while a goodmusician, he was especially skilled as a painter, being "a Dürer for proportion... an Angelo for his happy fancy, and an Holbein for oyl works", but no authenticated work of his brush is known. Killigrew gave £140 to Emmanuel College, Cambridge, for the purchase of St. Nicholas Hostel, the materials of which were applied to the construction of the lodge for Dr. Laurence Chaderton, the first master. His London residence was in Lothbury.

Killigrew lived in Hanworth in Middlesex and Falmouth in Cornwall. On 4 November 1566 Killigrew married in the church of St Peter Le Poer, London, Catherine, fourth daughter of Sir Anthony Cooke. He thus became Cecil's brother-in-law. His wife died in 1583, and on 7 November 1590 he was married in the same church to Jaél de Peigne, a French Hugenot.She was naturalised in June 1601. After Henry's death she remarried on 19 April1617 George Downham, Bishop of Derry, and died c.1632.

By his first wife, Killigrew had four daughters:

Anne, married first to Sir Henry Neville,and secondly to George Carleton, bishop of Chichester

Elizabeth, marriedfirst to Sir Jonathan Trelawny, secondly to Sir Thomas Reynell, and thirdly to Sir Thomas Lower.

Mary, married to Sir Reginald Mohun

Dorothy, married to Sir Edward Seymour.

By his second wife, he had a daughter and twosons:




Joseph, ten years old at his father's death, succeeded to his estates.


Death & Burial
First name(s) HENRY
Title Sir
Birth year -
Death year 1603
Burial year 1603
Church St Margaret Lothbury
County London [4]
Name: Henrici Killigrew
[Henry Killigrew]
Residence: London
Probate Date: 16 Apr 1603
Death Year: Abt 1603 [5]


  1. Source: #S25683955
  2. Source: #S25683884 Stephen, Sir Leslie, ed.; London, England: Oxford University Press; Dictionary of National Biography
  3. Source: #S25683997
  4. Henry Killigrew, text-only preview view of burial 1603 in ‘London, England'. Accessed on 30 Sep 2020. Burial Transcript
  5. 1603 Killigrewe, Henry, kt., par. of St. Christopher near le Stockes, London 26 Bolein. England: Canterbury - Wills Proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury 1584-1604. Accessed 30 Sep 2020. Will of Henry Killigrew (shared image free to view).


Thank you to Jonathon Dale Walter Myers for creating Killigrew-15 on 9 Oct 13. Click the Changes tab for the details on contributions by Jonathon Dale Walter and others.

  • Source: S25683884 Dictionary of National Biography, Volumes 1-20, 22 Publication: Name: Operations, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2010;
  • Source: S25683955 Web: Netherlands, GenealogieOnline Trees Index, 1000-2015 Publication: Name: Operations, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2014;
  • Source: S25683997 UK and Ireland, Find A Grave Index, 1300s-Current Publication: Name: Operations, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2012;

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His son Henry, Colonel and Cap. in the English Army in service in Holland (NL) born 1590 , died in 1627. His children together with his grieving widow erected a monument / Epitaph in Utrecht Dom church (NL) in his memory and stated on it that he died on 15 march 1627, 37 years old. No name of widow nor children names are yet known to me.
posted by Pieter Cramwinckel

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