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Henry Woodhouse (abt. 1545 - 1624)

Sir Henry Woodhouse
Born about in Waxham, Norfolk, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Brother of [half]
Husband of — married about 14 Sep 1563 in Norwich, Englandmap
Husband of — married after 1580 [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Waxham, Norfolk, Englandmap
Profile last modified | Created 14 Oct 2012 | Last significant change: 20 Jan 2021
19:16: Lois (Hacker) Tilton added William Woodhouse MP (1570-1639) as child for Henry Woodhouse (abt.1545-1624). [Thank Lois for this]
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Sir Henry Woodhouse was born 3 January 1545/6, the first surviving son and heir of Sir William Woodhouse of Hickling, Norfolk and his first wife Anne Repps.[1] [2] [3]

Note: Sources differ on the identity of Henry's mother. Sir William Woodhouse married twice: first to Anne Repp, secondly to Elizabeth Calthorpe, widow of Sir Henry Parker. However, if it is correct that Elizabeth Calthorpe was married to Sir William in 1552, she can not have been Henry's mother. Sir William's first son (by Anne Repp) was Sir Thomas, who died without issue and was succeeded as heir by Henry.

Henry Woodhouse matriculated from Corpus Christi, Cambridge in 1556. There is no record of a degree.[4] He was admitted to Lincoln's Inn in 1561.

The Woodhouse family was seated at Waxham near the Norfolk coast, and Henry's father and uncle Thomas Woodhouse were notable naval officers with connections to the Admiralty. Both brothers served as MPs. In 1564 Henry Woodhouse inherited Hickling at the death of his father, and Waxham at the death of his uncle Sir Thomas in 1572.[1] He was knighted 27 August 1578.[5] Henry was MP for Norfolk in 1572 and 1589, Vice-Admiral of Norfolk and Suffolk from 1570-1578, Sheriff in 1584-1585, and governer of Yarmouth in 1588.[1]

By 1569, Henry Woodhouse must have appeared an excellent marriage prospect, and Sir Nicholas Bacon, Keeper of the Great Seal, was looking to unite his own heirs with other prominent families in his homeland of East Anglia.[6] Thus by that year he had married his second daughter Anne to Henry. Note: Many sources date the marriage of Anne Bacon with Henry Woodhouse to about 1574. However, in a letter (#4094) dated 7 April 1569 Sir Nicholas mentions "my sonne Woodhowse". Thus it seems that this marriage would have taken place some time in 1568. This is consistent with the 1570 birth date of son and heir William.[7] [8] [6]

Some children of this marriage were: [8] [2] [9] [3] (Consensus of sources)

(Sir) William MP - b. 1570, d. 1639, m. Frances Jermyn
Henry - b. 1573, d. 1637, m. Frances Gerunyne
Francis ? - m. Elizabeth Winde
Thomas ?
Mary - m. Robert Killigrew
Vere - m. Godfrey
Elizabeth - m. Sir Francis Stoner
Anne - m. (1) Henry Hogan, (2) Henry Hungate, (3) Sir Julius Caesar

Unfortunately, Sir Henry Woodhouse regularly fell deep into debt, from which Sir Nicholas had to extricate him. It apparently took all the combined influence of the Woodhouse family and the Bacons to keep him out of debtors prison. He was once removed from the bench as JP, but almost immediately reinstated.[6] [1] [10]

Anne Woodhouse died 15 January 1579/80, after which Sir Henry married secondly Cicely Gresham, daughter of Sir William Gresham of Titsey in Surrey. Children of this marriage were: [9] [11]

Gresham - b. 1588, d. 1656
Elizabeth - b. 1598, d. 1652, m. (1617) William Hakewell
Ralph ?
Arthur ?

Research Note

Several other sources have claimed that Sir Henry's wife Cecily was the daughter of a Thomas Gresham. However, there is no evidence of a Thomas Gresham (there being a large number of possibilities) with a daughter Cecily. However, The Visitation of Surrey clearly shows that William Gresham of Titsey did have two sons and two daughters, one of whom was Cecily.[12] William's Will (Proved 1579) and that of his widow Beatrice (Proved 1603/4)[13] both name a daughter Cicely, and the Will of Beatrice explicitly states in her bequest:
Item I bequeath to Dame Cecilie now wief to Sir Henry Woodhowse my loving daughter yf she shall hereafter happen to be a widowe and unmarried two Chests full of Lynnen with all the Lynnen therein contained whereof one is covered with redd leather and barred over with Iron and thother ys of waynscott to be safelye and trustilye kept by my said Executor and by him to be delivered unto her the said Cecilie when as she shall happen to be a widowe and not before.
It is also stated that Cicely and Sir Henry Woodhouse had a daughter Elizabeth, who received a bequest from her grandmother.

Dame Beatrice also stated disapprovingly in her Will that Sir Henry Woodhouse was "as yet standeth holden and firmly bounden to me in the sum of fifteen hundred poundes of lawfull money . . ." and made provision to attempt to recover this sum for the use of her daughter Cicely. She had previously, in 1602, settled property on her grandson Gresham Woodhouse, son of her daughter Cicely and Sir Henry Woodhouse.[14]

Sir Henry Woodhouse died 8 October 1624, still in debt.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 History of Parliament Online: Woodhouse, Henry (b.c. 1545 - 1625), of Hickling and Waxham, Norfolk. Henry
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Visitacion of Norfolk. Water Rye, ed. p. 321. Woodhouse
  3. 3.0 3.1 Blomefield, Francis. "Happing Hundred: Waxham." An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 9. London: W Miller, 1808. 352-355. British History Online. Web. 19 January 2021. Pedigree
  4. Venn, John. Alumni Cantabrigienses, vol IV, 1922. p. 459. University of Cambridge Press. Woodhouse Note: Venn believed this Henry might have belonged to the Woodhouses of Kimberly, but this seems to be incorrect.
  5. Shaw, William Arthur. The Knights of England. London: Sherratt and Hughes, p. 79. Knight</li>
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Tittler, Robert. <i>Sir Nicholas Bacon. Athens: Ohio University Press, 1976. pp. 154-155. Henry
  7. History of Parliament Online: Woodhouse, Sir William (c.1570-1639), of Waxham, Norf. and Whitehall, Son William
  8. 8.0 8.1 Letters from Redgrave Hall, Diarmaid MacCulloch, ed. The Boydell Press: Suffolk Records Society, 2008.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Henry
  10. Smith, A Hasell. County and Court. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1974.
  11. Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica New Series Vol II, 1877, Will of Beatrice Gresham, p20-21. Wills
  12. The Visitations of the County of Surrey. London : [Ye Wardour Press], p. 78. Surrey
  13. Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica New Series Vol II, 1877, Will of William Gresham, Will of Beatrice Gresham, p18-21. Wills
  14. "Parishes: Limpsfield." A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 4. Ed. H E Malden. London: Victoria County History, 1912. 297-302. British History Online. Web. 18 January 2021. Cicely

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Woodhouse-657 and Woodhouse-170 appear to represent the same person because: same name, same father, same time frame, same location, mother is problematic