Heneage, Thomas (DNB00)

HENEAGE, Sir THOMAS (d. 1595), vice-chamberlain of Queen Elizabeth's household, was eldest son of Robert Heneage of Lincoln, auditor of the duchy of Lancaster, and surveyor of the queen's woods beyond Trent, by his first wife, Lucy, daughter and coheiress of Ralph Buckton of Hemswell, Lincolnshire.

The father, who was fourth son of John Heneage of Hainton, near Wragby, Lincolnshire, died in 1556, and was buried in St. Katherine Cree Church, London (Machyn, Diary, Camd. Soc., iii. 403). He had three brothers, Thomas, George, and John, who were thus uncles of the vice-chamberlain. The eldest, Sir Thomas Heneage the elder (d. 1553), with whom the vice-chamberlain is often confused, was in early life gentleman usher to Wolsey, became gentleman of the king's privy chamber after Wolsey's fall, and actively supported Cromwell's ecclesiastical policy. While engaged in suppressing the Cistercian abbey near Louth, Lincolnshire, in October 1536, he was severely attacked by an angry mob, and the émeute proved the prelude to the great rebellion known as the Pilgrimage of Grace. Heneage was knighted by Henry VIII on 18 Oct. 1537, and received many grants of lands belonging to the dissolved monasteries. He died on 21 Aug. 1553, and was buried in Hainton Church, where a monument with effigies in brass of himself and his wife still remains. His extant letters to Wolsey and others are full of entertaining court gossip. He married Katharine, daughter of Sir John Skipwith, and had an only daughter, Elizabeth, who was the first wife of Sir William Willoughby, first lord Willoughby of Parham. The next brother, George Heneage (d. 1549), dean and archdeacon of Lincoln, graduated LL.B. at Cambridge in 1510, and was incorporated at Oxford in 1522; was chaplain to Wolsey and to John Longland, bishop of Lincoln; held prebends in Lincoln, Salisbury, and York Cathedrals; became treasurer of Lincoln in 1521, archdeacon of Oxford in 1522, dean of Lincoln in 1528, archdeacon of Taunton in 1533, rector of Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire, and custos of the college of Tattersall in 1534, and archdeacon of Lincoln in 1542. He resigned the deanery of Lincoln for a pension before 1544, but remained archdeacon of Lincoln till his death, about September 1549. He was buried in Lincoln Cathedral (cf. Cooper, Athenæ Cantabr. i. 95, 537; Wood, Fasti, ed. Bliss, i. 61, 63, 124; Le Neve, Fasti). The third brother, John Heneage, had two sons, George (d. 1595) and William (d. 1610), both of whom acted as sheriffs of Lincolnshire, and both of whom were knighted. The latter's son Thomas was also knighted in 1603.

Heneage, the vice-chamberlain, matriculated from Queens' College, Cambridge, in May 1549, and was elected M.P. for Stamford in 1553. On the death of his father, 27 July 1556, he succeeded to his estates. Queen Elizabeth appointed him a gentleman of the privy chamber soon after her accession, and he sat in the parliament of 1562–3 as M.P. for Boston. When attending the queen on her visit to Cambridge in August 1564, he was created M.A. In 1565 he was admitted to Gray's Inn, and about January 1569–70 was appointed treasurer of the queen's chamber. He was M.P. for Lincolnshire in the parliaments of 1571 and 1572, and for Essex from 1585 until his death. He was knighted at Windsor on 1 Dec. 1577, and was appointed by Sir William Cordell master of the rolls, with his brother Michael (see below) keeper of the records in the Tower about the same time. Some dispute as to the fees due to them as ‘members and ministers’ of the court of chancery arose in 1582 (cf. Egerton Papers, Camd. Soc., p. 91). Heneage sat on the special commissions for the trials of Dr. William Parry, 25 Feb. 1584–5; of Sir John Perrot, 22 March 1591–2; of Patrick O'Cullen, 21 Feb. 1593–4; and of Roderigo Lopez, 25 Feb. 1593–4. In May 1585 he and Sir Walter Ralegh were appointed to inquire into a dispute about the ransom of English captives in Barbary, and their report is printed in Edwards's ‘Life of Ralegh,’ ii. 29–32.

Elizabeth trusted Heneage. It was reported in 1565 that he was in such good favour with her as to excite the jealousy of Leicester (Wright, Elizabeth, i. 209). He and his wife constantly exchanged New-year's gifts with her, and she made him many valuable grants of land, chiefly in Essex. On 13 Aug. 1564 the queen granted him the reversion of the estate of Copthall, Essex, where he subsequently erected an elaborate mansion from the designs of John Thorpe. In November 1570 she induced the town of Colchester to make Kingswood Heath over to him; in 1573 she gave him the manor and rectory of Epping; in 1576 the manor of Bretts in Westham-Burnels, and a share in the manor of Brightlingsea. He received in later life the manors of Ravenston and Stoke Goldington, Buckinghamshire, with other lands in Northamptonshire (about 1588); the manor and hospital of Horning, Norfolk, formerly belonging to the see of Norwich (November 1588). John, lord Lumley, also made over to him the manor of Helfholme, Yorkshire, which Edward Carlton also claimed. In 1566 he was granted the office of receiver and treasurer of the tenths of the profits of salt manufacture, under the patent granted to Francis Bertie of Antwerp. In 1581 Heneage subscribed 200l. for Edward Fenton's expedition to Cathay (Cal. State Papers, Colonial, 1513–1616, Nos. 182, 183).

When Leicester offended the queen by accepting the governorship of the Low Countries in February 1586, Heneage was sent to bear expressions of the queen's displeasure. He was instructed to inform the States General that Elizabeth would not permit Leicester to hold the office to which they had appointed him. In the course of the negotiations he somewhat strained his directions by telling the States General that the queen would not make peace with Spain without consulting them. Elizabeth hotly resented this admission, and wrote fiercely to Heneage, repudiating his words. Finally, in May he succeeded in reconciling for the time the conflicting parties, and on his return to England in June was received with favour by the queen (cf. Leycester, Correspondence, Camd. Soc., passim). In September 1589 he succeeded Sir Christopher Hatton [q. v.] as vice-chamberlain of the royal household, and became a privy councillor. He was paymaster of the forces raised in July 1588 to resist the Spanish Armada. Writing to Leicester on 17 July he informs him of a conference at which he was present respecting the best means of meeting a possible attack by the enemy on London. He became chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, and high steward of Hull in 1590, and seems to have removed from his private residence, known as Heneage House, in Bevis Marks, to the official mansion in the Savoy connected with the duchy of Lancaster. There he entertained the queen on 7 Dec. 1594, although in the early months of the year he had, like Essex, been out of favour with her, and there he died on 17 Oct. 1595. He was buried on 20 Nov. in the chapel of the Virgin behind the choir in St. Paul's Cathedral, and an elaborate monument, with recumbent figures of himself and his first wife, and an inscription, ascribed to Camden, was placed above his grave.

Heneage's friends included Sir William Pickering, of whose will he was an executor, and the expenses of whose monument in St. Helen's Church, Bishopsgate, he helped to defray; Sir Christopher Hatton, with whom he was in repeated correspondence, both officially and privately; Sir Philip Sidney, who bequeathed to him a jewel worth 20l.; and Leicester, who left him jewels or plate worth 40l., and speaks of him in his will as his good old friend. William Fleetwood (1535?–1594) [q. v.] often saw him in London, and regarded him as a ‘gentleman of reputation’ (Wright, Elizabeth, ii. 19–20). Heneage and his first wife were also friendly with John Foxe [q. v.], the martyrologist, while the latter lived at Waltham, in the neighbourhood of Heneage's mansion of Copthall. Foxe dedicated to Heneage an appendix to his ‘De Oliva Evangelica,’ 1577. Tobie or Tobias Mathew was another protégé, and Heneage urged his promotion to the deanery of Durham in 1581. In 1594 he promised Essex to assist in the promotion of Bacon to the vacant solicitor-generalship.

Heneage's first wife was Anne, daughter of Sir Nicholas Poyntz of Iron Acton, Gloucestershire, who died at Modsey, Surrey, on 19 Nov. 1593 (cf. Visitation of Gloucestershire, Harl. Soc., xxi. 134). A portrait of her, belonging to Charles Butler, esq., was exhibited at the Tudor Exhibition in 1890. By her he had a daughter, Elizabeth, born on 9 July 1556 in London, who married in 1572 Moyle, eldest son of Sir Thomas Finch, and was ancestress of the Finches and Finch-Hattons, earls of Winchilsea [see under Finch, Sir Thomas, ad fin.] Heneage's second wife (whom he married on 2 May 1594) was Mary, eldest daughter of Anthony Browne, first viscount Montagu, K.G., and widow of Henry Wriothesley, second earl of Southampton [q. v.] She afterwards married Sir William Hervey, and died about 1607.

Many of Heneage's letters are at the Record Office and among the Harleian, Lansdowne, and Cottonian manuscripts at the British Museum. Two are printed in Wright's ‘Elizabeth,’ ii. 378, 409, and one is in ‘Letters of Eminent Literary Men,’ Camd. Soc., p. 48. Fourteen of his letters to Hatton appear in Nicolas's ‘Life of Sir Christopher Hatton.’

Heneage, Michael (1540–1600), antiquary, Sir Thomas's younger brother, elected fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge, in 1563 (B.A. 1562–3, M.A. 1566), was chosen M.P. for Arundel in 1571, for East Grinstead in 1572, for Tavistock in February 1588–9, and for Wigan in February 1592–3. With his brother Thomas, Michael was appointed a keeper of the records in the Tower about 1578, and applied himself energetically to the duties of his office. He was a member of the Society of Antiquaries, founded in 1572, and two papers by him read before the society—‘of the Antiquity of Arms in England,’ and ‘of Sterling Money’—were printed in Hearne's ‘Curious Discourses,’ 2nd edit. i. 172, ii. 321. A manuscript by him, ‘Collections out of various Charters, &c., relating to the Noble Families in England,’ is in the Cottonian Library (Claudius C.I.). The university of Cambridge thanked him for the assistance he rendered to Robert Hare [q. v.], the compiler of the university records, and Thomas Milles acknowledges his aid in his ‘Catalogue of Honor.’ He lived for many years in the parish of St. Catharine Coleman, London, but possessed some landed property, chiefly in Essex. He died on 30 Dec. 1600, having married, on 12 Aug. 1577, Grace, daughter of Robert Honeywood of Charing, Kent. She survived him, and by her he had a family of ten children (Cooper, Athenæ Cantabr. ii. 293).

[For the genealogy see Register and Mag. of Biog., 1869, ii. 9 sq.; Herald and Genealogist, iii. 419; Le Neve's Pedigree of Knights in Harl. Soc. viii. 184. For life of the vice-chamberlain see Cooper's Athenæ Cantabr. pp. 192 sq., 548; Morant's Essex; Nichols's Progresses of Queen Elizabeth; Lodge's Illustrations; Strype's Annals; Wright's Queen Elizabeth; Camden's Annals; Nicolas's Life of Sir Christopher Hatton; Birch's Memoirs of Queen Elizabeth; wills from Doctors' Commons (Camd. Soc.), p. 71; Overall's Remembrancia, pp. 280, 284, 407.]

S. L. L.