Sir Henry SIDNEY, Knight
Born: 20 Jul 1529, London, Middlesex, England
Died: 5 May 1586, Ludlow, Shropshire, England
Notes: Knight of the Garter.
Father: William SIDNEY (Sir Knight)
Mother: Anne PACKENHAM
Married: Mary DUDLEY 1553
1. Phillip SIDNEY (Sir Knight)
2. Margaret SIDNEY (b. 1556 - d. 1558)
3. Elizabeth SIDNEY (b. 1560 - d. 1567)
4. Mary SIDNEY (C. Pembroke)
5. Robert SIDNEY (1° E. Leicester)
6. Ambrosia SIDNEY (b. 1564 - d. 1574?)
7. Thomas SIDNEY
Sir William Sidney (1482 - 1554) was a courtier to King Henry VIII and tutor (and later steward) to his son Edward. In 1552 - one year before his death, aged just 16 - Edward VI granted Penshurst to Sir William. Sidney, now aged 70, had little time to enjoy Penshurst though and his son, Henry, inherited the property on his death just two years later.
Sir Henry Sidney
Lady Mary Dudley Sidney
|Henry had spent his early life at court as the companion of the
the young prince Edward. Knighted
1550. In 1553 Henry married Lady Mary Dudley, sister to Robert Dudley,
Earl of Leicester, Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick and Lord Guildford
Dudley. Guildford was married to the ill-fated
Lady Jane Grey, grand-daughter to
VII who had been named by Edward VI (under pressure from
John Dudley, the Duke
of Northumberland - Henry Sidney's father-in law) as his successor.
VI died Thurday 6 Jul 1553, Greenwich Palace, London, age 15. He
is said to have died in the arms of his friend Sir Henry (age
23). Sir Henry witnessed his will. His wife brought the news of
Edward VI's death to her sister-in-law, Jane Grey
on Sunday 9 Jul, and took her with her to Syon
House, she was
proclaimed Queen the following day. Sir Henry took little part in
it, being still in mourning for his friend Edward
VI. He deserted
their cause early. Lady Jane reluctantly became
Queen but after only nine days the
Lord Mayor of London announced that Henry
VIII's eldest daughter, Mary, was
rightfully Queen. Lady Jane Grey and many of her supporters - including her
husband and father-in-law - were executed. Her brothers-in-law
Robert were confined to the Tower of London but Henry Sidney and his wife
escaped any implications
(though he sheltered the Dudleys at Penshurst
AFT their fall).
During the realm of Elizabeth I Henry was appointed Lord President of Wales and later vice-treasurer of Ireland. He was also cup-bearer to the Queen. As Vice-treasurer of Ireland 1556-9, took the young Hugh O'Neill (the future rebel) to England 1559, K.G. 1564. Henry became Lord Deputy (governor) of Ireland 1565-71, his reports on Ireland are an important source.
He began imposing English law and customs on the Irish. He faced several rebellions and managed to persuade several powerful clan chiefs to submit to Elizabeth's authority but resigned in 1571 resenting the Queens failure to support him.
Although restored as Lord Deputy of Ireland in 1575 his taxation policies were not popular and he was recalled in 1578. He served as president of the council of Wales and of the Marches.
Henry had little financial reward for his services. He even turned down a baroncy feeling that he was unable to support the position. Despite this he added apartments and the King's tower to Penshurst.
Died 5th May 1586, Ludlow, Shropshire, age 56 yrs. Lady Mary died the same year.
Grave of Sir William Sidney, Penshurst chapel.
Grave of Margaret Sidney, Penshurst chapel
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