HUSSEY, Sir Henry (by 1519-57), of Slinfold, Suss. and London.
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Family and Education
b. by 1519, 1st s. of Henry Hussey of Slinfold by Eleanor, da. of John Bradbridge of Slinfold, bro. of John†. educ. I. Temple, adm. 16 Feb. 1535. m. 25 June 1546, Bridget, da. of Thomas Spring of Lavenham, Suff. wid. of William Erneley of Cakeham, nr. West Wittering, Suss., d.s.p. suc. fa. 1541/44. Kntd. 1 Oct. 1547.2
J.p. Suss. 1547-d.; commr. goods of churches and fraternities 1553.3
Henry Hussey received a training in the law but is not known to have practised it, although his marriage, friendships and business connexions suggest that he did. It was as a soldier that he made his name. In 1542 he served under the 3rd Duke of Norfolk against Scotland as captain of a band of the duke’s tenants from Sussex; five years later he accompanied the Protector Somerset on another Scottish expedition and gained his knighthood. His earlier association with Norfolk did not tell against him with the Protector, for whom he collected revenues from Sussex properties and to whom he had personal access, as Bishop Day of Chichester was to observe in 1549: one of his wife’s relatives, Richard Fulmerston, had made a similar change of allegiance to become comptroller of the Protector’s household. His standing with the Protector, his military exploits, his marriage to a wealthy widow and his augmenting by purchase and lease of his modest patrimony, all conduced to Hussey’s reputation in Sussex, and from 1547 his name is prominent in the affairs of the county.4
Although Hussey might have been expected to find a seat in the Parliament of 1547, he did not do so until its fourth and final session, which opened on the morrow of Somerset’s execution: he then replaced the dead Anthony Bourchier as a Member for New Shoreham. He is not known to have had any personal link with that borough, and the influence most likely to have been exerted on his behalf was that of the 12th Earl of Arundel with whose family his wife had links originating in her first marriage. The Journal is silent as to Hussey’s part in this House, as it is on his subsequent appearances there. In the Parliament of March 1553 he sat for Horsham, a borough nearer his home, which had earlier returned his father: it was during the brief life of this Parliament that he concluded his purchase of the lordship of Washington, Sussex, which had belonged to his old patron Norfolk. With the release of Norfolk from the Tower later in the year Horsham again came under the duke’s sway and Hussey’s transfer to a different borough suggests that he no longer enjoyed Norfolk’s favour. For his new seat, at Lewes, he may have been beholden to John Caryll, a leading figure at his own inn and a knight of the shire for Sussex on this occasion, but if so he must have pained Caryll by his attitude in the House, where he was noted as one of those who ‘stood for the true religion’, that is, for Protestantism, against the new government’s Catholicising measures. This is the only indication of Hussey’s religious outlook, but if it is reliable it may provide one of the reasons for his absence from the next two Parliaments, another being perhaps the Queen’s express wish that boroughs should be represented by residents, not by migrants like Hussey. It was, however, for yet another borough that he reappeared in 1555, the Copley family’s borough of Gatton in Surrey. With the Copleys Hussey had several links: Thomas Copley had been his junior at the Inner Temple. Unless his name was omitted from the list of them, Hussey was not among the Members who followed Sir Anthony Kingston’s lead in opposing one of the government’s bills in this Parliament. Before the next one met in 1558 he was dead.5
Hussey had made his will on 14 Feb. 1555 in the house that he rented in London, and it had been witnessed by, among others, Sir John Tregonwell and Robert Johnson†. To his wife he left Cakeham, which she had brought with her to the marriage, the wardship of her two sons by her first husband, and his plate and the tapestry in his parlour at London. After remembering his stepdaughters and a cousin, he divided his property between his two younger brothers, with remainder to his cousin Anthony Hussey. He appointed his wife sole executrix