DARCY, Sir Henry (b.c.1539), of Brimham, Yorks. and Leighton Bromswold, Hunts.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Family and Education

b. c.1539, 1st s. of Sir Arthur Darcy and bro. of Edward and Sir Francis. educ. I. Temple 1556. m. (1) Catherine (d.1567), da. and h. of Sir Robert Tyrwhitt of Leighton Bromswold, s.p.; (2) Catherine, da. of Sir John Fermor, wid. of Michael Pulteney of Misterton, Leics., 1da. suc. fa. 1561. Kntd. 1565.

Offices Held

Jt. (with fa.) constable, Conisborough castle, Yorks. 1556; sheriff, Cambs. and Hunts. 1562-3, 1583-4; j.p.q. Hunts. from 1564; commr. sewers, Hunts. 1569, musters 1569, 1580, 1584, to execute Acts of Uniformity and Supremacy, dioceses of Lincoln and Peterborough 1571, oaths, Hunts. 1592; superintendent of Kimbolton castle, Hunts. temp. Eliz.


Of a Yorkshire family, Darcy settled on his first wife’s estate of Leighton Bromswold, achieving knight of the shire status in Huntingdonshire in 1571. One of his supporters, Richard Dorrington, was successful in 1572, and when Dorrington died in the following year, Darcy came in again at the ensuing by-election. In 1575 he exchanged part of his Yorkshire property and over a period of years sold much of the rest. This brought about a rift between Darcy and his brother John. Darcy continued to acquire estates in Huntingdonshire, and he also had property in London, including Mountjoy House, the home of Doctors’ Commons, which he leased to Trinity Hall, Cambridge. By the early 1580s Darcy was at odds with Henry Cromwell alias Williams who resented his intrusion into the county, Cromwell accusing Darcy of making biased subsidy assessments, Darcy calling Cromwell a liar and a forger. It happened that at the 1584 county election Darcy was sheriff, and his being able so to arrange matters that the Cromwell candidate was defeated gave him game, set and match.

Darcy settled Leighton Bromswold on his daughter and son-in-law Sir Gervase Clifton in 1591. The last reference found to him is during the year 1592/3.

Burke, Extinct Peerage; Vis. Yorks. (Harl. Soc. xvi), 93; Vis. Yorks. ed. Foster, 47; CPR, 1560-3, p. 363; Egerton 3402, f. 52; Harl. 360, f. 65; CSP Dom. 1547-80, pp. 169, 342, 503, 648, 667; 1581-90, pp. 72-73; St. Ch. 5/D12/6, D22/28; HMC Hatfield, ii. 407; Cal. Feet of Fines, Hunts. ed. Turner (Camb. Antiq. Soc. Pub. oct. ser. xxxvii), pp. 156-7, 160, 176, 185, 197, 201; Lansd. 21, f. 50; 77, ff. 23 seq.; 79, f. 148; VCH Hunts. i. 365; ii. 318-19; iii. 21, 88; APC, xiii. 153; C142/144/113.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: W.J.J.


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.