LONG, Sir Henry (by 1487-1556), of Draycot Cerne, Wilts.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Oct. 1553

Family and Education

b. by 1487, 1st s. of Sir Thomas Long of Draycot Cerne by Margery, da. of Sir George Darrell of Littlecote; bro. of Sir Richard. m. (1) Frideswide, da. of Sir John Hungerford of Down Ampney, Glos., 1s. 2da.; (2) by 1516, Eleanor, da. of Richard Wrottesley of Wrottesley, Staffs., wid. of Edmund Liversedge (d. 7 Sept. 1508) of Frome Selwood, Som., 5s. inc. John and Robert 2da. suc. fa. Sept./Oct. 1508. Kntd. 25 Sept. 1513.3

Offices Held

J.p. Wilts. 1511-d., Som. 1531-9; sheriff, Wilts. 1511-12, 1526, 1536-7, 1541-2, Som: 1538-9; commr. subsidy, Wilts. 1512, 1514, 1515, 1524, 1546, survey of monasteries 1536, musters 1539, relief, Wilts. and Salisbury 1550; other commissions, Wilts. 1516-54; steward, manor of Castle Combe, Wilts. in 1525, Edington priory, Farleigh priory, Kingston St. Michael priory, and Stanley abbey, Wilts. in 1535; keeper of Vastern park and forester of Braydon, Wilts. in 1534, keeper of Oaksey, Wilts. by 1546-52 or later.4


The Longs of South Wraxall were said by Leland to have been ‘set up by one of the old Lords Hungerford’; by the mid 15th century they had become one of the leading families in Wiltshire. Through the Darrells Sir Thomas Long was connected both with the Barons Stourton and with the Seymours, his sister-in-law Elizabeth having married John Seymour of Wolf Hall, grandfather of the Protector, and it was he who acquired Draycot Cerne, which was to become the family’s main seat. His eldest son Henry Long also held property in Hampshire and London when he sued out a pardon in 1509: almost a year before, Richard Beauchamp, Lord St. Amand, had bequeathed to Long a remainder in the manor of Charlton, Wiltshire, and an annuity of 40s. Henry Long is not known to have been related to the rich clothier of the same name who lived at Whaddon, although his will contains a mention of a ‘friend’ Thomas Long of Trowbridge, the clothier’s brother.5

When Edmund Dudley was indicted in 1509 he was accused of having summoned Long, John Mompesson and other gentlemen to aid him in arms. Long was evidently unharmed by the ex-minister’s fall, for he was among the courtiers who jousted at Greenwich in June 1510 and three years later he commanded a company in France and was knighted at Tournai. He entered into a number of recognizances, and was twice listed among those who owed money to the King, before being named with other envoys to France in 1518.6

In Wiltshire Long was often charged by his tenants and neighbours with high-handed behaviour. Thomas Yorke, thrice sheriff in the 1520s and 30s, accused Long of rescuing his son-in-law Michael Quentin from custody, and still graver allegations were made by Walter Fynamore and his son Richard, who had successfully defended themselves against Long in a chancery suit over lands, whereupon Long had incited various poor men to plague them with further actions and had secured writs, addressed to himself as sheriff, which allowed him to behave ‘more like an oppressor, cruel tyrant and extortioner than an indifferent executor and minister’. The elder Fynamore and others had been arrested and virtually held to ransom. Long waged another feud with Richard Camme, abbot of Malmesbury, eventually securing his indictment before a packed jury as an accessory to murder. At the following quarter sessions in Marlborough, Long and his friends again selected the jury, rebuking Sir William Essex and other demurring justices ‘with such slanderous and opprobrious words as were not convenient to be spoken’, and extracted a favourable verdict.7

Long corresponded with Cromwell, whom he thanked for favouring his brother Richard, and in 1533 he served at the coronation feast of Anne Boleyn: in the spring of 1536 he recounted his part in the suppression of a riot at Taunton. In 1540 he reported the vicar of Calne to be a suspected papist: he had himself enjoyed a corrody at Malmesbury since at least 1535 and he was to join his conservative neighbours Sir Anthony Hungerford and (Sir) John Brydges in asking for leniency to be shown towards Camme’s successor as abbot over arrears due to the crown. As steward of Edington he sought leave from Cromwell for the rector to take walks outside the house, which had been forbidden by the visitors, and he was among the monastic commissioners whose reports in 1536 were more favourable than those of the royal agents in the previous year.8

Long was not returned for Wiltshire in 1529, when the knights of the shire were his uncle Sir Edward Darrell and Sir Edward Baynton. Darrell died on 9 Mar. 1530 and was almost certainly replaced by Long, whose name appears for Wiltshire on a list of nominees for vacancies drawn up by Cromwell in 1532 or early in 1533. That he had joined the House at the outset of the fifth session is shown by his inclusion in another of Cromwell’s lists, believed to record the names of Members who opposed the bill in restraint of appeals in the spring of 1533: several of these were concerned with the wool and cloth trades and Long’s appearance among them is probably to be explained in these terms. He probably also sat in the Parliament of 1536, for which no returns survive but to which the King asked to have the previous Members re-elected. In 1539, however, it was his son Robert who sat with Baynton, and Long himself is not known to have done so again until Mary’s accession. If his absence from the Parliaments of 1539 and 1542 may be attributed to the fact that he was sheriff on both occasions, once in Somerset and once in Wiltshire, his omission from the next three seems to have been of his own volition: failing the shire, he could have represented Calne if he had wanted to, as that borough elected his son in 1545, his steward Griffin Curteys in or after 1547, and his son-in-law Robert Hungerford in the autumn of 1553.9

Long’s continued activity both at court and in his county is proof that this intermission in his parliamentary career was not the result of royal disfavour: he attended Prince Edward’s christening and the reception of Anne of Cleves, and although described as an old friend by Lord Hungerford, himself an ally of Cromwell, he seems to have been unaffected by the fall of these two great figures. More to the point were his financial straits: in 1537 he besought Cromwell to help him pay the wages of men needlessly raised against the northern rebels, for a time he mortgaged a manor in the parish of Calne and between 1542 and 1545 he engaged in at least five sales of land in Wiltshire.10

These years may also have seen a deterioration in Long’s relations with his rising kinsmen the Seymours. He had earlier acted as a trustee with his cousin Sir John Seymour, and in September 1537 he had entertained Seymour’s eldest son, the future Protector Somerset, at Draycot. Some 12 years later, however, he was to complain to the Protector that a request concerning his lease of the herbage of Vastern park had been brushed aside by Seymour’s steward (Sir) John Thynne: Long added that he had then appealed to Somerset’s rival, the Earl of Warwick. Although Thynne countered that the lease had been surrendered to his master for £200, it may be that Seymour, who is said to have coveted Vastern, had extorted it from Long. Somerset had also agreed to take property leased by Long at Littlecote, formerly of Bradenstoke priory, in exchange for lands at Wraxall which he then failed to convey and which Long reoccupied: Long was later to be sued for this by the Protector’s second son Sir Edward Seymour. If these disputes had arisen before 1545 or 1547, they could explain why Long was not returned on either occasion for Wiltshire; on the other hand the Seymours, at the height of their power, did not break his hold on Calne.11

Long’s advanced age may account for his disappearance from the Commons after Mary’s first Parliament, but he did not make his will until 4 Oct. 1556, when he was on his deathbed. He asked to be buried at Draycot. The only son of his first marriage had died in childhood and his heir was Robert, the 40 year-old firstborn of the second, who succeeded to the manors of Charlton and Draycot Cerne and to other property in and around Chippenham, Lyneharn and Titherington in north-western Wiltshire, as well as in Somerset. Long died on 8 Oct. 1556.12

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: T. F.T. Baker


  • 1. Did not serve  for the full duration of the Parliament; LP Hen. VIII, vii. 56 citing SP1/82, ff. 59-62; ix. 1077 citing SP1/99, p. 234.
  • 2. Bodl. e Museo 17.
  • 3. Apparently of age at father’s death, PCC 6 Bennett. Wilts. Vis. Peds. (Harl. Soc. cv cvi), 117-18; Collinson, Som. ii. 188; C142/110/167; CFR, 1485-1509, no. 898.
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, i, ii, iv, v, vii, viii, xii-xiv, xxi; CPR, 1547-8, p. 91; 1553, pp. 359, 361; 1553-4, pp. 25, 28; E371/300/50; SC12/33/27, m. 2; G. J. P. Scrope, Castle Combe, 301; Val. Eccles. ii. 114-15, 142, 144; Stowe 571, f. 56; Statutes, iii. 80, 113, 169.
  • 5. Leland, Itin. ed. Smith, i. 134; Wilts. Arch. Mag. iv. 226; Hoare, Wilts. Mere, 117. VCH Wilts. vii. 22; PCC 6 Bennett, 17 Ketchyn; CFR, 1485-1509. no. 898; LP Hen. VIII, i; Wilts. Vis. Peds. 116; Misc. Gen. et Her. n.s. iii. 58, 70; CCR, 1500-9, pp. 346-8.
  • 6. LP Hen. VIII, i, ii.
  • 7. Ibid. add.; St.Ch.2/14/174, 18/1, 22/74, 15/370-81; 3/2/56; Req.2/7/107, 16/55, 17/58-59; C1/534/41, 53, 841/34, 1242/53; VCH Wilts. iii. 225,
  • 8. LP Hen. VIII, v, vi; VCH Wilts. iii. 261, 266-7, 272, 288; Wilts. Arch.Mag. xxiv. 185; CPR, 1557-8, p. 268; Elton, Policy and Police. 109.
  • 9. PCC 18 Jankyn; LP Hen. VIII, vii, ix.
  • 10. LP Hen. VIII, xii; xiv, xv; C1/841/34-38; Wilts. N. and Q. iii. 165-6, 231-2, 256;
  • 11. Wilts. N. and Q. ii. 421; iii. 354; HMC Hatfield, i. 48, 50; Wilts. Arch.Mag. xxiii.177; Req.2/24/6.
  • 12. PCC 17 Ketchyn; C142/110/167. CPR, 1555-7, p. 247.