GLEMHAM, Sir Henry (d.1632), of Glemham Hall, Suff.

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

1st s. of Thomas Glemham of Glemham Hall by Amy, da. of Henry Parker, 10th Baron Morley. educ. I. Temple 1585. m. by 1600, Anne, da. of Thomas Sackville, Baron of Buckhurst and 1st Earl of Dorset, 2s. 3da. suc. fa. 1571. Kntd. 1591.

Offices Held

J.p.q. Suff., .60, commr. musters 1601, dep. lt. by 1613.2


Glemham was a minor when his father died leaving two boys, a girl and his widow either expecting or just delivered of a fourth child. The elder Glemham made careful provision for them from his extensive lands in Suffolk, Norfolk, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Kent, of which he reserved the customary third to the Queen’s use during his heir’s minority. His hopes of resurrection ‘with the elect of God’, and his request for a ‘godly sermon or exhortation’ on the day of his funeral suggest puritanism.3

Glemham himself, however, may have grown up under other influences. It is not known when he first became acquainted with the Sackvilles, but probably it was by the time of his first return for Lewes, a borough patronized by Lord Buckhurst, and by 1600 he had married Buckhurst’s daughter, whose brother Robert Sackville was a devout Catholic married to the sister of Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel. In 1600 Glemham got into trouble for associating with the English Catholics in Rome. Having obtained a licence to travel abroad, he visited that city, he said, to help his fellow-countrymen. Imprisoned on arrival—presumably as a suspected spy—he was released through the efforts of the Jesuit Robert Persons, a former protégé of Glemham’s father-in-law Buckhurst. The Queen learned of Glemham’s meeting with Persons, and on his return to England he found himself in the Fleet, lamenting that ‘by helping my fellow-countrymen over the wall I should break my own neck’. Buckhurst did his best, intervening with the Queen and writing repeatedly to Lady Scudamore, while Glemham wrote to Cecil from the Fleet, repenting his indiscretion with ‘grief and tears’. In December 1600 Buckhurst wrote to Cecil about the ‘dangerous sickness’ of Glemham’s wife. Perhaps this did the trick; at any rate, in 1601, she wrote thanking Cecil for a ‘noble gift’, and her husband, not long after his release, and against some opposition, was elected knight of the shire for Suffolk, with support from (Sir) Anthony Wingfield I. In May 1604 he was again granted a licence to travel abroad, but this time he went to Spa.4

The efforts Glemham’s wife made and her exertions to secure the largest possible share of her indulgent father’s estate had a disastrous effect on Buckhurst’s administration of the lord treasurership. In 1602 her venality and influence on Buckhurst were the subject of a libel involving the whole Sackville family. All, including Glemham, were further accused of plotting on behalf of the Infanta, a charge which gives point to Glemham’s surmise that his misfortune in 1600 was the work of an informer.5

There is no mention of Glemham in the Elizabethan parliamentary journals, but as knight for Suffolk in 1601 he may have attended committees concerning the order of parliamentary business (3 Nov.), clothworkers (18 Nov.) and monopolies (23 Nov.).6

Glemham’s later life was comparatively uneventful. Much of his work in the county under the early Stuarts was concerned with such humdrum—and unpopular—measures as the pressing of seamen and the attempt to levy ship-money. In 1611, on hearing of the inauguration of the new title of baronet which he thought might be imposed on ‘lieutenants’ in each county at the price of an annual fee to the Crown, he wrote to Michael Hickes saying he was relying on ‘a great friend’ to ensure his exemption. He died on 30 Aug. 1632.7

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: J.E.M.


  • 1. Folger V. b. 298.
  • 2. Vis. Suff. ed. Metcalfe, 140; C142/158/37, 491/29; C66/1549v; APC, xxxi. 400; HMC 13th Rep. IV, 435.
  • 3. PCC 5 Daper.
  • 4. HMC Hatfield, x. 295, 305, 319, 406; xi. 546; Univ. Chicago, Bacon mss; CSP Dom. 1603-10, p. 104.
  • 5. Lansd. 88, f. 105; PCC 1 Dorset; CSP Dom. 1601-3, p. 144, 209, 220; 1603-10, pp. 499, 515, 525; Cath. Rec. Soc. ii. 23; HMC Hatfield, x. 295; xii. 565-7.
  • 6. D’Ewes, 624, 642, 649.
  • 7. APC, 1621-3, p. 436; 1625-6, p. 29, 226, 334; 1627-8, p. 72, 206, 209; Lansd. 92, f. 36; C142/491/29.