HENEAGE, Michael (1540-1600), of St. Catherine Colman, London and Essex.

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. 1540, 2nd s. of Robert Heneage of Lincoln, auditor of duchy of Lancaster, by his 1st w. Lucy, da. and coh. of Ralph Buckton of Hemswell, Lincs.; bro. of Thomas. educ. St. John’s, Camb. 1559, BA and fellow 1563, MA 1566; G. Inn 1567. m. 1577, Grace, da. of Robert Honywood of Charing, Kent, 6s. 4da.

Offices Held

?Usher of the Exchequer 1567; jt. keeper of recs. in Tower of London 1576; member, Antiq. Soc. c.1591.


Heneage obtained his seats in Parliament through his brother’s influence, exercised in 1571 through the 12th Earl of Arundel, a friend of Thomas Heneage and later a principal mourner at his funeral; the same patron may have obtained him the seat at East Grinstead in 1572. It is less certain how he came to represent Tavistock in the 1589 Parliament: possibly through his brother’s friendship with Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick. Wigan was a duchy of Lancaster borough and Heneage’s brother, then chancellor of the duchy, most probably nominated him there in 1593.

Heneage read two papers to the Society of Antiquaries, and gave his assistance to Robert Hare, compiler of the records of the university of Cambridge. His will, made 29 Dec. 1600 at Hoxton, opens with a long and devout preamble. He set aside £700 as future portions for his young unmarried daughters, Lucy and Katherine. His lease of a house and lands in Flaxfleet, Yorkshire, granted to him and his deceased brother Thomas by the Queen in 1573, was eventually to be divided between his sons Robert and John when they came of age, and his lease in reversion for 40 years of the greenwax in Norfolk and Suffolk was to go to another son, Michael. The eldest son, Thomas, was to have the framework of Heneage’s new house at Ultinghall in Essex, and £100 to clear him of his wardship, to provide for suit of livery and to keep him during his minority. Prominent among his bequests in kind were those of books. Three volumes on marine biology went to his ‘eldest and dearest friend’ Dr. Gilberd (probably the royal physician, author of the first great scientific book published in England); to a daughter, Ann Gyll, and her husband he left his copy of Foxe’s Acts and Monuments. His son Thomas was to have other books. The remainder of his library was to go to ‘such of my said sons as shall be found to be best disposed to learning ... which I suppose will be my son Michael, unto whom I specially wish them’. Heneage appointed as executors his wife and brother-in-law Robert Honywood, and, as overseers, (Sir) Dru Drury and (Sir) Moyle Finch. He regretted that he had not more to leave his wife and children, but hoped that they might be among those who though ‘poor in this world ... God hath chosen to be rich in faith’. Heneage died the next day.

DNB (Heneage, Sir Thomas); Lincs. Peds.(Harl. Soc. li), 481-2; CPR, 1566-9, p. 97; HMC 11th Rep. VII, 133, 139; J. Evans, Hist. Antiq. Soc. 12; G. W. Eustace, Arundel, Borough and Castle, 119; PCC 3 Woodhall; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 470; C142/265/61.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: J.E.M.