NOEL, Henry (d.1597), of Dalby, Leics.
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Family and Education
With Leicester in the Netherlands 1587; ?gent. pens. 1590s.
Noel was a courtier from about 1583, though his name has not been found on the lists of office holders. According to an unsupported statement in the heralds’ visitation of 1619, he was a gentleman pensioner. That he was the Queen’s servant, however, is amply confirmed by references in a succession of royal grants in the ’80s and ’90s.
For person, parentage, grace, gesture, valour and many excellent parts (amongst which skill in music), [he] was of the first rank in the court.
He was also a persistent and generally successful suitor for royal rewards, including a grant of concealed lands in 1584, and a free gift of £668 in 1592. He was created MA during the Queen’s visit to Oxford in September of that year. Among his patrons were the Earl of Leicester, who praised Noel’s services in the Low Countries, and Sir Robert Cecil, who secured him a monopoly of the import of pottery and stoneware in 1593. In thanking Cecil, Noel begged for further favours:
That bounty is admired which, with a present gift offers an after hope, like to the Indian tree which beareth ripe fruit and young blossoms.
A few weeks later, when illness and creditors drove him to the Spa, Noel again petitioned Cecil for help. He died in February 1597 and was buried, on the Queen’s direction, in Westminster abbey in St. Andrew’s chapel. His monument has not survived. Madrigals lamenting his death are in Thomas Morley’s Canzonets or Little Short Airs (1597) and Thomas Weelkes’s Madrigals of Six Parts (1600).2
Noel had no personal connexion with either Morpeth or Cricklade. Presumably he owed his return at the former to another courtier, Henry Carey, 1st Baron Hunsdon, captain of the band of gentlemen pensioners, and at the latter to Giles Brydges 3rd Baron Chandos. The burgesses for Cricklade were appointed to a committee on 15 Mar. 1593 concerning cloth.
Ref Volumes: 1558-1603
- 1. Vis. Leics. 1619, 3, 114; DNB (Noel, Sir Andrew).
- 2. Lansd. 38, f. 32; 47, f. 31; Fuller, Worthies (1840), ii. 243-4; PRO Index 6800, ff. 341, 416; C66/1398/38-40; HMC Hatfield, iii. 424; iv. 323, 342, 346-7; CSP For. 1587, pp. 335, 373, 385; D’Ewes, 501; J. Dart, Westmonasterium, ii. 7; information from Mr. David Greer.