DADE, Henry (c.1582-1653), of Ipswich, Suff.; later of Dallinghoo, Suff.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



Family and Education

b. c.1582, 2nd s. of Thomas Dade (d.1619) of Tannington, Suff. and Anne, da. of Richard Cornwallis of Shotley, Suff.1 educ. Trin. Hall, Camb. 1598, LLB 1604.2 m. (1) 2 Feb. 1623, Elizabeth (d. 27 June 1624), da. of Thomas Ferneley of West Creeting, Suff., wid. of Thomas Shawe of Owston, Lincs., s.p.; (2) 17 Nov. 1625, Thomasine (d. 8 Aug. 1647), da. of John Lea of Coddenham, Suff., wid. of Samuel Sayer of London and Nettlestead, Suff., s.p. d. 15 Sept. 1653.3

Offices Held

Dep. v.-adm. Suff. by 1612-at least 1632;4 commr. piracy, Suff. 1612, 1627, 1640;5 commissary and official, archdeaconry ct. of Suff. 1617-37;6 judge of v.-admlty. ct., Suff. 1620-37;7 commr. sewers, Suff. 1620, 1635.8


Dade came from a cadet branch of a Norfolk gentry family. His father had settled at Tannington in central Suffolk by 1589, but never acquired the manor.9 Dade was a younger son and became a civil lawyer, studying at Trinity Hall, Cambridge in the late 1590s, which is presumably when he became a friend of Robert Naunton*, then a fellow.10 It may have been Naunton, a client of Robert Cecil†, 1st earl of Salisbury, who later recommended Dade to Sir Michael Stanhope*, the vice-admiral of Suffolk and, like Naunton, a connection of the Cecils. By 1612 Dade was Stanhope’s deputy. Two years later he was returned for Dunwich to the Addled Parliament ‘at the request’ of the lord chamberlain, Thomas Howard, 1st earl of Suffolk ‘and others’, but left no trace on its records.11 There is no evidence that he subsequently sought re-election.

Dade became the principal ecclesiastical judge of east Suffolk in 1617, and three years later was appointed judge of Suffolk’s vice-admiralty court. He continued as both judge and deputy vice admiral after Stanhope died the following year. On his marriage in 1623, Dade acquired property in and around the parish of Dallinghoo, in east Suffolk.12

It was Dade’s shortcomings as an ecclesiastical official that caused his downfall. In the 1630s he was in the front line of the campaign against puritanism, and was much mortified that so many of his victims escaped by emigration. In 1634 he told Archbishop Laud that this was commonly a device to avoid bankruptcy. The following year, or so his enemies alleged, he said openly at dinner in Wickham Market that the king would be glad if the thousands who went to New England were drowned in the sea. He identified Samuel Ward, the Ipswich town preacher, as the local clerical leader of the puritans, but feared to incur the hatred of his numerous adherents by prosecuting him in High Commission. Among Ward’s supporters was a puritan cobbler who, as churchwarden of St. Mary-le-Tower in Ipswich, the venue for the consistory court, improved the interior of his church by a choice collection of scriptural texts. Consequently, Dade found himself presiding under the inscription: ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves’. When the churchwarden refused to blot out the offensive text, Dade excommunicated him. The dauntless cobbler retorted by citing the commissary and most of his officials in High Commission for corruption, oppression and extortions and, with Naunton dead, Dade was compelled to resign both his posts.13

Dade avoided involvement in the Civil War, although in 1643 a man was bound over for threatening to plunder his house.14 He drew up his will on 6 Mar. 1652. After assigning generous bequests to relatives, friends and servants, he named (Sir) Thomas Bedingfield* as overseer, and bequeathed his houses to Ipswich, and his lands in Dallinghoo and nearby parishes to his brother, charged with annuities for the poor of Dallinghoo and St. Margaret’s, Ipswich. His books, intended for Trinity Hall, were to be delivered during the next Stourbridge fair. He died on 15 Sept. 1653, aged 71, and was buried in accordance with his wishes in Dallinghoo chancel, near his first wife. His epitaph proclaimed him an expert in the Civil Law, shielded from censure by a good conscience. No other member of the family entered Parliament.15

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: John. P. Ferris


  • 1. Misc. Gen. et Her. (ser. 2), i. 186, 327.
  • 2. Al. Cant.
  • 3. Misc. Gen. et Her. (ser. 2), i. 327-8, 363-4; East Anglian, n.s. vi. 155.
  • 4. C181/2, f. 174v; HCA30/855, f. 369.
  • 5. C181/3, f. 232v; 181/5, f. 176.
  • 6. Blomefield, Norf. iii. 658.
  • 7. HCA25/215, bdle. of warrants 1619-44; CSP Dom. 1637, pp. 142-3.
  • 8. C181/3, f. 13v; 181/5, f. 24v.
  • 9. Misc. Gen. et Her. (ser. 2), i. 201.
  • 10. C2/Jas.I/H19/13.
  • 11. HMC Var. vii. 93.
  • 12. Add. 19096, f. 130.
  • 13. CSP Dom. 1633-4, p. 450; 1635, p. 518; 1635-6, p. 47; 1636-7, p. 420; 1637, p. 109.
  • 14. J. Walter, Understanding Popular Violence in English Revolution, 63.
  • 15. PROB 11/240, ff. 95-6; Misc. Gen. et Her. (ser. 2), i. 327.