GLEMHAM, Sir Henry (1569-1632), of Glemham Hall, Little Glemham, 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. 22 Sept. 1569, 1st s. of Thomas Glemham of Glemham Hall and Amy, da. of Sir Henry Parker† of Furneux Pelham, Herts. educ. I. Temple 1585. m. 28 Sept. 1585, Anne, da. of Thomas Sackville†, 1st earl of Dorset, ld. treas. 1599-1608, 2s. 3da. suc. fa. 1571;1 kntd. 21 Aug. 1591.2 d. 30 Aug. 1632.3

Offices Held

J.p. Suff. 1601-d.;4 commr. musters, Suff. 1601,5 gaol delivery, Melton, Suff. 1603;6 steward, manor of Leiston, Suff. 1604, manors of Sweffling, Coddenham, Snape, Thorney and Melles, Suff. 1607;7 freeman, Ipswich, Suff. 1604;8 commr. piracy, Suff. 1604, 1612, 1627, inquiry into lands of Gunpowder plotters, Suff. 1606, into lands of Robert Rookwood, Suff. 1628, sewers, Fenland 1605-d., Suff. 1619-26;9 dep. lt. Suff. by 1609-at least 1627;10 capt. militia ft. by 1614-at least 1615;11 commr. charitable uses, Suff. 1617,12 brewhouse survey 1620, pressing seamen 1620, 1623, 1625, 1627,13 subsidy 1621-2, 1624-5;14 collector (jt.), Privy Seal loan, Suff. 1625-6;15 commr. Forced Loan, Suff. 1627, Ipswich, Suff. 1627.16

Commr. trade 1622, 1625.17


Glemham’s ancestors presumably took their name from the Glemham district in east Suffolk and can be found in that area by the early fifteenth century. However, they did not acquire the manor of Little Glemham, situated less than ten miles from Aldeburgh, until the dissolution of the chantries in the 1540s. Glemham’s father substantially augmented the estate by purchasing former monastic lands, turning the family into important east Suffolk landowners.18 Glemham himself married the daughter of Thomas, 1st Lord Buckhurst (Thomas Sackville†), subsequently lord treasurer and earl of Dorset, and it was thanks to Buckhurst’s patronage that he was twice returned for Lewes under Elizabeth, the first member of his family to sit in Parliament. Glemham’s wife became the accepted conduit for bribes to the lord treasurer and consequently Glemham’s own status rose: he was returned for Suffolk in 1601 and two years later helped carry the canopy at Queen Elizabeth’s funeral.19

In December 1603 Buckhurst recommended Glemham, whose annual income he estimated at £2,000, for appointment as lieutenant of the Tower. This post, he declared, would enable Glemham to ‘live in that place in the form of a private life with the benefit of the office and a small addition beside’, and so ‘make him rich, and able to marry his three daughters’.20 However, the office was conferred instead on Sir George Harvey*. Buckhurst was more successful the following year, when he nominated Glemham for a parliamentary seat at Ipswich, where he was high steward.21 However, on 1 May 1604, half way through the opening session, Glemham was given a government pass to go overseas to Spa. There is no evidence that he obtained leave to depart the House, but this presumably helps explain why he made no impression on the records of the first Jacobean Parliament.22

On the death of her father in 1608, Glemham’s wife inherited £4,000. However, Dorset placed this money in trust for Lady Glemham and her children rather than bestowing it on Glemham himself since the latter had often deprived his wife ‘of many gifts and benefits which I have bestowed on her’.23 Glemham helped the widowed countess to find a pawnbroker for her jewels.24 By 1611 Glemham seems to have withdrawn himself from the Court, in which year he described himself to Sir Michael Hickes* as ‘one who lives a country life’. Having received garbled reports about the new baronetcies, which on one account were tied to the reform of the militia, he asked for assurance that he would not have to purchase the new honour to remain a deputy lieutenant.25 Glemham could certainly have afforded to buy a baronetcy had he wished to do so, as he is credited with rebuilding Glemham Hall and was recommended by Sir John Hobart I* to Sir Michael Stanhope* as a possible purchaser of property.26

During the his father-in-law’s tenure as lord treasurer, Glemham had been appointed steward of various Crown manors in Suffolk, including Leiston, situated less than five miles from Aldeburgh, for which borough he was returned in 1614. He may have enjoyed Howard support during the election as, despite periodically being on bad terms with the lord chamberlain, Thomas Howard, 1st earl of Suffolk, the earl had appointed him one of his deputy lieutenants.27 In the Addled Parliament Glemham was named to his only committee in the Stuart period, this being to consider a bill for the prevention of new buildings in London and Westminster (1 June).28 His chief concern in the Parliament was to obtain legislation that would enable him, as executor to his neighbour Sir William Forth, to sell certain land. He introduced a bill to that effect on 24 May, but it got no further than a first reading.29

In 1617 Glemham was involved in a dispute of an unspecified nature with Sir Lionel Tollemache*. The matter was brought before the Privy Council, but the parties were left to the remedy of the law.30 Glemham had the double satisfaction of witnessing his adversary’s discomfiture at the next county election, and of securing his own re-election at Aldeburgh for the third Jacobean Parliament, this time on the recommendation of Thomas Howard, earl of Arundel. In his sixth and last Parliament, he reverted to total inactivity, so far as one can tell from the surviving records. He was not recommended by Arundel in 1624 and does not appear to have stood again.31

As a prominent Suffolk magistrate, Glemham was closely involved in Aldeburgh affairs in the 1620s, which undoubtedly contributed to the election for the borough of his son, Sir Thomas in 1625 and 1626.32 He was an active Forced Loan commissioner, but failed to pay his own assessment, claiming that he was owed as much money as was due for acting as collector for the Privy Seal loan of 1625-6. His role in Suffolk local government seems to have diminished thereafter and he died at Little Glemham, where he was buried on 31 Aug. 1632. He was succeeded by his son Sir Thomas.33 No will or grant of administration has been found.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: John. P. Ferris


  • 1. C142/158/37; Vis. Suff. ed. Metcalfe, 34, 140; I. Temple database of admiss.; Soc. Gen. Southover par. reg.
  • 2. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 88.
  • 3. C142/491/29.
  • 4. C231/1, f. 113v; SP16/212.
  • 5. APC, 1600-1, p. 400.
  • 6. C181/1, f. 63.
  • 7. E315/310, ff. 18v, 51.
  • 8. N. Bacon, Annalls of Ipswche ed. W.H. Richardson, 417.
  • 9. C181/1, ff. 83v, 112; 181/2, ff. 3v, 174v, 349v; 181/3, ff. 201v, 238v; 181/4, f. 93v.
  • 10. Harl. 3786, f. 35v; HMC 13th Rep. IV, 451.
  • 11. Add. 39245, ff. 15v, 22.
  • 12. C93/9/4.
  • 13. APC, 1619-21, pp. 204, 248; 1621-3, p. 436; 1627-8, p. 206.
  • 14. C212/22/20-1, 23; Harl. 305, f. 206.
  • 15. E401/2586, p. 247.
  • 16. APC, 1627, p. 91; C193/13/2, ff. 55, 85.
  • 17. T. Rymer, Foedera, vii. pt. 4, p. 11; viii. pt. 1, p. 59.
  • 18. W.A. Copinger, Manors of Suff. v. 107, 127, 138, 140.
  • 19. L. Stone, Crisis of the Aristocracy, 492; LC2/4/4, f. 46v.
  • 20. HMC Hatfield, xv. 322-3.
  • 21. HMC 9th Rep. pt. 1, pp. 253, 245
  • 22. CSP Dom. 1603-10, p. 104.
  • 23. PROB 11/113, f. 20.
  • 24. Bodl. Tanner 286, f. 79.
  • 25. Lansd. 92, f. 36; P. Croft, ‘Catholic Gentry, the Earl of Salisbury and the Baronets of 1611’, Conformity and Orthodoxy in the Eng. Church ed. P. Lake and M. Questier, 264.
  • 26. Add. 15520, f. 121; Bodl. Tanner 283, f. 49.
  • 27. HMC Hatfield, xx. 296; HMC Portland, ix. 32; Sainty, Lords Lieutenants, 32.
  • 28. Procs. 1614 (Commons), 402.
  • 29. Ibid. 329; HLRO, main pprs. 24 May 1614.
  • 30. APC, 1616-17, p. 401.
  • 31. SP14/135/42.
  • 32. CSP Dom. 1625-6, p. 226; HMC Var. iv. 293.
  • 33. SP16/75/21; ‘Loans from Suff. 1627’ ed. H.W. Billing Wyman, East Anglian, n.s. xiii. 7; C142/491/29; Suff. RO (Ipswich), Little Glemham par. reg.