GOLDNEY (FARNELL, AFFERNEWELL), alias FERNELL, Henry (by 1517-72/73), of Chippenham, Wilts.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Oct. 1553

Family and Education

b. by 1517, 1st s. of Nicholas Afternewell of Chippenham by Agnes. m. by 1547, Joan, da. of James Downe of Shrewton, at least 4s. 2da. suc. fa. 1538.1

Offices Held

Bailiff, Chippenham 1554, ?1566; receiver, duchy of Lancaster, Mon. 1558-9.2


Henry Goldney, like his father, was a wealthy farmer and clothier. Nicholas Afternewell sold high quality white broadcloths to Thomas Kitson, a prominent Merchant Adventurer, and referred in his will to three looms and their ‘apparel’, as well as to a fulling mill at Stanley. Although the will, which was proved on 16 May 1538, mentions neither the age nor the seniority of Nicholas’s children, Henry Goldney sued his mother and her second husband some 12 months later over his expulsion from 240 acres in Chippenham and Longley, on which he had entered as his father’s heir. It is not known why he adopted the surname Goldney: the first reference found to it is in September 1549 and it was retained by his descendants.3

When Goldney sued his mother and his stepfather Thomas Scott he complained that they were ‘of great substance and riches and also greatly friended and allied in the said county of Wiltshire’, whereas he himself was but a poor man. Scott, another clothier, was the most heavily taxed burgess in Chippenham under Edward VI, his goods being assessed at £80 in 1549-50 and at £60 in 1551, while those of Goldney were valued at only £12 and £10. In 1558, however, Goldney paid £120 to the crown for a 40-year lease of the Wiltshire manor of Rowde, at an annual rent of £40, and at the same time he was granted the right to hold a court, which had been denied to the previous tenants. Although described as a yeoman on the return and in his will, in November 1558 he was styled a gentleman when appointed a receiver for the duchy of Lancaster in Monmouthshire. Moreover, he was one of three residents of Chippenham who were assessed on lands in January 1560.4

If a native of Chippenham was to be returned to Parliament, Goldney was an obvious choice. His importance is further shown by the charter of incorporation granted on 2 May 1554, whereby he was appointed the first bailiff and 12 other inhabitants were named as the burgesses who were to assist him. He and Thomas Wilkes are the only early Tudor Members for Chippenham who are known to have been townsmen, although it is possible that they share this distinction with Goldney’s fellow-Member Robert Wrastley, and also with Thomas Smith III. As tenant of Rowde, a manor normally held with Devizes and Marlborough as part of the dower of the Queens of England, and as an official of the duchy of Lancaster, Goldney was more than a simple burgess; his election was therefore not necessarily a sign of municipal independence. He was not one of those who ‘stood for the true religion’ in this Parliament.5

Henry Goldney alias Fernell made his will while sick on 22 June 1572, asking to be buried in his parish church. The profits of a house, mills and other possessions in Chippenham were to go for seven years to Edward Stafford, one of eight feoffees in whom the property had been vested, and to his wife Agnes, the testator’s daughter; out of these the Staffords were to provide £50 a year for the payment of legacies, as well as one bushel of wheat and one bushel of malt every week and two dozen eels a year for Goldney’s widow Joan. After seven years, the profits were to be enjoyed on similar terms for life by the youngest son Gabriel Goldney (whose upbringing was entrusted to another of the feoffees, Henry Long of Whaddon, a clothier), with remainder to his brothers Thomas and Henry and finally to a younger Henry, son of the testator’s late son Adam. The elder sons Henry and Thomas were left £40 each and a second daughter Sybil was left the same sum, with a further £10 and payments in kind towards her marriage. The feoffees were to act as supervisors and the sole executor was Gabriel, on whose behalf administration of the estate was granted to Edward Stafford on 9 July 1573. Goldney’s widow was living in 1576 and at least two of his surviving sons became bailiff of Chippenham, as did many of his descendants.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: T. F.T. Baker


  • 1. Of age at father’s death. PCC 16 Dyngeley, 39 Peter; C1/984/9, 1122/15.
  • 2. CPR, 1553-4, p. 104; Chippenham Recs. ed. Goldney, 342; Somerville, Duchy, i. 651.
  • 3. G. D. Ramsey, Wilts. Woollen Industry in the 16th and 17th Centuries, 12-13; PCC 16 Dyngeley; VCH Wilts. iv. 145; C1/984/9-10; CP40/1142, r. 561; CPR, 1557-8, p. 289.
  • 4. C1/984/9; E179/198/256, 265, 267, 275; CPR, 1557-8, p. 289; VCH Wilts. vii. 219; Somerville, i. 651.
  • 5. CPR, 1553-4, P. 104.
  • 6. PCC 39 Peter; Wilts. Arch. Soc. recs. br. x. 54; Chippenham Recs., 347-8.