HODGKINS (HODGSKYNS), Henry (by 1522-69/70), of Winchcombe and Hailes, Glos.

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




Family and Education

b. by 1522. m. Anne, 1s. 1da.2

Offices Held

Gen. woodward, ct. augmentations, Glos. 3 Dec. 1545-54, Exchequer 1554-d.; commr. pensions, Glos. 1552, subsidy 1560; escheator 1554-5.3


A ‘Mr. Hodgskyns’ appears on the list of Members who opposed one of the government’s bills in the Parliament of 1555. Several names on that list vary from their customary forms and the Member so designated may have been William Hoskins, but he could have been a near-namesake sitting for a constituency for which the Members are unknown. Among bearers of the name, Henry Hodgkins or Hodgskins was a Gloucestershire man who was known to Sir Anthony Kingston, the leader of the opposition in the House, and whose kinsman Sir Philip Hoby was at this time visiting Protestant exiles on the Continent; as one of Kingston’s targets was the government’s bill to penalize such exiles, Hodgkins could have had a personal motive for following his lead. It is also possible to suggest the constituency for which he sat. Not only were Members for western counties and boroughs prominent among Kingston’s supporters, but it is among the names of some of these, as they appear on the list, that ‘Hodgskyns’ appears; this circumstance, and Henry Hodgkins’s domicile in Gloucestershire, argue strongly for a constituency in that region. The seats in Dorset, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire are all accounted for, but the names for Somerset, where the return is lost, have to be recovered from varied sources and in two instances, Bath and Taunton, they are lacking. Taunton can be dismissed on the ground that its patronage lay with Stephen Gardiner, who would hardly have sponsored a man of Hodgkins’s connexions, but Bath has more in its favour. As a tenant of the dean and chapter of Wells, Hodgkins might have received some diocesan support, while both William Crowche, who had sat for the city in the two previous Parliaments, and Sir Walter Denys, then sheriff of Gloucestershire and father of Richard Denys, one of the Members for Bath in the Parliament of 1547, could have lent their influence.4

Nothing has come to light about Hodgkins’s origins or upbringing, and it is not known whether his customary style ‘esquire’ bespoke a training in law. In 1543 he bought some ex-monastic property at Winchcombe and by the time of his appointment as woodward two years later he had settled there. He was keeper of Admiral Seymour’s castle at Sudeley between 1547 and 1549. He made his home at Hailes after leasing the site of Hailes abbey from the Marquess of Northampton in 1550. A year later John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, leased Oakley Park, near Cirencester, to ‘his servant’ Henry Hodgkins for 70 years. Regular purchases, exchanges and alienations enabled him to build up a small estate which by 1560 yielded a revenue of £40 a year. Several months before his return to Parliament the Council asked him to report whether Richard Tracy was conforming to Catholicism. A lease made by the dean and chapter of Wells to one George Eden or Hidden in 1555, and sold by Eden to Hodgkins two years later, was overlooked by William Turner on his restoration to the deanery by Elizabeth, and Hodgkins had to take the matter to the common pleas and the Star Chamber to secure his title. He made his will on 8 Mar. 1566, providing for his wife, a daughter and two grandsons by ‘my late son Richard’, whom he wished ‘to be honestly and virtuously bred up in learning or some good occupation’. He named his wife sole executrix and John Higford and William Hoby among the overseers. Three years later he leased some woods in Cornwall from the crown. This is the last reference found to Hodgkins, whose will was proved on 4 Feb. 1570.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: A. D.K. Hawkyard


  • 1. Guildford mus. Loseley 1331/2.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from first reference. PCC 6 Lyon; Vis. Worcs. (Harl. Soc. xxvii), 80.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, xxi; Rep. R. Comm. of 1552 (Archs. of Brit. Hist. and Culture iii), 49; Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. Trans. xlix. 98; E179/115/350.
  • 4. Guildford mus. Loseley 1331/2.
  • 5. St.Ch.5/H3/21, H13/18, H34/9, H50/40, H51/38, H55/13; LP Hen. VIII, xviii, xxi E323/6, f. 42; information from Julianna Marker; CPR, 1550-3, p. 71; 1553-4, p. 167; 1554-5, p. 200; 1555-7, p. 303; 1557-8, pp. 41, 452; 1558-60, p. 1; 1560-3, p. 125; 1563-6, pp. 222-3; 1572-5, p. 181; W. C. Richardson, Ct. Augmentations, 313 n. 143; E179/115/350; Rudder, Glos. 486; Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. Trans. xxii. 261; xxiii. 11; APC, v. 145; PCC 6 Lyon.