APSLEY, Henry (1561-1605), of Ore, Suss.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b.1561, 3rd s. of William Apsley of Thakeham by Elizabeth, da. of John Lloyd. educ. Staple Inn; G. Inn 1579. ?unm. J.p. Suss. from 1591.

Offices Held


There were two contemporaries named Henry Apsley. One, baptized at Horsham 13 Sept. 1558, was the half-brother of William Apsley of Thakeham, who mentioned him in a deed of settlement of 1582; the other, whose name appears in the same deed, was William’s third son who was baptized at Poynings, near Steyning, and later resided at Ore, near Hastings. Almost certainly it was the younger man who became a lawyer of Gray’s Inn and twice sat in Parliament through his father’s and his own local influence. It was presumably the uncle who matriculated at Jesus College, Cambridge in 1572 and was admitted to the Inner Temple in 1580.1

Apsley had an eventful parliamentary career. Though a newcomer to the House of Commons, it was he who, on 27 Feb. 1589, introduced a puritan sponsored bill against pluralities and non-residence. At the beginning of the next Parliament he took part in Peter Wentworth’s meeting at Lincoln’s Inn, 21 Feb. 1593, to discuss tactics. Apsley was allocated the succession question, but in the event the Privy Council got wind of the meeting. Summoned for questioning, Apsley grovelled, and a companion described him as fearful to offend and of good judgment in the laws of the land. Apsley was restricted to London and Westminster, and allowed to continue his attendance in Parliament. He was put on the subsidy committee (26 Feb.) and, as a burgess for one of the Cinque Ports, he could have served on a committee for the explanation of certain statutes (28 Mar.).

In the autumn preceding the Hampton Court conference Apsley whipped up support from the Sussex gentry for a puritan petition calling for the reform of the church. He died between making his nuncupative will on 8 Jan. 1605 at Lilford, Northamptonshire, the home of his sister-in-law Elizabeth, wife of Sir Edward Apsley, and its proof on 17 Jan. He left everything to his brother Edward, whom he appointed executor.2

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: J.E.M.


  • 1. Suss. N. and Q. xiii. 246; W. Berry, Co. Genealogies, Suss. (Comber’s annotated copy at Chichester), 150; Suss. Rec. Soc. xiv. 6-7; PRO, Assizes 35, S.E. Circuit, Suss.; APC, xxii. 452; xxviii. 118; HMC Hatfield, vii. 396, 401.
  • 2. D’Ewes, 440, 474, 511; Neale, Parlts. ii. 224-5, 257-61; EHR, xxxix. 187 seq.; Harl. 6846, ff. 65 seq.; Collinson thesis 855; PCC 3 Hayes.