BODENHAM, Henry (1511/12-73), of Ebbesborne Wake, Wilts.

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. 1511/12, 1st. s. of Henry Bodenham of Ebbesborne Wake by his w. Elizabeth. m. (1) Margery or Margaret (d.1567), da. and h. of Henry Pauncefoot of Fugglestone St. Peter, at least 4s. 2da.; (2) c.1568, Avice, wid. of Edmund Somerset, ?s.p. suc. fa. 3 Sept. 1515.

Offices Held

J.p. Wilts. from 1543; commr. gaol delivery, Fisherton Anger 1543, collection of relief, Wilts. 1550, corn prices 1551.1


The Bodenhams were an old Wiltshire family, settled at Ebbesborne Wake since the thirteenth century. The Henry Bodenham whose life is detailed above had a son, also Henry, born about 1540, who may possibly have been the 1559 Wilton MP. However, as neither the younger Henry nor others of the family appeared in later Elizabethan Parliaments, it is on balance more likely that it was the father who sat both in 1555 and 1559. A seat for Wilton looks like a comedown for a former knight of the shire but in Wiltshire there was intense competition for the county seat; even local magnates like Sir John Thynne sometimes had to be content with a borough. Bodenham would have been returned through the courtesy of William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke.

Like many gentlemen of the period, he remained in office throughout the religious changes of four reigns. Though he voted against a government bill in 1555, he seems to have been but a half-hearted protestant, classified by the bishop of Salisbury in 1564 as ‘no hinderer’ of sound religion. In 1565 he was assessed for the subsidy on £30 in lands. He died 3 June 1573. In his will, made early the same year, and proved a fortnight after his death, he asked to be buried in Ebbesborne Wake parish church, near to his wife Avice, and left £20 for his tomb and ‘the plastering of the chancel’. His eldest son Henry, aged about 34, was appointed executor and instructed to give Elizabeth, the unmarried daughter, accommodation and a small annuity until her marriage. The three youngest sons were left bequests of £100 or 100 marks: a married daughter, Margaret, and her children also benefited.2

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. LP Hen. VIII, vii. 398; xx(1), pp. 314, 316; CPR, 1550-3, p. 142; 1553 and App. Edw. VI, p. 359; 1569-72, p. 420; PCC 21 Peter, 13 Babington; C142/31/48, 165/189; E150/968/4.
  • 2. C142/165/189; Hoare, Wilts. Chalk, 15, 162-3; Downton, 61; LP Hen. VIII, iii(2), p. 1285; vii. 398; CPR, 1553 and App. Edw. VI, pp. 30-1; Som. Rec. Soc. xix. 217-19; VCH Wilts. vi. 43; Wilts. N. and Q. vi. 86; Harl. 1111, f. i seq.; Guildford Mus. Loseley 1331/2; Cam. Misc. ix(3), p. 38; PCC 21 Peter.