KINGSMILL, Henry (c.1534-77), of Freemantle, Hants.

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. c.1534, 15th s. of Sir John Kingsmill of Sydmonton and bro. of George, John and Richard. educ. Paris 1552; Padua 1554. unm.

Offices Held

Member of the royal household by 1560; keeper, Freemantle park, Hants from Nov. 1561.


Kingsmill was one of nine brothers, notable for their radical religious connexions in a conservative county. He shared lodgings in Paris with Thomas Hoby, where they were both students of civil law, and the two met again in Padua in August 1554. In the following July Kingsmill was a member of the 2nd Earl of Bedford’s household in Venice. He perhaps returned to England before Mary’s death, and was in the royal household by 1560. He came into the 1563 Parliament for Downton, through the influence of his fellow Marian exile, Bishop Horne of Winchester, to whom his brother John was later chancellor. It is unlikely that Kingsmill was active in the Commons; references in this Parliament to Mr. Kingsmill are to his brother Richard. Henry Kingsmill was made responsible, in the autumn of 1568, for the reception and accommodation of the exiled protestant Cardinal of Châtillon at Sheen.

Kingsmill died at Freemantle in 1577. In his will, made 31 Mar., he left to his mother, to his aunt, the mother of Henry Gifford, and to each of his sisters, one of whom was the wife of Richard Norton I, ‘a Geneva bible in English of the great print’; and to each of his brothers he bequeathed a black ring. The bibles and rings were to be inscribed with the words: ‘The life of man is short and subject to many displeasures’. He gave his nephew, Ferdinando Kingsmill, his books and other personal belongings. The will mentions no land. William Jephson of Froyle was executor, and the will was proved 30 June 1577.

Vis. Hants (Harl. Soc. lxiv), 3, 17; CSP Ven. vi. 145; Cam. Misc. x(2), pp. 78, 116; C. H. Garrett, Marian Exiles, 208 CPR, 1558-60, p. 322; 1560-3, p. 301; CSP Dom.1547-80, pp. 316-20; PCC 27 Daughtry.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Authors: Alan Harding / K.B.