PIERREPONT, Henry (1546-1616), of Holme Pierrepont, Notts.

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. 18 Sept. 1546, 1st s. of Sir George Pierrepont of Holme Pierrepont by his 2nd w. Winifred, da. and h. of Sir William Thwaites of ?Manningtree Essex. educ. Trinity Hall, Camb. 1561; G. Inn 1564. m. Frances, da. of Sir William Cavendish of Chatsworth, Derbys., 1s., Robert at least 1da., Grace, w. of George Manners. suc. fa. 1564. Kntd. 21 Apr. 1603.

Offices Held

J.p. Notts. from c.1573, temp. rem. c.1587, j.p.q. by 1593, sheriff 1575-6, 1601-2; recorder, Nottingham from 1603.


Aged 17 when his father died, Pierrepont became a ward of Roger Manners I, esquire of the body to the Queen and uncle of the 5th Earl of Rutland. His mother soon remarried and his wardship was granted to his stepfather, Sir Gervase Clifton of Clifton, Nottinghamshire, in May 1565. Pierrepont’s estate, lying mostly in Nottinghamshire, with one manor, Scarcliffe, in Derbyshire, was valued at a little under £300 a year.1

The Elizabethan Pierreponts were recusants, Henry’s younger brother Gervase being particularly ‘obstinate’. Henry, though more discreet, fell foul of the government more than once. It was probably he who was arrested in 1567 for attending mass ‘at the ambassador’s.’ In 1581 he was again detained, this time on the more serious charge of entertaining Edmund Campion and other priests over the previous Christmas. When Campion confessed, Pierrepont’s house was searched and he and Gervase were summoned before the Council. They later made a full confession in the Star Chamber and were pardoned. Henry avoided further trouble until November 1592, when Sir Thomas Stanhope and other j.p.s ordered him to relinquish for the second time his office of justice of the peace, on grounds of recusancy. Pierrepont strongly denied the charge in a protest to the 7th Earl of Shrewsbury, his brother-in-law and Stanhope’s enemy, and the Earl was probably successful in quashing the order. In return for the Earl’s patronage, and no doubt as an expression of his resentment towards Stanhope, Pierrepont was a prominent supporter of Shrewsbury’s candidate, Sir Charles Cavendish, against the rival Stanhope faction in the county election of 1593. His canvassing for Cavendish was at first misunderstood by Stanhope, who apparently suspected that Pierrepont (who had sat for the county in 1572) intended to stand again himself. He did not, however, enter Parliament again, although his son Robert did, no doubt with Shrewsbury’s backing. Pierrepont’s ties with Shrewsbury were further strengthened in 1601 when his son married the Earl’s niece, Gertrude. Two years later the Earl ranked him with Sir John Byron as ‘the best and principal gentleman’ in the county, and it was his influence which largely explains Pierrepont’s election as recorder of Nottingham in succession to Richard Parkins. Pierrepont died in March 1616, aged 69. He was buried at Holme Pierrepont, where his wife had a monument erected. In his will, dated 8 July 1615, he made bequests totalling £100 to his servants. His wife was appointed sole executrix of the estate, which descended to Robert.2

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: B.D.


  • 1. Vis. Notts. (Harl. Soc. iv), 50-1; Wards 9/138/466-9; HMC 9th Rep. pt. 2, p. 375; Nottingham Recs. iv. 426; C142/140/153; CPR, 1563-6, p. 328.
  • 2. Cath. Rec. Soc. Misc. i. 49; ii. 231 et passim; APC, xiii. 170-1, 247-8, 260-1; Coll. of Arms, Talbot mss, transcribed by G. R. Batho, H. f. 463; Lodge, Illus. iii(2), pp. 71, 72; Neale, Commons, 65-6; Add. 12506, f. 189; Thoroton, Notts. ed. Throsby, i. 180; York prob. reg. 34/76; C142/362/171.