POOLE, Henry (1564-1632), of Kemble, Glos. and Oaksey, 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. 1564, 1st s. of Edward Poole of Cirencester, Glos. and Oaksey, Wilts. educ. Trinity Coll. Oxf. 1580. m. (1) Griselda, da. of Edward Neville, 7th Lord Abergavenny, of Newton St. Loe, Som., 2s. 1da.; (2) c.1614, Anne Barnarde, wid. of Sir James Harrington of Ridlington, Rutland. suc. fa. 1577. Kntd. 1603.

Offices Held

J.p. Wilts. from c.1590, q. by 1601, sheriff 1619-20.


Poole’s father had lived in Cirencester, and he himself probably still owned property there when he was returned for the borough in 1597. No doubt his standing met with the approval of Sir Henry Poole of Sapperton. Charles Danvers, the lord of the borough, who had fled abroad after a duel in 1594, was still on the Continent in 1597.1

Poole’s chief estates lay in Wiltshire, but in 1597 his quarrel—then in its fourth year—with (Sir) Henry Knyvet may have prevented his seeking to be returned there. The quarrel originated in a dispute over the ownership of the manor of Kemble. Poole had inherited a lease of the property, granted by the Crown in 1564, from his grandfather Thomas Walton, and claimed in a Star Chamber suit of 1593 that he had also acquired all other leases relating to the property, of which he had been in quiet possession for 11 years before 1593. However, his grandmother, Margaret Walton, had a life-interest in part of the property which she was persuaded to grant to Knyvet. Immediately thereafter Knyvet, accompanied by armed servants, forced his way into Kemble manor house ostensibly to show Poole the lease, frightening in the process Poole’s pregnant wife. Knyvet also took possession of a close where Poole’s men were harvesting, making it known in Malmesbury that whoever came to cut corn at Kemble could carry it away without payment, whereupon a large number of poor people came to Kemble, and remained there several days cutting corn. How the dispute ended is not known, but Poole continued to hold property at Kemble. Whoever was in the right it was an unseemly quarrel to occupy two justices. Possibly as a result of this dispute Poole was summoned before the Council in 1596 to answer allegations that he had been neglecting the Queen’s service.2

One lease of property in Kemble had been in the possession of the Wye family, and it was probably as a further consequence of the dispute with Knyvet that Poole and William Combe, while Members of the Commons, were subpoenaed to give evidence in the Star Chamber by Anne, wife of Thomas Wye. Both successfully pleaded privilege, 28 Nov. 1597, the House ordering that Mistress Wye should be called to answer her contempt.3

Under James I Poole became a leading figure in Wiltshire affairs, and a regular Parliament man. He made his will on 17 Mar. 1631. The sole executor and residuary legatee was his eldest son Sir Neville, who, Sir Henry hoped, would not be ‘carried away with idle sports and vain delights of the world’, but would chiefly apply himself to the service of God, and next to the good of his country. Sir Henry ended his will by beseeching

the most glorious Trinity to vouchsafe me in these my latter days the true spirit of regeneration that ever hereafter I may spend my time in true holiness and righteousness all the days of my life.

The will was proved on 14 Nov. 1632, 11 days after Sir Henry’s death.4

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: A. M. Mimardière


  • 1. C142/183/85, 489/144; J. R. Dunlop, Fam. of Poole, 9-10; E163/14/8, f. 39; Hatfield mss 278; C66/1549; PCC 35 Langley.
  • 2. St. Ch. 5/P20/3, P24/31, P54/25; C2 Eliz./P1/56; APC, xxvi. 256.
  • 3. St. Ch. 5/P54/25; C2 Eliz./P1/56; D’Ewes, 564; Townshend, Hist. Colls. 109.
  • 4. PCC 110 Audley; C142/489/144.