SADLER, Henry (c.1538-1618), of Everley, Wilts and Hungerford, Berks.

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.1538, 3rd s. of Sir Ralph Sadler and bro. of Thomas. educ. Gonville, Camb. 1558. m. (1) Dorothy, da. of Edward Gilbert of Everley, 2s. 3da.; (2) by 1604, Ursula, da. of John Gill of Widial, Herts., 4s.

Offices Held

Steward, duchy of Lancaster lands in Wilts. 1570-1618; clerk of the hanaper 1572-1604; constable, Leicester castle 1576; j.p.q. Wilts. 1592, sheriff 1595-6.1


Sadler was originally intended for a diplomatic career, serving between 1563 and 1565 in the household of the English resident ambassador in France Sir Thomas Smith. During the autumn of 1563 he maintained communications between Smith and Sir Nicholas Throckmorton, who was at that time imprisoned at St. Germain-en-Laye. In November 1564 Sadler carried despatches to London, for which he was paid £30, £7 more than he had claimed as expenses. The last mention of him in Smith’s correspondence is a year later, when the ambassador sent him to de Laubespine, the French secretary of state.2

The appointment of his father to the chancellorship of the duchy of Lancaster presumably encouraged Sadler to exchange diplomacy for some duchy lands and offices. Appointed duchy steward in Wiltshire, he collected a number of jobs there and in Berkshire, such as woodward of Aldbourne and Braden, keeper of woods at Hungerford and lieutenant of Aldbourne chase in 1579. Eventually, on his father’s death, he obtained possession of the duchy manors of Everley and Hungerford. Meanwhile he had been granted a profitable office in Chancery and a post at Leicester of sufficient importance for the corporation to think it worthwhile to obtain his favour by means of a gift in 1584.3

Sadler’s parliamentary career also depended upon and correlates with his father’s tenure of the chancellorship of the duchy. In 1572 the other Member for Lancaster was his brother Thomas; two of his brothers-in-law also sat for duchy boroughs in 1571 and 1572 and one of them in 1586. After his father’s death Sadler confined his activities to local affairs in Wiltshire where he was an active magistrate. In 1596 he was reprimanded by the Privy Council because his levies for service in the Isle of Wight were ‘unable persons, ill armed and apparelled and long a-coming’. Sadler blamed the colonels of the trained bands and the bad weather.4

For some time, however, Sadler maintained his family connexions with Hertfordshire, where his elder brother was established. For a few years he held the manors of Hexton and Aspenden, conveyed to him by his brother Edward and one John Philpot. But the Hertfordshire lands he inherited from his father were sold in 1610, and by the end of his life his landed property was concentrated at Everley and Hungerford. He entertained James I at Everley in August 1603.5

He died 17 Mar. 1618, ten days after his eldest son, and was buried in Hungerford church. A life interest in the lands at Everley and Hungerford was bequeathed to his ‘well-beloved wife’ Ursula, the sole executrix, with a reversion to the eldest surviving son of their marriage. His daughter Joan was left a farm and tenement in Middle Everley, three score ewes and their pasture, and £1,000. In a codicil, he arranged the disinheritance of his son Francis if he lived abroad or fell ‘into the Romish or Popish religion’.6

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: Irene Cassidy


  • 1. Vis. Beds. (Harl. Soc. xix), 136; Al. Cant. iv. 2; Hoare, Wilts. Everley, iii. 3, 6; Somerville, Duchy, i. 395, i 565, 632, 633; CSP Dom. 1581-90, p. 708; Murdin, State Pprs. 808; APC, xxii. 501; Hatfield ms 278.
  • 2. CSP For. 1563, pp. 537, 552, 555-6; 1564-5, pp. 6, 123, 128, 238, 240, 510-11; APC, vii. 161.
  • 3. Aubrey and Jackson, Wilts. Colls. 365; Somerville, i. 565, 632, 633; CSP Dom. 1581-90, p. 708; Leicester Recs. iii. 220.
  • 4. HMC Hatfield, vi. 506-7.
  • 5. PCC 23 Spencer; VCH Herts. ii. 353; iii. 425; iv. 19; Clutterbuck, Herts. ii. 26; iii. 7.
  • 6. PCC 34 Parker; Aubrey and Jackson, 365.