WARNER, Henry (?1551-1617), of Mildenhall, Suff.

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. ?1551, 1st s. of Robert Warner of Norwich by his 1st w. Cecily, da. of Walter Marshe of London. educ. Peterhouse, Camb. 1567; ?L. Inn 1571, called 1577. m. (1) about 1572, Mary (d.1601), da. of Robert Wingfield of Letheringham; (2) Frances, da. of Edward Glemham, wid. of Robert Forthe, at least 1s. 2da. suc. fa. 1575. Kntd. 1603.

Offices Held

J.p. Suff. from c.1583, sheriff 1598-9, j.p.q. by 1601.1


This Member was presumably the Henry Warner who was baptized at Milk Street, London, in January 1551, with Henry, Earl of Rutland and Sir Walter Mildmay as godfathers. The Duchess of Richmond, daughter of the Duke of Norfolk and widow of Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, was godmother. The birth of an heir to Robert was an event of considerable importance in the family, since Sir Edward Warner, Robert’s younger brother, had no surviving sons. The lands descended to Robert, and then to Henry.2

There is no doubt that Warner went to Peterhouse, but the Henry Warner who was admitted to Lincoln’s Inn in February 1571 may have been a different man. He is styled in the admission register as ‘of London’ and it seems unlikely that Sir Edward Warner’s nephew, who succeeded to his estates in 1575, would have been described in this way, or that he would have remained at the inns of court to be called to the bar when he had already become the head of his family and assumed the responsibilities of a country gentleman.

Warner’s name does not appear among the Suffolk puritans, who so often held at least one of the county seats. In fact he was not at all prominent in the county under Elizabeth—possibly because his position at Mildenhall, where he built, or rebuilt, the manor house, was overshadowed by that of Lord North, who acquired property there about the middle of the reign. It is possible that Warner had in any case interests outside the county. Either he or a namesake was granted, in 1592, a patent for selling and curing fish, which aroused the strong hostility of the justices in Devon and Cornwall.3

During the 1597 Parliament he sat on committees concerned with the poor law (22 Nov.) and the possessions of the bishopric of Norwich (30 Nov. 1597 and 16 Jan. 1598). One bill was especially committed to him—a private measure dealing with the affairs of his relative Edward Cotton. In addition, as a knight of the shire he could have sat on committees concerned with enclosures (5 Nov.), the poor law (5, 22 Nov.), armour and weapons (8 Nov.), penal laws (8 Nov.), monopolies (10 Nov.), the subsidy (15 Nov.), Great Yarmouth’s charter (23 Nov.) and draining the fens (3 Dec.). There is no reference to him in the journals for 1601, when he sat for Thetford, near his Mildenhall estate. It was from Mildenhall that he wrote to (Sir) Nicholas Bacon on 10 Oct. 1601 about arrangements for the county election.4

Warner’s will, made in June 1616, was proved in July the following year. It mentions two daughters (one deceased) and a grandson, but the bulk of the property was to descend to his son Edward. An interesting provision withdrew the use of the property from Edward if he played at cards or dice at the rate of more than 20s. per night. ‘Any wife that he [Edward] shall happen to marry’was to have a jointure of £200. Sir John Crofts and Serjeant Thomas Athowe were the executors, and (Sir) Edward Coke supervisor.5

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. Vis. Norf. (Norf. and Norwich Arch. Soc.), i. 18; Misc. Gen. et Her. (ser. 2), iv. 90; Copinger, Suff. Manors, iv. 184-7; Nichols, Top. and Gen. ii. 388-9; T. A. Walker, Peterhouse Biog. Reg. i. 266. The authorities differ as to order of marriages and children.
  • 2. Misc. Gen. et Her. (ser. 2), iv. 90; CP, x. 829-30; DNB (Warner, Sir Edward).
  • 3. Lansd. 74, ff. 2-18 passim.
  • 4. D’Ewes, 552, 553, 555, 557, 561, 562, 567, 568, 581; Univ. Chicago, Bacon mss.
  • 5. PCC 65 Weldon.