Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Ferrers, Henry (1549-1633)
FERRERS, HENEY (1549–1633), antiquary, son and heir of Edward Ferrers [q. v.] of Baddesley Clinton, Warwickshire, by Bridget, daughter and heiress of William, lord Windsor, was born in that county on 26 Jan. 1549. He became a student at Oxford, probably as a member of Hart Hall, in the beginning of Queen Elizabeth's reign, but it is not known whether he took a degree. Afterwards he retired to his patrimony, and devoted himself to the study of heraldry, genealogy, and antiquities. He was the earliest collector of materials for the history of his county, with the exception of John Rous, and he intended to publish a ‘Perambulation of Warwickshire’ on the model of Lambarde's ‘Perambulation of Kent,’ but did not carry the design into effect. Camden says that he was ‘a man both for parentage and for knowledge of antiquity, very commendable and my special friend; who … hath at all times courteously shewed me the right way when I was out, and from his candle, as it were, hath lighted mine’ (Britannia, ed. Gough, ii. 331). Dugdale, who in writing the ‘Antiquities of Warwickshire’ made extensive use of Ferrers's manuscript collections, describes him as an eminent antiquary and ‘a man of distinguished worth, reflecting lustre on the ancient and noble family to which he belonged.’ Guillim writes that Ferrers was ‘a man very judicious in matters of honour.’ Some of his manuscripts are preserved at the College of Arms, others in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, and the British Museum (Lansd. MS. 860 a and b; cf. Colvile, Worthies of Warwickshire, p. 282). ‘He had also in his younger days,’ says Wood, ‘a good faculty in poetry, some of which I have seen scattered in divers books printed in the reign of qu. Elizabeth’ (Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, ii. 572; see Ferrers, George). Ferrers was apparently the M.P. for Callington in 1597. He was an adherent of the Roman catholic church (Dodd, Church Hist. iii. 74). He died on 10 Oct. 1633, and was buried in the church of Baddesley Clinton. He married, in October 1582, Jane, daughter and coheiress of Henry White, esq., of South Warnborough, Hampshire, son of Sir Thomas White, knight, and by her (who died 7 Sept. 1586, aged 23) he had a son Edward and a daughter Mary.
The writer of the introduction to the ‘Archæologia’ conjectured that Ferrers was the author of ‘A Motion for erecting an Academy Royal, or Colledge of King James,’ manuscript written in 1617, but the real author was Edmund Bolton [q. v.][Dugdale's Warwickshire, p. 710; Dugdale's Life and Diary (Hamper), p. 265; Burke's Landed Gentry, 1868, p. 470; Shirley's Noble and Gentle Men of England, p. 261; Harl. MSS. 374, art. 17, 539, art. 3, 2161, p. 228; Gillow's Bibl. Dict.; Hannett's Forest of Arden, pp. 144, 145, 204, 209, 212; Ashmol. MSS. 789 f. 113 b, 799 f. 32, 1107 f. 219; Macray's Cat. of the Rawlinson MSS. ii. 698; Camden's Visitation of Warwickshire in 1619 (Harl. Soc.), p. 5; Hunter's MS. Chorus Vatum v., in Brit. Mus. Addit. MS. 23491, p. 421.]