Dudley, Henry (d.1565?) (DNB01)

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DUDLEY, Sir HENRY (d. 1565?), conspirator, was apparently third son of John Sutton de Dudley, seventh baron Dudley, known as 'lord Quondam,' and his wife Cecily, daughter of Thomas Grey, marquis of Dorset [see under Dudley, John (Sutton) de (1401?–1487).] His father and John Dudley, duke of Northumberland, were both great-grandsons of John (Sutton) de Dudley (1401?–1487), and they were also related on their mothers' side, Northumberland's being Elizabeth, sister of John Grey, viscount Lisle; hence Dudley is often called Northumberland's cousin (cf. Harl. MS. 806, ff. 46-7). His brother George was a knight of St. John of Jerusalem (Cal. State Papers, For. 1560-1, p. 473; Notes and Queries, 1st ser. x. 200). The Henry Dudley referred to as commanding a hundred men in 1545 (Acts P.C. 1542-7, p. 164) was probably Northumberland's eldest son Henry who was slain at Boulogne in that year, having married Winifred (d. 1578), daughter of Richard, first baron Rich [q. v.], and afterwards wife of Roger, second baron North [q. v.]; on him Leland wrote his 'Nænia in Mortem' (printed in Hearne's edition of Rous, pp. 235-6); but the subject of this article came into notice early in Edward VI's reign. Early in 1547 he was captain of the guards at Boulogne, and on 2 Dec., he was paid 42l. 10s., and on 6 Dec. 5l., 'in reward for his Majesties secrete affaires.' Before 24 June 1550 he was appointed captain of the guard, and on 19 July following was granted 300l. 'towards the payment of his debts and an annuity of 80l. a year till he be better provided' (Acts P.C. 1547-50, pp. 148-9; 1550-2, pp. 55, 87). In September 1550 he accompanied the vidame of Chartres to Scotland, and in the following January was sent in his train to France, receiving private instructions from Sir John Mason how to collect secret information during his visit (ib. pp. 121, 203). In May 1551 he was made captain of Guisnes, and on 11 Oct. following he was knighted at Hampton Court on the same day that his cousin was created duke of Northumberland. On 26 March 1552 he was appointed vice-admiral of the narrow seas and sent to sea with four ships and two barques to protect English merchandise; he almost immediately captured two Flemish pirates and brought them into Dover. On 10 Aug. following he was again sent to Guisnes to protect it against a threatened attack from the French (ib. 1552-4, p. 22; Lit. Rem. of Edward VI, pp. 407, 443). He was arrested there on 25 July 1553 and brought to the Tower on 6 Aug., but having taken no part in Northumberland's conspiracy he was released on 18 Oct. following (Acts P.C. 1552-4, p. 315; Machyn, Diary, p. 39; Chron. Queen Jane, pp. 32. 175).

Dudley does not appear to have taken any part in Wyatt's conspiracy, but the pressure of debt drove him into treason. Early in 1556 he seems to have been outlawed on account of these debts, and about the same time he devised his plot for robbing the exchequer, marrying the princess Elizabeth to Courtenay, and deposing Philip and Mary. His principal associates were John Throckmorton, Christopher Ashton, his brother-in-law, Sir Henry Killigrew [q. v.], Sir Anthony Kingston [q. v.], and Richard Uvedale [q. v.] With Uvedale's help Dudley crossed to France to seek aid from Henry II, but his plot was betrayed in March, and on 4 April Dudley was proclaimed a traitor. On the 8th Nicholas Wotton [q. v.] was ordered to demand his extradition, but the French king received him well, gave him fifteen hundred crowns, and made him a gentleman of the privy chamber. Dudley continued his intrigues in France, tampering with the English garrisons at Calais, Guisnes, and Hammes, where his brother Edward (Sutton) de Dudley, baron Dudley, was captain. He also appears to have taken to the sea and joined the French in plundering English and Spanish commerce (Corbett, Drake and the Tudor Navy, i. 101 n., 132). He remained in Henry's service after Elizabeth's accession, and on 7 June 1559 was reported to be practising 'for new credit, especially with the cardinal of Lorraine and the duke of Guise' (Cal. State Papers, For. 1558-9, p. 305). In the same month he made overtures to Sir Nicholas Throckmorton [q. v.] for re-entering the English service, but in November 1561 he was in prison in the Chatelet for debt (ib. 1561-2, p. 418). He seems, however, to have returned to England before 1564 (Cal. Simancas MSS. i. 364) and to have died soon afterwards. He is said to have married a sister of his fellow-conspirator, Christopher Ashton, but is not known to have left issue.

Dudley has been generally confused with his distant relative, Lord Henry Dudley (1531 P-1557), the fourth son of the duke of Northumberland, who was arrested in England on 25 July 1553 for complicity in his father's conspiracy and imprisoned in the Tower. On 13 Nov. following he was tried for treason with his brothers, and was condemned to be hanged at Tyburn ('Baga de Secretis' in Dep. Keeper's Fourth Rep., App. ii. 237-8). He was pardoned in the following year, and on 5 June 1554 was permitted to hear mass in the Tower chapel. After his release he joined the English forces fighting with the Spanish against France, and was killed at the battle of St. Quintin on 10 Aug. 1557. He married Margaret, only daughter of lord-chancellor Audley, but left no issue, his widow marrying as her second husband Thomas Howard, fourth duke of Norfolk [q. v.] (Machyn, Diary, pp. 37, 48, 147, 150, 359; Chron. Queen Jane, pp. 27, 32; Acts P.O. 1554-6, pp. 33, 101; Braybrooke, Audley End, pp. 27, 296).

[Authorities cited; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1547-80, For. 1547-70, and Venetian vol. vi.; William Salt, Archæol. Soc. Publ. ix. 98-104; Cal. Hatfield MSS. i. 112, 113, 116; Twamley's Hist. of Dudley Castle; Adlard's Button-Dudleys; Verney Papers (Camden Soc.); Notes and Queries, 7th ser. xi. 348, 477, xii. 58.]

A. F. P.