Sir Anthony Denny (16 January 1501 – 10 September 1549) was a confidant of King Henry VIII of England. Denny was the most prominent member of the Privy chamber in King Henry's last years, having together with his brother-in-law, John Gates, charge of the "dry stamp" of the King's signature, and attended the King on his deathbed. He also served as Groom of the Stool. He was a member of the Reformist circle that offset the conservative religious influence of Bishop Gardiner. He was a wealthy man, having acquired manors and former religious sites through the Court of augmentations. By 1548, he was keeper of Westminster Palace.
Anthony Denny was the second son of Sir Edmund Denny (d. 22 December 1520), a Baron of the Exchequer, by his second wife, Mary Troutbeck, the daughter and coheir of Robert Troutbeck of Bridge Trafford, Chester. He had an elder brother, Sir Thomas Denny, of How, Norfolk, who married Elizabeth Monoux, the daughter of Sir George Monoux, Lord Mayor of London, as well as two younger brothers and ten sisters.
Along with Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford, John Dudley, Viscount Lisle, and Sir William Paget, Denny helped to finalise King Henry VIII's will upon his deathbed in 1547. Denny specifically argued to the King on several occasions against the removal of Bishop Gardiner from the will. Denny was himself the man to tell King Henry of his coming death, advising the old King "to prepare for his final agony". Denny's position gave him both the power to control who saw King Henry VIII in his last years (in which he spent excessive time in the Privy Chambers), and the power to influence, through his personal relationship with the ageing King. Along with Sir William Paget, the Principal Secretary, Denny is suspected of having fixed the choosing of the "Progressive" appeals, headed by Edward Seymour.
In 1525, Denny married Joan Champernowne, the daughter of Sir Philip Champernowne, and the close friend of King Henry VIII's wife, Queen Catherine Parr. She was also the sister of Katherine Ashley née Champernowne, the governess of the future Queen Elizabeth I. With Joan, Denny had 12 children, including:
- Henry Denny, Dean of Chester (d. 24 March 1574). He married, firstly, Honory Grey, daughter of William Grey, 13th Baron Grey de Wilton and Lady Mary Somerset. Their son was Edward Denny, 1st Earl of Norwich. His second wife was Elizabeth Grey, by whom he had a son, who died unmarried.
- Sir Edward Denny, Knight Banneret of Bishops Stortford 1547-1599, who married Margaret Edgcumbe, daughter of Sir Piers Edgcumbe (1536 - c.1607), by whom he had issue.
- Hutchinson, Robert (2006): The Last Days of Henry VIII: Conspiracy, Treason and Heresy at the Court of the dying Tyrant Phoenix ISBN 0-7538-1936-8 pp. 152–159
- HMC, 7th report, More Molyneaux Loseley, 605b.
- Rye 1891, pp. 101-2.
- Nichols 1858, pp. 208-9.
- "Denny, Anthony (DNY500A)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- The Last Days of Henry VIII by Robert Hutchinson, p. 154
- Hutchinson, Robert (2006): The Last Days of Henry VIII: Conspiracy, Treason and Heresy at the Court of the dying Tyrant Phoenix ISBN 0-7538-1936-8 p. 154
- Mosley, Charles, editor. Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), Volume I, pg. 1094.
- Nichols, John Gough, ed. (1858). The Topographer and Genealogist. III. London: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons. pp. 208–9. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
- Rye, Walter (1891). The Visitation of Norfolk. XXXII. London: Harleian Society. pp. 101–2. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
- Sil, Narasingha P. (2004). "Denny, Sir Anthony (1501–1549)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/7506. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)