Henry Heydon

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Sir Henry Heydon
Died 1504
Baconsthorpe, Norfolk
Buried Norwich Cathedral
Spouse(s) Anne Boleyn
John Heydon
Henry Heydon
William Heydon
Dorothy Heydon
Bridget Heydon
Anne Heydon
Elizabeth Heydon
Amy Heydon
Father John Heydon
Mother Eleanor Winter

Sir Henry Heydon (died 1504) was the son of John Heydon of Baconsthorpe, Norfolk, 'the well-known opponent of the Paston family'.[1][2] He married Anne Boleyn, the daughter of Sir Geoffrey Boleyn, great-grandfather of Henry VIII's queen Anne Boleyn.


St John the Baptist church in West Wickham, rebuilt by Sir Henry Heydon

Henry Heydon was the son of John Heydon (d.1479) of Baconsthorpe, Norfolk, and Eleanor Winter, the daughter of Edmund Winter (d.1448) of Barningham, Norfolk. Trained as a lawyer, he frequently advised other Norfolk landowners and acted for them as a feoffee and arbitrator. He served as a Justice of the Peace in Norfolk from 1473, and on various commissions in that county and elsewhere.[1]

His inheritance from his father included at least sixteen manors, and he added to his holdings through the purchase of lands in both Norfolk and Kent. One of his purchases in Kent was West Wickham, and after establishing himself as a Kent landowner he served as Justice of the Peace there in the late 1480s and in the 1490s. Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, was a trustee for his land purchases in Kent, and Heydon subsequently acted as steward in Norfolk to Buckingham's widow, Catherine Woodville, Duchess of Buckingham, in the 1490s. He was a supervisor of the will of Cecily Neville, Duchess of York, and served as her steward of household and chief bailiff of the Honour of Eye.[1]

Although he was knighted at the coronation of Henry VII, and was among those present at the reception of Catherine of Aragon when she arrived in England in 1501, he was 'primarily a local servant of the crown rather than a courtier'.[1]

Some of the wealth he accumulated as a sheep farmer was expended in building projects. In Norfolk he completed the castle begun by his father at Baconsthorpe, restored the parish church at Kelling and built a new church at Salthouse, and constructed a causeway between Thursford and Walsingham. In Kent he rebuilt the church at West Wickham, and built a fortified manor house there.[1][3]

He died at Baconsthorpe between 20 February and 22 May 1504, and was buried beside his father in the Heydon family chapel which then existed at Norwich Cathedral. A memorial window, said to be his, in the church at West Wickham depicts a kneeling human skeleton, with the Heydon arms.[1][3]

Marriage and issue[edit]

He married, likely after 1463, Anne Boleyn,[4] second daughter of Sir Geoffrey Boleyn, Lord Mayor of London, by whom he had three sons and five daughters:[1][5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Moreton 2004.
  2. ^ Richmond 2004.
  3. ^ a b J.B. 1827, p. 17.
  4. ^ She is referred to in some sources as Elizabeth, rather than Anne.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Hundred of South Erpingham: Baconsthorp, An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: volume 6 (1807), pp. 502–513 Retrieved 3 October 2013.
  6. ^ Richardson IV 2011, p. 339.
  7. ^ Gurney 1848, p. 412.
  8. ^ Mason 1885, p. 117.
  9. ^ McKeen 1986, p. 17.
  10. ^ Richardson IV 2011, pp. 381–2.
  11. ^ T.G.F. 1863, p. 124.
  12. ^ a b c d e Gurney 1848, pp. 411–12.
  13. ^ Davis 1971, p. lxiv.
  14. ^ Richardson I 2011, p. 247.


External links[edit]