CAPELL, Sir Henry (1505-58), of Ubley, Som.
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Family and Education
b. 25 Oct. 1505, 1st s. of Sir Giles Capell of Rayne, Essex by 1st w. Isabel, da. and coh. of Richard Newton of Ubley. m. c.1530, Anne, da. of George, 11th Lord Ros, 5s. 4da. d.v.p. suc. mother c.1512, fa. 29 May 1556. Kntd. 8 June 1533.2
J.p. Som. 1532-d.; commr. relief, Bath, Bristol, Som. 1550.3
Henry Capell was born at his grandfather Sir William Capell’s house in London, the 2nd Marquess of Dorset standing one of his godfathers. His grandfather, dying in 1515, left him 1,000 marks and plate worth over £400 to buy him ‘some good ward for his marriage’, and instructed his executors to see that both Henry and his younger brother Edward studied law. In 1526 Capell came of age and entered into the Somerset lands of his mother; thereafter he seems to have lived mainly at Ubley. He consolidated his Somerset possessions and augmented them in 1546 by his purchase of the manor of Wrington for nearly £2,000. Capell’s father, a prominent soldier and courtier, married as his second wife a member of the Ros family, and this connexion provided the opportunity for Capell’s marriage to a sister of the 1st Earl of Rutland. He had another powerful kinsman in his uncle by marriage Sir William Paulet, later Marquess of Winchester.4
Capell and his father were friendly with Princess Mary whom they continued to visit at her house in Essex even after she had been rejected by Henry VIII. On the other hand Capell corresponded (albeit in an official capacity) with Cromwell about Somerset Catholics and his father may have been by-elected to the Parliament of 1529 as a knight of the shire for Hertfordshire on the minister’s recommendation. Capel was also seen at court, receiving his knighthood at the coronation of Anne Boleyn and being present at the reception of Anne of Cleves in 1539. Five years later he took part in the Boulogne campaign where he may have come to the attention of the Earl of Hertford, the future Protector. As a substantial Somerset landowner and justice of many years’ experience Capell was an obvious candidate for election as a knight of the shire in 1547: he was a close kinsman of Sir John St. Loe who had sat in the previous Parliament, and doubtless his return was approved by Paulet whose fortunes were then in the ascendent. The Journal does not mention Capell and he was not to be re-elected.5
After his father’s death Capell enjoyed the family estates for less than two years. He died in London, probably in the house where he had been born, on 1 Feb. 1558, and was buried beside his grandfather three days later at St. Bartholomew’s. By a will made on 16 Nov. 1556 he provided for kinsmen, servants, and the poor; to his wife, whom he appointed sole executrix and residuary legatee, he left several leases and all his household stuff at London. He bequeathed to his brother and heir Edward the contents of his houses at Rayne and Stebbing, Essex, and Little Hadham, Hertfordshire, and appointed him, together with the Marquess of Winchester, overseer.6
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: Roger Virgoe
- 1. Hatfield 207.
- 2. Date of birth given in VCH Herts. gen. vol. 84-87, 106; HMC Rutland, iv. 276; Arch. Jnl. xl. 77; Clutterbuck, Herts. i. 243.
- 3. LP Hen. VIII, vi-xxi; CPR, 1547-8, p. 89 passim to 1553-4, p. 148.
- 4. PCC 13 Holder; LP Hen. VIII ii, xxi; HMC Rutland, iv. 276, 309, 349-50.
- 5. LP Hen. VIII, vi; vii. 56 citing SP1/82, ff. 59-62; x, xiv, xix, add.; CPR, 1554-5, p. 148.
- 6. C142/112/150; Machyn’s Diary (Cam. Soc. xxxii), 164; PCC 11 Noodes.