Anthony Denny
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Anthony Denny

Probably a portrait of Sir Anthony Denny, though possibly of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey.[]

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.[1] By 1548, he was keeper of Westminster Palace.[2]


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.[3][4]

Denny was educated at St Paul's School and St John's College, Cambridge.[5] In 1547 he was elected knight of the shire (MP) for Hertfordshire.

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.[6] She was also the sister of Katherine Ashley née Champernowne, the governess of the future Queen Elizabeth I. With Joan, Denny had 12 children,[7] including:

See also


  1. ^ 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
  2. ^ HMC, 7th report, More Molyneaux Loseley, 605b.
  3. ^ Rye 1891, pp. 101-2.
  4. ^ Nichols 1858, pp. 208-9.
  5. ^ "Denny, Anthony (DNY500A)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  6. ^ The Last Days of Henry VIII by Robert Hutchinson, p. 154
  7. ^ 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
  8. ^ a b 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.


External links

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