DANNETT, Audley (c.1546-91), of St. Andrew-in-the-Wardrobe, London.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer




Family and Education

b. c.1546, yr. s. of Thomas Dannett (d.1569) of Brodegate, Leicester by Anne, da. of Sir Mathew Browne of Betchworth, Surr.; bro. of Thomas. educ. Christ Church, Oxf. 1561, BA 1564, MA 1566. unm.

Offices Held

Sec. to Sir Amias Paulet 1576-7, to Thomas Wilson 1578-81, to John Norris c.1582-8; commissary for musters of army in Brittany 1591.


Dannett’s studies at Oxford were interrupted by his father’s death, which left him without the money to continue there. Lord Burghley, a family friend and distant relation, refused assistance beyond obtaining him the post of secretary to the ambassador in Paris. Next, Dannett entered the service of Thomas Wilson, lately appointed secretary of state, where he probably remained until the latter’s death. During this period Dannett acquired the confidence of Francis Walsingham. When he accompanied his friend John Norris to the Netherlands in June 1582, he took letters of recommendation from Walsingham, to whom, during the following months, he sent numerous letters on the state of affairs there. Seeing no prospect of advancement in Norris’s service, Dannett made numerous unsuccessful attempts to obtain a new post, but had to remain with Norris, with whom he returned to the Netherlands in 1586 and again in 1588. In December 1589 a Mr. Danett was described as a ‘servant’ of Walsingham, but this description could well have no special significance. Dannett’s return for Rye to the Parliament of 1589 was probably due to Burghley’s friend Lord Cobham, lord warden of the Cinque Ports, who wrote to Rye just before the election. Dannett left no trace upon the surviving records of the House. Appointed commissary for the musters of the forces that Norris was to take to Britanny, he made his will 14 Apr. 1591. He had little money and some debts, and his bequests were few. As executors he appointed Thomas Wilkes, clerk of the Privy Council, and Robert Walter. They proved the will on 9 Oct. that year.

Vis. Leics. (Harl. Soc. ii), 64; CSP For. 1577-8, pp. 388, 401; 1579-80, p. 54; 1582, pp. 90, 94, 105 et passim; 1583, 206 et passim; 1585-6, pp. 439, 621; 1588 (July-Dec.), p. 289; APC, xxi. 47; Lansd. 14, f. 190; Coll. of Arms, Talbot mss, transcribed by G. R. Batho, G. f. 526; E. Suss. RO, Rye mss; PCC 72 Sainberbe.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: Roger Virgoe