BULKELEY, Hon. Henry (c.1641-98), of Westminster.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Mar. 1679
Oct. 1679

Family and Education

b. c.1641, 5th but 3rd surv. s. of Thomas, 1st Visct. Bulkeley of Cashel [I], of Baron Hill, Anglesey, by Blanche, da. of Robert Coytmore of Coytmore, Caern.; bro. of Robert Bulkeley and Thomas Bulkeley. educ. G. Inn, entered 1654; Queens’, Camb. 1657. m. c. Nov. 1673, Sophia, da. and coh. of Walter Stuart, MD, maid of honour to Queen Catherine of Braganza, 2s. 4da.1

Offices Held

Ensign, King’s Gds. [I] 1664, capt. c.1669-78.2

Master of the Household 1678-89; groom of the bedchamber 1683-9.3

Commr. for assessment, Anglesey 1679-80, 1689; j.p. Westminster 1680-9.4


Bulkeley became an officer in the Irish army soon after the Restoration. He was mistakenly reported drowned while returning from leave in the winter of 1670. He was given £1,000 as royal bounty for his loyal services in October 1674, presumably to enable him to support his wife, whose favours, it was said, he had to share with Sidney Godolphin I and the Hon. Thomas Wharton. He had already taken part in at least two duels in Ireland, and been convicted of manslaughter; but when early in the New Year he fought the Earl of Ossory (Thomas Butler), the affair could have had more serious consequences for him. He was sent to the Tower, and owed his release to the good offices of the Duchess of Portsmouth. ‘It were to be wished’, Sir Robert Southwell wrote to Ossory’s father ‘[that] his Majesty would send him to his employment in Ireland’; but Bulkeley was now safely launched on a career at Court. On 24 May 1675 he was granted the reversion of the mastership of the Household, to which he succeeded on the death of Sir Herbert Price, despite another spell of imprisonment for carrying a challenge from a commoner to the Earl of Middlesex (Charles Sackville).5

Bulkeley was returned for Anglesey at the first general election of 1679, probably after a contest. Shaftesbury, who thought that his elder brother, on whose interest he stood, had been elected, correctly marked the Member as ‘vile’. He served on the committee of inquiry into the decay of the woollen industry, and voted against the exclusion bill. He exchanged seats with his nephew Richard Bulkeley in the autumn, but probably served on no committees in the second and third Exclusion Parliaments. In August 1681 he obtained a pass to go abroad. He was re-elected for Beaumaris to James II’s Parliament, but again seems to have been totally inactive.6

Bulkeley lost office at the Revolution, and in January 1690 obtained leave to join his family in France, though William thought the application somewhat odd in wartime, and observed that ‘he spoke ill of Government and with great malice’. He was arrested on his return, and on release became a Jacobite conspirator. It was hoped that he might establish useful contacts with Godolphin and Lord Halifax (Sir George Savile). But when he made his will on 10 Mar. 1698 he had become disillusioned with the Stuart cause. He recommended his son, who had become a Roman Catholic, to renounce his faith and return to England. The will was proved on 20 Dec., but it appears that his widow and children remained in France, where two years later his daughter married the Duke of Berwick.7

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: A. M. Mimardière


  • 1. J. E. Griffith, Peds. Anglesey and Caern. Fams. 42; Collins, Peerage, viii. 16; Anglesey Antiq. Soc. Trans. (1948), 82-85; Williamson Letters (Cam. Soc. ix), 71.
  • 2. HMC Ormonde, ii. 186, 212.
  • 3. HMC Ormonde, n.s. iv. 643; Cal. Treas. Bks. ix. 19; CSP Dom. 1683-4, p. 149.
  • 4. Mdx. RO, WJP/CP1, 2.
  • 5. CSP Dom. 1670, p. 566; 1673-5, pp. 561, 580-1, 605; 1675-6, pp. 112, 150, 153; Cal. Treas. Bks. iv. 598; CSP Ire. 1663-5, p. 449; HMC 10th Rep. V, 67-68; Poems on Affairs of State, ii. 232, 342; Hatton Corresp. (Cam. Soc. n.s. xxii), 119-20; Bodl. Carte 38, f. 229.
  • 6. CSP Dom. 1680-1, p. 431.
  • 7. Foxcroft, Halifax, ii. 143, 246; CSP Dom. 1689-90, pp. 47, 485; 1690-1, p. 193; PCC 245 Lort; HMC Stuart, vi. 440, 556-8, 584.