HENNING, Henry (c.1646-99), of Poxwell, Dorset.
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Family and Education
b. c.1646, o. (posth.) s. of Edmund Henning of Poxwell by Joan, da. of Henry Henley of Leigh, Winsham, Som. m. 1662, Ursula (d. 31 Dec. 1694), da. of Thomas Achim of Pelynt, Cornw., 1s. d.v.p. 1da. suc. fa. at birth.1
Commr. for assessment, Dorset 1679-80, 1689-90, j.p. and dep. lt. May 1688-?d.
Henning represented the fifth generation of his family to reside at Poxwell since his ancestor, a Dorchester merchant, bought the estate in 1575, but he was the first to enter Parliament. His father in the closing months of the Civil War tore himself from his wife’s embraces and entered the royalist garrison at Corfe Castle, where he died. Henning was born eight months later, a sickly child who was not expected to live. Although his uncle Henry Henley was a member of the county committee, nothing could be done to prevent the sequestration of the estate, valued at £563 p.a., nor could he even obtain a favourable certificate. The fine was originally set at £1,137, and it was not until 1655 that it was reduced to £500 and paid.2
Henning’s mother remarried a settler in Ireland and Poxwell was let. Nothing is known of Henning’s life before 1678, when he bought a farm from (Sir) Winston Churchill, with whose family the Hennings had long been associated. It is presumed that he shared Henley’s exclusionist views, and he first entered Parliament at a by-election for Weymouth, six miles from his home, caused by the death of Thomas Browne. At the succeeding general election the four sitting Members were returned unopposed, but Henning did well to survive the Tory challenge in 1685, particularly as he never spoke in the House nor served on any committee during this period. It is probable that his health was always indifferent. He may have been a Whig collaborator, as he was appointed to county office in 1688. Returned again in 1689, he was no more active than before. His name does not appear in either of the division lists in the Convention, and on 18 Mar. he obtained leave to go into the country for a month. He died on 26 Nov. 1699 and was buried at Poxwell, the only member of the family to enter Parliament. His daughter brought the property to her husband, Thomas Trenchard II.3