Knight; b. 1509; d. 1583. He was the grandson of Sir Edmund Bedingfeld who had served in the Wars of the Roses, and to whom were granted by Edward IV for his faithful service letters patent authorizing him "to build towers, walls, and such other fortifications as he pleased in his manors of Oxburgh, together with a market there weekly and a court of pye-powder". Sir Henry was mainly instrumental, together with Sir Henry Jerningham, in placing Mary Tudor on the throne. He proclaimed her at Norwich, and for his loyalty received an annual pension of £100 out of the forfeited estates of Sir Thomas Wyatt. Ultimately he became Lieutenant of the Tower of London and Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard. As "jailer" of the Princess Elizabeth, who was suspected of complicity in Wyatt's rebellion, he has been persistently misrepresented by Foxe and others, but the whole history of his custodianship of Elizabeth is contained in a series of letters addressed to the Queen and the Privy Council, and in their replies. This correspondence, which has been published by the Norfolk and Norwich Archæological Society, completely exonerates Sir Henry from either cruelty or want of courtesy in his treatment of the royal captive. On Elizabeth's accession he retired to Oxburgh and was called upon in a letter, in which the Queen addressed him as "trusty and well-behaved", to furnish a horse and man armed, as his contribution to the defence of the country against an expected invasion of the French.
When, however, the penal laws against Catholics were enforced with extreme severity, Sir Henry Bedingfeld was not spared. He was required to pay heavy monthly fines for non-attendance at the parish church, while his house was searched for priests and church-furniture, and his servants dismissed for refusing to comform to the new state religion. Together with his fellow-Catholics, he was a prisoner within five miles of his own house and might pass that boundary only by a written authorization of the Privy Council. He was buried in the Bedingfeld chantry at Oxburgh. He married Katharine, daughter of Sir Roger Townshend, ancestor of the present Marquess Townshend, by whom he had numerous issue.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online