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SIR HENRY SIDNEY (1529-1586)

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Originally appearing in Volume V25, Page 43 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SIR HENRY SIDNEY (1529-1586), lord deputy of Ireland, was the eldest son of Sir William Sidney, a prominent politician and courtier in the reigns of Henry VIII. and Edward VI., from both of whom he received extensive grants of land, including the manor of Penshurst in Kent, which became the principal residence of the family. Henry was brought up at court as the companion of Prince Edward, afterwards King Edward VI.; and he continued to enjoy the favour of the sovereign throughout the reigns of Edward and Mary. In 1556 he went to Ireland with the lord deputy, the earl of Sussex, who in the previous year had married his sister Frances Sidney; and from the first he had a large share in the administration of the country, especially in the military measures taken by his brother-in-law for bringing the native Irish chieftains into submission to the English Crown. In the course of the lord deputy's Ulster expedition in 1557 Sidney devastated the island of Rathlin; and during the absence of Sussex in England in the following year Sidney was charged with the sole responsibility for the government of Ireland, which he conducted with marked ability and success. A second absence of the lord deputy from Ireland, occasioned by the accession of Queen Elizabeth, threw the chief control into Sidney's hands at the outbreak of trouble with Shane O'Neill, and he displayed great skill in temporizing with that Robert Sidney, 1st earl of Leicester (q.v.); his daughter Mary married Henry Herbert, 2nd earl of Pembroke, and by reason of her association with her brother Philip was one of the most celebrated women of her time (see PEMBROKE, EARLS OF). See Calendar of State Papers relating to Ireland, Henry VIII.-Elizabeth; Calendar of the Carew MSS.; J. O'Donovan's edition of The Annals of Ireland by the Four Masters (7 vols., Dublin, 1851) Holinshed's Chronicles, vol. iii. (6 vols., London, 18o7); Richard Bagwell, Ireland under the Tudors (3 vols., London, 1885) ; Calendar of Ancient Records of Dublin, edited by Sir J. T. Gilbert, vols. i. and ii. (Dublin, 1889) ; Sir J. T. Gilbert, History of the Viceroys of Ireland (Dublin, 1865); J. A. Froude, History of England (12 vols., London, 1856-187o). (R. J. M.)
End of Article: SIR HENRY SIDNEY (1529-1586)
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