Sir Anthony Denny

Born: January 16, 1501

Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, England

Died: Sepember 10, 1549

Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, England (Age 48)

Denny in History

Anthony Denny was brought into royal service through Sir Francis Bryan, a personal favorite of Henry VIII, and would go on to become one of the most personal friends and intimates that the king could have possibly ever hoped for. By the mid-1530s, Denny was given such personal employments as keeper of the privy purse (giving him power to make deposits and withdrawals from the king's accounts) and, quite possibly the most personal job in history, groom of the stool. In addition to these personal involvements with the king, Denny also participated in governmental and diplomatic affairs, accompanying Henry VIII on his French expedition (1544) and representing Parliament on several occasions. Denny was able to stay well-liked at court by king and courtiers by remaining fairly neutral in the on-going and escalating debate between the conservatives and he reformists. Though Denny was most certainly inclined towards the reformists, and was a friend of avid reformists such as Thomas Cranmer and Edward Seymour, he also kept cordial relations with a number of staunch conservatives.

All in all though, Denny remained influential because of his personal relationship with the king. The two were known to have frequently exchanged gifts, and Denny was a man that Henry confided in a on ultra-personal subjects, including when the king lay dying in early 1547. For this reason, it is no surprise that Denny retained royal favor during the reign of Henry's son and successor, Edward VI. He remained a member of the privy council and chamber; was kept on as groom of the stool; and continued to represent in Parliament. He also seems to have been one of the most trusted men of the Lord Protector Edward Seymour, now Duke of Somerset (uncle to the young king). Denny died at his home in 1549 at the age of forty-eight as a man who was undoubtedly loved by many, despite their religious or political inclinations.

Denny in Shakespeare

Appears in: Henry VIII

Anthony Denny appears very briefly within Henry VIII where he is seen bringing Archbishop Cranmer to the king's presence.


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