The Henxmen
Early History of our Forebears

This section of the HINXMAN Hub website provides an overview of the Henxmen who were our forebears, and who gave rise to our surname.  Working in Late Mediaeval and Renaissance England, mainly in the Royal Household, the Henxmen were present at many significant events in the history of the English state and nation. 

The Henxmen were some of the few people allowed to wear the royal colours, in recognition of their close association with royalty.  Even the coat of arms awarded to Edward Henxman, in 1549, reflected the particular colours favoured by King Edward VI at that time. 

The key qualities persistently associated with the Henxmen were trustworthiness, fitness, skill, and reliability.  Their key role was the protection of their monarch, which required initiative in the independent execution of orders.  
All of these characteristics remained key parts of the Henxmen's role and impressive reputation, throughout the 220 years of their existence and for long afterwards. 

This is their tale: the story of our predecessors, whose once famous name we still bear.

Illustration 1:  Shield from the Coat of Arms awarded to Edward Henxman, 1549.  These were the royal colours of King Edward VI.  For picture details, see footnotes.

Much interesting data about the original Henxmen has survived.  But the original handwritten records are highly fragmented, very scattered, and hard to locate - partly because of the many alternative spellings of their job title (standardised throughout these webpages to Henxman).  These problems have prevented a comprehensive overview of the Henxmen and their work, and a reliable interpretation, until very recent times. 

The role of the Henxmen particularly attracted the interest of Victorian antiquarians, and became the subject of much learned debate by them.  However, these commentators had access to extremely limited data, so their conclusions were naturally founded upon guesswork as much as on fact.  Almost none of their conclusions were fully accurate: some contained elements of truth, but some were completely misleading and wrong.  Many of these poor guesses have been picked up by subsequent authors and repeated uncritically, spreading this confusion - so that many of the statements now available about the Henxmen are demonstrably not correct.

The information about Henxmen provided here (across the HINXMAN Family History websites) is based on over 45 years of research and careful analysis of the original Henxmen sources.  It offers the most complete and up-to-date picture of the Henxmen's lives, based upon factual evidence.

This section of the HINXMAN Hub is designed to give an overview of the subject, and a supplementary Henxmen Sources website is being developed to provide transcriptions of all known original sources.  The aim throughout is to offer a definitive account of the Henxmen, that is both
accessible and authoritative.

 About the Henxmen

In the following pages, some of the key elements of that knowledge are summarised:

-  Click on Beginnings to discover the origin and meaning of HINXMAN and other similar names.

-  Click on The Henxman Era for an overview of the circa 220 years that Henxmen existed.

-  Click on The First Henxmen to discover when and why the Henxmen were founded.

-  Click on The Garter Connection to learn how the Henxmen became linked to the Order of the Garter.

-  Click on Henxmen Duties to find out about the varied and sometimes demanding work of the Henxmen.

-  Click on The Riding from the Tower to learn about a state ceremony participated in by the Henxmen.

-  Click on Henxmen Names to discover all known personal names of the mediaeval Henxmen.

-  Click on Best of Henxmen to explore how much we know about the life of Edward Henxman.

Illustration 2:  Henxmen walking beside the King, on their way to the Coronation of Edward VI.  19 Feb 1546/47.
5 of the King's 6 Henxmen are visible to the left of the Cross, beside the King (mounted on the white stallion, under the canopy).
For picture details, see footnotes.

Next . . .

-  Click on HINXMAN Branches to discover a wealth of pictures and stories about more recent descendants.
Webpage version 2017.5.  First version 2015.
Webpage c
opyright © Richard HINXMAN, 2015.

Detail from Coat of Arms granted to Edward Henxman, 1549
Colour lithographic print.  Frank 'Bert' Sisson RINGHAM (1862-1941).  16 Aug 1915.  Hinxman (Little Durnford, Wilts).  Privately published.  Bristol, England.  Collection of Richard HINXMAN.  Public domain.  See Terms of Use.

Henxmen walking beside the King, on their way to the Coronation of Edward VI, 19 Feb 1546/47

The scene depicted is the centre of a 4-hour procession, shown here passing the Eleanor Cross in Westcheap (now Cheapside), London, England. 
This 1809 engraving was copied from a small part of a much larger 1787 engraving, itself copied from an original 16th century mural at Cowdray House, Sussex (now destroyed).

Original:  Detail from a monochrome copperplate engraving.  Unattributed.  Cheapside Cross (as it appeared in the Year 1547) With part of the procession of Edw. VI to his Coronation at Westminster.  Engraving published 01 Jan 1809 by William HERBERT (Lambeth) & Robert WILKINSON (58 Cornhill), London, England. 

Also published in:
Theatrum Ilustrata Graphic And Historic Memorials, Ancient Playhouses, Modern Theatres, Other Places Of Public Amusement In The Cities And Suburbs Of London & Westminister With Scenic And Incidental Ilustrations From The Time Of Shakspear To The Present Period.  Editor Robert WILKINSON.  First published 1825.  This engraving is from the second edition, 1834.  London,
England.  Collection of Richard HINXMAN.  Public domain.  See Terms of Use.