The Henxmen
The Forebears who gave us our Surname


Welcome to this first section of the HINXMAN Hub website.

This section provides an overview of the Henxmen, who were forebears of the HINXMAN family and who gave rise to our surname.  Working in 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.  These characteristics remained key parts of the Henxmen's role and impressive reputation, throughout the 220 years of their existence and for long afterwards. 

The webpages in this section tell the tale of the Henxmen: 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 any 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 very limited data, so their conclusions were founded on guesswork as much as 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.

But the information about Henxmen provided here (across the HINXMAN Family History websites) is based on nearly 50 years of careful research and analysis of all known original Henxmen sources.  It offers the most complete and up-to-date picture of the Henxmen's lives, based on the latest knowledge and factual evidence of our forebears.

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.  So start exploring  .  .  .

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.

Author's Note
From the very start of my interest in our family history, it seemed there might be a connection with the Royal Household in our distant past.  The oral traditions that my father passed to me spoke of it, but vaguely.  And when I began to research the documentary evidence, the family's long awareness of the 1549 royal grant of arms suggested the link to our family might be real. 

It took another decade of pre-Internet research before I discovered a lengthy Victorian academic debate, upon the Henxmen as the origin of the HINXMAN name.  With it came a glimpse of the wealth of evidence on the Henxmen awaiting in the records of the Royal Household, but it took a further 3 decades before the growth of historical data on the Internet made it easy to obtain a reasonably detailed picture. 

Now, for the first time since the reigns of the Tudor monarchs, we have access to a mass of scattered information about the Henxmen and their lives, comprising hundreds of contemporary references.  And it is clear that our family name springs from their title.  So it seems appropriate that a website about the HINXMAN family should start with our namesakes, who preceded us for over 200 years, and from whom we inherit our surname.

Richard Hinxman
January 2021
Webpage version 2021.1.  First version 2015.
Webpage c
opyright © Richard HINXMAN, 2015.

Shield from the Coat of Arms granted to Edward Henxman, 1549.  Published 1915.
Colour lithographic print.  Frank 'Bert' Sisson RINGHAM (1862-1941).  16 Aug 1915.  Hinxman (Little Durnford, Wilts).  Published privately, as celebratory gifts to the family of his wife, Alice HINXMAN (1856-1941), on the occasion of their wedding.  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.