The seventh baronet was born at Barton and was educated for a time, between 1782 and 1785, at John Cormick’s school at Putney. Whilst there he enjoyed no holidays and had to make do with sixpence a week pocket money. In 1786 he appeared on the register of Rugby School (as did his younger brother John), but then went on to Eton followed by Trinity College, Cambridge.
There is a charming watercolour, dating from around 1796, by George Uppleby of Barrow Hall, that shows him striding purposefully towards the peak of Snowdon.
In response to the perceived threat of a Napoleonic invasion sweeping the country around the turn of the century, Sir Henry served with the North Lincolnshire Supplementary Militia and reached the rank of major. In early 1799, he became a Deputy Lieutenant of Lincolnshire and four years later was appointed High Sheriff. In a letter to Lady Nelthorpe, John Wilbar “extolled his appearance and demeanour at the Lincoln Assizes”.
Success on the Turf
An avid racing man, Sir Henry enjoyed particular success with “Everlasting”, a bay gelding by “Luck’s All” out of a mare by “Mercury”. Between 1815 and 1818 Everlasting ran in thirty-one races, winning six times including three gold cups: the Pontefract in 1815, the Stamford in 1816 and the Lincoln in 1817. He ran over distances between one-and-a-half to four miles on the flat: several of the races being run in heats on the same day. He was second eight times, third four times, fourth once and bolted (and was disqualified) four times. This last generally happened when he was run on a second consecutive day! From evidence of racing calendars of the period, it seems Sir Henry was friendly with a certain Colonel John King and that both frequently ran horses in the same races.
A painting of Everlasting, perhaps by George Robertson, is to be found at Scawby Hall.
In 1807, following the enclosure of South Ferriby three years earlier, Sir Henry sold some property there and renewed the lease of the Berkeley Square house to the Hon Henry Wellesley.