The Venerable Henry Denny Berners


Archdeacon of Suffolk and Rector of Woolverstone, Erwarton and Harkstead, 1801-1834

Bust to the Ven. Henry Denny, by Sir Richard Westmacott, sculptor, June, 1839. (Photos: St. Michael’s Church, Woolverstone, Nov 2019)


Henry Denny son of Charles Berners (1740-1815), Marylebone, Middlesex and Catherine Laroche (1735-1826).

Henry Denny’s father Charles Berners was the son of William Berners and Mary Bendysh (a descendent of Oliver Cromwell). The Berners family believe they are descendants of a Norman Knight, Hugo de Berners.

Henry Denny matriculated Oxford University (St. Mary Hall) 14 Oct 1787, aged 18.

B.C.L 1794, of Woolverstone Park.

Rev. Henry Denny Berners married Sarah Newton Jarrett (1773-1867) of Orangeville Jamaica 8th July 1799, Millbrook, Hampshire.

Rev. Henry Denny and Sarah had 4 children: John Berners 1800-1886, Capt. Hugh Berners, Rev. Ralph Berners (1803-1858) and Alicia Berners (1804-1820).

Alicia died in Versailles aged 16, the remains are in a vault in St. Michael’s Church, Woolverstone. Alicia’s body was brought home on the Cumberland Packet, John Blake (Master from Calais).

9 January 1802, His Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland appointed Rev. Henry Denny Berners to be one of his Royal Highness’s Domestic Chaplains.

On the 27 Feb 1819 Rev. Henry Denny Berners, L.L.B was collated to the Archdeaconry of Suffolk, by the Lord Bishop of Norwich.

Rev. Henry Denny was a member of the Samford Association on behalf of Woolverstone.

Rev. Henry Denny Berners died at Woolverstone Park, 24 January 1852 aged 83 years.

Obituary published by the Illustrated London News – Saturday 31 January 1852:

ARCHDEACON BERNERS, The Venerable Henry Denny Berners, of Woolverstone Park, county of Suffolk, representative of the ancient family of Berners, one of Norman origin, was the second son of Charles Berners, Esq., by his wife Katherine, daughter of John Laroche, Esq., of Egham, M.P. for Bodmin, and was born in 1769. Having entered into holy orders he became Archdeacon of Suffolk and was most popular in that county from his private and public worth. To his numerous tenantry in Woolverstone, Erwarton, and Harkstead, and to the poor in general, the Archdeacon’s kindness and liberality were unbounded. As an instance of the charity of his nature, it may be mentioned it was his custom to allow his labourers never less than ten shillings a week; they lived rent-free, and had all the small wood they needed, were frequently supplied with coals, and, whenever sickness invaded them, had only to apply to their benevolent master to be relieved as far as his aid could mitigate their sufferings. The Venerable Archdeacon succeeded to the family estates at the decease of his eldest brother, Charles Berners, Esq., who died unmarried the 19th August, 1831. Archdeacon Berners had married, in 1799, Sarah, daughter of John Jarrett, Esq., of Freemantle, Hants, and by her he leaves issue three sons, of whom the second, Hugh, is a Captain in the Royal Navy, and the third, Ralph, is in holy orders, and rector of Harkstead, Suffolk. The eldest, John, is the Archdeacon’s successor; he married, in 1832, Henrietta, daughter of the Rev. Joshua Rowley, rector of Bergholt, Suffolk, and niece of the late Sir William Rowley, Bart. The Venerable Archdeacen Berners, to the deep regret of all who knew him, and especially of all who lived near or under him, died, after a few days’ illness, on the 25th instant, at his seat, Woolverstone Park. The Archdeacon was in the commission of the peace for Suffolk. His youngest brother, who died in 1841, was the eminent London banker, William Berners. Berners-street, Oxford-street, takes its name, as part of their property, from the family of Berners.

Lorraine Wildbore.

Village recorder, 9 June 2020