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Hunsdon, Henry Carey, 1st Baron

Hunsdon, Henry Carey, 1st Baron (1526–96). Hunsdon's mother was Mary Boleyn and he was therefore Elizabeth I's first cousin. Since Mary Boleyn was Henry VIII's mistress for a time, it was suggested that he was also Elizabeth's half-brother. He was MP for Buckingham 1547 and 1554. At Elizabeth's succession he was given a barony, followed by the Garter in 1561. Appointed governor of Berwick in 1568, he won an important victory the following year near Carlisle over Sir Leonard Dacres, one of the leaders of the rising of the northern earls. The queen acknowledged his services in her own hand in warm and affectionate terms. In 1581 he was made captain-general of the forces on the border, and lord chamberlain in 1585. Much of his time was spent on his duties in the north, which deprived him of some influence. At the crisis of the Armada in 1588 he commanded the troops at Tilbury. He was said to be unpolished and excitable and his capacity for swearing was awesome.

J. A. Cannon

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