Sir Edward Denny, Knight Banneret (1547-1599), uncle of Edward Denny, first earl of Norwich (1569-1637) thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Sir Edward Denny, Knight Banneret (1547-1599), uncle of Edward Denny, first earl of Norwich (1569-1637)

Oil Painting
(painted)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

This portrait is of Sir Edward Denny (1547-1600) and dates to c.1590. Denny was the son of Sir Anthony Denny (1501-1549), a courtier at the court of Henry VIII, and Joan Champernon. The inscription on the painting, top right: ‘S:r Edward Denny / K:t Ban:t Uncle to / Edward Earl of Norwich’, suggests that Sir Edward was a Knight Banneret, although there is no conclusive evidence for this. According to English custom the rank of Knight Banneret could only be conferred by the sovereign on the field of battle (though later it could be conferred on behalf of the sovereign by a proxy) and allowed him to lead a company of troops under his own banner. This is one of five oil portraits of sitters from the 16th and 17th centuries from the Denny family that came to the museum in the 19th century. They all seem to be later copies and are typical of the practice of making copies for successive generations of a family.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Oil on canvas
Brief description
Oil painting, Sir Edward Denny, Knight Banneret (1547-1599), uncle of Edward Denny, first earl of Norwich (1569-1637), British School, manner of 16th century, probably 18th century
Physical description
Half-length portrait of a bearded male sitter dressed in black and a white ruff, turned slightly to the sitter’s right; inscribed, top right, ‘S:r Edward Denny / K:t Ban:t Uncle to / Edward Earl of Norwich’.
Dimensions
  • Estimate height: 29in
  • Estimate width: 30in
  • Height: 73.66cm
  • Width: 76.2cm
Dimensions taken from Summary catalogue of British Paintings, Victoria and Albert Museum, 1973
Style
Marks and inscriptions
The painting is inscribed top right, ‘S:r Edward Denny / K:t Ban:t Uncle to / Edward Earl of Norwich’ [Sir Edward Denny / Knight Banneret Uncle to / Edward Earl of Norwich’]. (The painting is inscribed top right, ‘S:r Edward Denny / K:t Ban:t Uncle to / Edward Earl of Norwich’ [Sir Edward Denny / Knight Banneret Uncle to / Edward Earl of Norwich’].)
Credit line
Given by Sir Edward Denny, Bt
Object history
Given by Sir Edward Denny, Bart, 1882.



In 1882 Sir Edward Denny, Bart., left to the V&A a number of objects relating to his forbears [see Nominal File: Denny, Edward Sir, MA/1/D/907]. This bequest included a number of documents, 4 items of clothing (museum numbers 1506-1882, 1507-1882, 1508-1882, 1509-1882), including a pair of gloves said to have belonged to Henry VIII, and five oil portraits (museum numbers 1510-1882, 1511-1882, 1512-1882, 1513-1882 and 53-1889) all depicting members of the Denny family.



The original cataloguing described the five portraits as:



1510-1882 - Sir Edward Denny, Knight Banneret (d. 1599), uncle of Edward Denny, Earl of Norwich.



1511-1882 - Margaret Edgcumbe, Wife of Sir Edward Denny, Kt. Bann.



1512-1882 - Edward Denny, Earl of Norwich (about 1565-1630)



1513-1882 - Hill Denny, Son of Peter Denny of Spaldwick.



53-1889 - Joan Champernoune, daughter of Sir Philip Champernoune, of Modbury, Devon, and widow of Sir Anthony Denny, who died in 1549



The correct descriptions are:



1510-1882: Sir Edward Denny (1547-1600), uncle of Edward Denny, first earl of Norwich (1569-1637).



1511-1882: Lady Margaret Denny, born Margaret Edgcumbe, wife of Sir Edward Denny



1512-1882: Edward Denny, first earl of Norwich (1569-1637)



1513-1882: Hill Denny, son of Peter Denny of Spaldwick; the Reverend Hill Denny was a great grandson of Sir Edward Denny (1547-1600).



53-1889: Joan Champernon, daughter of Sir Philip Champernon of Modbury, Devon, and wife of Sir Anthony Denny (d.1549).



The textiles and documents, also given to the museum by Sir Edward Denny, were originally catalogued as follows:



“TEXTILES

Pair of Gloves: English, early 17th century. (1506 & A-1882.)

Silver-gilt and silver thread with sequins, seed pearls, purl & silk in satin stitch and couched work on satin. Trimmed with silver-gilt and silver bobbin lace. Said to have belonged to Henry VIII, but crowned roses and thistles refer more to the period of James I (1603-25)



Pair of Gloves: Early 17th century. (1508 & A-1882)

Silver-gilt and silver thread in plaited braid stitch with bands of braid applied to satin. Trimmed with silver-gilt & silver fringe. Said to have been given by James I to Denny who, as Sheriff of Hertfordshire, received the King during his journey from Scotland.



Pair of Mittens: English, late 16th century (1507 & A-1882)

Silver-gilt and silver thread with silk in long and short and satin stitches, and couched work, on velvet and satin. Said to have been presented by Queen Elizabeth I to Margaret Edgcumbe, wife of Denny.



Military Scarf: English (?) Second quarter of 17th century. (1509-1882)

Silver-gilt & silver thread with silk in long and short stitch couched work on silk. Said to have been worn by Charles I at Edghill and given by him after the battle to Mr. Adam Hill of Spaldwick who saved the King’s life.”



“DOCUMENTS

1. An account of the gloves, mittens & scarf, given to Sir Anthony Denny and his family, by different Kings and Queens of Great Britain. London, 1792. Printed on vellum with manuscript notes added.

2. Certaine epistles addressed to the Lord Denny of Waltham and the members of his family by Joseph Hall, D.D. Bishop of Norwich. Manuscript on vellum.

3. The will of Anthony Denny, of Chesthunt, in the countie of Hartford, knight, temp. Edw. VI. Manuscript on parchment.

4. A copy, in manuscript, of this will, made in 1745, bound, with a portrait of Sir Anthony Denny inserted.

5. A volume containing manuscript and printed notes relating to the Royal Gifts, and to the Denny family, with original letters.”



In 2014 an email from Nicholas Smith (Archivist, V&A Archive) to Thomas Denny (representative of the Denny Family Trust) describes Document 1. in more detail as follows:



“Original manuscript of “An account of the gloves, mittens, and scarf, given to Sir A. Denny and his family’, relating to objects presented to the Denny family by various sovereigns, probably written ca. 1710 by H. Denny, with annotations by Sir E. Denny, bart., 1 leaf, parchment. With camera lucida drawing by John Varley of monument to Sir Edward Denny, Waltham Abbey, 1821; and with press-cuttings from the Kerry Magazine, [after 1850], and notes by Sir Edward Denny, bart., who presented the Denny manuscripts and relics to the South Kensington Museum in 1883. Bound with: Diary kept by Sir Edward (d. 1646), Sir Arthur (d. 1673) and Sir Thomas (d. 1761) Denny, mainly concerned with family matters. Pressmark: 86.FF.53”



There are further papers concerning the Denny Family Trust on the Departmental files for the 5 paintings. This includes an annotated family tree tracing the versions of these portraits.

Historical context
This portrait is of Sir Edward Denny (1547-1600) [formerly thought to have died 1599, but the Dictionary of National Biography gives 1600]. Denny was the son of Sir Anthony Denny (1501-1549), a courtier at the court of Henry VIII, and Joan Champernon [formerly spelt ‘Champernoune’ - see museum number 53-1889]. Sir Edward Denny was the uncle of Edward Denny, first earl of Norwich (1569-1637) [see museum number 1512-1882]. In 1585 he married Margaret (1560-1648), eldest daughter of Piers and Margaret Edgcumbe of Mount Edgcumbe in Cornwall (see museum number 1511-1882).



Sir Edward Denny was a Gentleman of the Privy chamber to Elizabeth I, and served in Ireland, gaining lands there, including 6000 acres near Tralee, C. Kerry (today there is still a street called Denny Street).

See also the History of Parliament online:

http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1558-1603/member/denny-edward-1547-1600 (accessed 8th January 2015).



The painting is inscribed top right, ‘S:r Edward Denny / K:t Ban:t Uncle to / Edward Earl of Norwich’ [Sir Edward Denny / Knight Banneret Uncle to / Edward Earl of Norwich’]. Following the information in the inscription the portrait was catalogued on its acquisition by the museum in 1882 as of ‘Sir Edward Denny, Knight Banneret (1547-1599)’. ‘Knight Banneret’ was a term describing a medieval knight who led a company of troops under his own banner. According to English custom the rank of Knight Banneret could only be conferred by the sovereign on the field of battle, though later it could be conferred on behalf of the sovereign by a proxy. The last creation of a Knight Banneret was by King Charles I, at the Battle of Edgehill in 1642, in recognition of the rescue of the Royal Standard. It is not clear if Sir Edward Denny was a Knight Banneret. ‘Burke’s Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage’ for 1939 notes that he was ‘Sir Edward Denny, Knt. Banneret, of Bishop’s Stortford Manor’, but the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography notes only that in early 1588 he left Elizabeth I’s court in England and returned to Ireland, ‘and was knighted there in October’ - see ‘Denny, Sir Edward’, Nicholas Doggett, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/63292 accessed 4 Aug 2014

Interestingly Sir Edward’s father, Sir Anthony Denny, accompanied Henry VIII to Boulogne in 1544 and was knighted there on 30 September, after the city’s capitulation. So it is possible that he was a ‘Knight Banneret’. However, Burke’s Peerage does not note this.



This is one of five oil portraits of sitters from the 16th and 17th centuries that came to the museum from the Denny family in the late 19th century, all of which seem to be later copies. This is typical of the practice of making copies for successive generations of a family, as different branches of a family wished to own and display portraits of their forebears. A hand-written note on the Departmental File dates the painting to ‘c.1590’. It is worth noting that the “Denny Family Trust” includes a three-quarter-length version of the V&A’s half-length portrait of Sir Edward Denny.

Subject depicted
Summary
This portrait is of Sir Edward Denny (1547-1600) and dates to c.1590. Denny was the son of Sir Anthony Denny (1501-1549), a courtier at the court of Henry VIII, and Joan Champernon. The inscription on the painting, top right: ‘S:r Edward Denny / K:t Ban:t Uncle to / Edward Earl of Norwich’, suggests that Sir Edward was a Knight Banneret, although there is no conclusive evidence for this. According to English custom the rank of Knight Banneret could only be conferred by the sovereign on the field of battle (though later it could be conferred on behalf of the sovereign by a proxy) and allowed him to lead a company of troops under his own banner. This is one of five oil portraits of sitters from the 16th and 17th centuries from the Denny family that came to the museum in the 19th century. They all seem to be later copies and are typical of the practice of making copies for successive generations of a family.
Collection
Accession number
1510-1882

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

Record createdAugust 3, 2006
Record URL
Download as: JSONIIIF Manifest