Tuesday, 09 March 2021

Henley Ladies Probus Club January meeting

THE 245th meeting of the club was held at Badgemore Park Golf Club in Henley on Thursday, January 22. Members and guests were welcomed by the chairman, Mary Barrett.

Sarah Spong invited members to join a three-day trip to Bruges being organised by the Henley (Men’s) Probus Club in September.

The chairman then introduced the speaker, Deon Melck, who talked about Sir William Lenthall, speaker of the Long Parliament and reputedly born in Hart Street, Henley.

Lenthall, a descendant of Sir Roland Lenthall, a hero of the Battle of Agincourt, was educated at Thame School and became a wealthy lawyer and recorder of Woodstock.

Elected to the speaker’s office in 1640, he was an
associate of Bulstrode Whitelocke, also a wealthy lawyer, owner of Fawley Court and Phyllis Court and a member of parliament.

At that time, Henley was within a day’s travel by coach of Westminster and there is no doubt Lenthall was associated with the town.

But was he born at Speaker’s House?

The property was built around 1500 and authorities state that Lenthall was born in a house by the church in Henley-on-Thames.

The established view is that this is the house and, if so, he must have had a good time there.

Deon then took many questions about the house and its occupants up to the present day. The club’s annual meeting will be on February 9 and will be followed by a talk by Rolf Richardson with the intriguing title “From pharaohs to PhotoShop”.

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