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Sir Francis Henderson was an officer in the Scots-Dutch Brigade between 1604-1628. He was the youngest son of James Henderson of Fordell, and Jean, daughter of William 10th Baron of Tulliebardine. His oldest brother was Sir John Henderson, who married into both the Balfour of Burleigh and the Halketts of Pitfiranne families (both of which had strong connections to the Brigade and to the second regiment in particular, see Sir John Halkett [SSNE 7966], for instance). His other brother, Colonel Sir Robert [SSNE 4975] served alongside Sir Francis, and indeed, Sir Francis would assume command of the second regiment after Sir Robert's death in 1622. Sir Francis had another brother, Sir James Henderson, and this may be the same man as Lieutenant-Colonel James Henderson [SSNE 5008].

Sir Francis Henderson took oath as captain in Lord Buccleuch's [SSNE 5010] new regiment on 20 December 1603. He was promoted to sergeant-major in 1604. The regiment was formed in 1603 and was the second regiment of the brigade, second in seniority to Colonel William Edmond's [SSNE 8019]. Between 1604-1607, Sir Francis commanded 150 men, £2014, but by 1608 the numbers sank to 136 men, £1853. His brother, Sir Robert, was transferred from the old regiment and appointed lieutenant-colonel of the new regiment by 1604. In March 1607, Maurice of Nassau petitioned on his behalf for Sir Francis to be paid arrears owed him previously.

In 1612, after his brother was promoted to colonel, Sir Francis was probably promoted to lieutenant-colonel of the regiment and around that time became a gentleman of James VI and I's privy chamber (Hatfield House). On 28 August 1613, Sir Francis, in garrison in Alkmaar married Anna Vijch, widow of Jan van Egmondt. His pay in 1617 was £100. Sir Francis evidently beat a soldier to death 1618. Henderson was pardoned for killing the solider. What follows is his account of the event:

My Lordis--I have resseived your l. insinuation and perseived thair by that your l. ave bein hardlie informed and hichelie displesed about that infortunat maleur whitche against my intentione and to my great regreat is fallin out in my hand. I dout not bot your l. hes had the ful relation theirof boithe frome my frendis and enemeis thair are sudjet avenche as it is hapned to misconstrew my intentione. I have no thing to my defence and to beir me witnes save my consience whitche is abil to defend me against al malitious and senistreous reports whitche kan or has bein giffin your l. The fact I wil not excuse, seing it is hapned, bot my intentione to have done it as your l. hes resserved informatione I will intrait you not to belief, for as god sal beir me witnes and as I houp to be saved, I neither menit the father who is hurt nor the sone who is deid any harme tho it be most malleruslie fallin otherwayis. I confes I gave the fellow who is deid twa strokkis, bot far frome my intentiones to have takin his lyf, the on was efter he had confessit to me to have bein commandit by his master to have so natoraslie thrie tymes as he confessit himself have takin my lyf he promisit to go allong to me and justifie the [blank] and [blank] out the dor he brok almost away out of my hand. Thair upon I gave him with the pommel of my sword, upon what part of the heid I know not, bot if it he protured his deithe, never man died of one les strok, the other strok whitche is set doune in the informatione hi did hing out his toung at al whitche is and [blank] was efter he had cuttit me in the schin with a glas [blank] fit him than to weil he was als weil by al appirance as any man could be, if he be died of thois strokkis, it is best knowne to god for as I sal answer to him I kan not belief it, always it was far from my intentione he should have died. I houp your l. may easily forbidden if I had had any intentione to ave takin his lyf, I could have takin it in mane other fassione thein efter this kynd and seing that it is most malleruskie hapned to my extrem greif and kan not be amendit, I wil most ernestly intreat your l. favoribil censur for the offence and oversycht I have comitted to your l. and your justice, and think that it is only by ignorance that I have prosedit efter this fassione and not in contemp. U I will most humblie intreat your l. that what ever ordur it pleseis you to take with me that ye wil be pleased to pardone the soldier who hes no wyl at al and who in maine sundre occasions has done your l. good service sum of them 20, sum of them 30 yearis I wold have tune according to your directione bot I am nether weil nor hellger [?] and hes a greit manie affairis of my brothers children (who is leitly died) that I... presently in hand with, so that I wil intreat your l. favorabel permission. Intreatting most humblie your l. favorabil censur of al I kis in humility your l. handis and sal as I have ever bein remaybe, your l. most humbel and obedient servant. (s.) Franc. Henryson. (Ferguson, 290-291).

Sir Francis assumed the colonelcy of the regiment on 17 September 1622 after Sir Robert was shot and killed at Bergen-op-Zoom. He had died in The Hague by 27 September 1628 and was succeeded by Sir John Halkett [SSNE 7966].



J. Ferguson, Papers Illustrating the History of the Scots Brigade in theservice of the United Netherlands, 1572-1697 (Edinburgh, 1899), p. xxxiv, 60, 65, 67, 69, 72, 74, 206, 226, 227, 230, 232, 268, 289, 290, 307, 310, 318, 319, 331, 332, 378, 385, 389, 393, 394, 439.

Dr. Ir. J. MacLean, De Huwelijksintekeningen Van Schotse Militairen in Nederland: 1574-1665 (Zutphen, 1976), p. 25.

Hatfield House, Cecil Papers, Carleton to Salisbury, 24 Nov 1618, HH CP 129/145.


This entry created by Mr Jack Abernethy.

Service record

Arrived 1603-12-20, as CAPTAIN
Departed 1604-06-01, as SERGEANT-MAJOR
Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY
Arrived 1604-06-01, as SERGEANT-MAJOR
Departed 1612-12-31, as LIEUTENANT-COLONEL
Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY
Arrived 1612-01-01, as LIEUTENANT-COLONEL
Departed 1622-09-17, as COLONEL
Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY
Arrived 1622-09-17, as COLONEL
Departed 1628-09-27, as DECEASED
Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY