Rev Sir Henry Dryden (1824-1837)

Rev Sir Henry Dryden (image courtesy of The National Trust, Canons Ashby) was the second son of John Dryden (formerly Turner) and his wife, Elizabeth Dryden (John Turner adopted his wife’s surname and arms in 1791), grandson of Cassandra Leigh, the great Aunt of Chandos Leigh, and his cousin, Julia, was Chandos Leigh’s mother.
Sir Henry inherited the Dryden of Canons Ashby baronetcy in 1818 from his brother when he died at the age of just 36, by which time he was 31 and had been ordained in 1814.
Before arriving at Leek Wootton, he had been Curate at Longborough (1810), Broadwell with Adlestrop and Condicote (1814), all in Gloucestershire. In 1821, he became Vicar of Ambrosden in Oxfordshire. His uncle, Sir Gregory Page-Turner, was the patron of Ambrosden from 1807 and this living was later taken up by a younger brother, Lempster George Gregory Dryden.

The incumbency of Leek Wootton was in the patronage of Lord Leigh and he became Vicar in 1824, when he and his wife, Elizabeth, had three young children between 3 and 6.
He died of pleurisy at Leek Wootton in 1837, aged 50, and is buried at Canons Ashby.
His obituary described, “The affliction which his death has occasioned to his parishioners of Leek Wootton; among whom it is no exaggeration to say, that on the day of his death there was not a dry eye. In every house, in every cottage, they seemed to deplore the loss of a friend, a teacher, and a guide … He was charitable to the full extent of his power of being so a liberal supporter of all useful institutions in his neighbourhood and hospitable without ostentation. (2 December 1837)

Vicars of Leek Wootton
Predecessor: Thomas Cox | Successor: Leopold Erasmus Dryden

Elizabeth Hutchinson Dryden
(image courtesy of The National Trust, Canons Ashby)

Rev Sir Henry Dryden’s memorial in the church at Canons Ashby