Chicheley, Sir Henry, lieutenant-governor of Virginia from December 30, 1678, to May 10, 1680, son of Sir Thomas Chicheley of Wimpole, in Cambridgeshire, was born in 1617, matriculated at University College, Oxford, April 27, 1632, and was Bachellor of Arts February 5, 1634-35. He served as an officer in the army of Charles I., and for a short time was imprisoned in the Town of London. In 1649, after the execution of the king, he emigrated to Virginia with many other cavaliers. Here he married in 1652 the widow of Colonel Ralph Wormeley, and resided at Rosegill, in Middlesex county. On December 1, 1656, he took his seat in the house of burgesses, having been elected to fill a vacancy. In 1660 he was for a time in England, where he was probably a witness of King Charles II.'s restoration. On November 20, 1673, he was commissioned lieutenant-general of the Virginia militia, and on February 28, 1673-74, the king gave him a commission as lieutenant-governor of the colony. In the beginning of 1676, when the Indians were ranging the frontier, Chicheley had command of the forces raised to subdue them, but his troops were disbanded by Governor Berkeley before they could attack the invaders. This action occasioned much discontent and was the direct cause of Bacon's rebellion.
During this troublesome time Chicheley adhered to the governor and suffered very much in consequence. His estate was greatly damaged and he endured a severe imprisonment. When the civil war subsided, he was appointed to the council November 16, 1676, and became its president, and on the death of Governor Jeffreys he produced his commission as lieutenant-governor. He remained the colony executive till Lord Culpeper was sworn into office May 10, 1680, becoming, however, the chief executive again when Lord Culpeper left Virginia in August, three months later. He served till Culpeper's return in December, 1682, during which interval there was unusual distress on account of the low price of tobacco. On the petition of the suffering people, Chicheley called an assembly which met in April, 1682, but in obedience to orders from England to await Lord Culpeper's arrival he adjourned it before it could adopt a law for a cessation of planting, whereupon many planters in Gloucester, New Kent and Middlesex assembled together and going from place to place riotously cut up the tobacco plants. Chicheley called out the militia and promptly suppressed the disturbances, but issued a general pardon to all who would behave peaceably. Major Robert Beverley was deemed, however, the real sinner, as he was prominent in urging the cessation of panting. Therefor, Chicheley had him arrested, and confined him on shipboard and kept him a prisoner for seven months, finally releasing him under heavy bond to appear when summoned. Culpeper returned in December, 1682, and though he bore instructions to proceed rigorously against the plant cutters, whose action had entailed a heavy loss of English revenue, he imitated Chicheley's clemency by issuing a similar proclamation of amnesty. To placate his masters in England, however, he executed two of the most violent of the ringleaders and threw the blame of his not executing more upon Sir Henry Chicheley, who had forestalled him. Sir Henry had become at this time very old and feeble, and his death occurred not long after Culpeper's arrival. He died at Rosegill, on the Rappahannock, February 5, 1682 and was interred at old Christ Church, Middlesex county. He left no issue.