Sir Denis Stanislaus Henry was born 7 March 1864, in Calhore, Draperstown, Co. Derry. His father James Henry was prosperous, being described at times as farmer, landlord, or businessman. James Henry's first wife was Mary McNamee and his second wife was Ellen Kelly, a daughter of Dr. Kelly from Derry who practiced in Draperstown for ten years. The marriage certificates which identify James Henry and his wives as Catholic. James had five children by his first marriage; a son, James, and four daughters. Denis Henry was one of seven children by his father's second marriage. The siblings of Sir Denis Henry were diverse in careers some went to the Church as nuns or priests with two brothers became attorneys.
Sir Denis Henry's legal career was very successful, he became a Queen's Counsel in 1896, a Bencher of the King's Inns in 1898, and ultimately Father of the Northwest Circuit. By March 1905 he was a delegate at the inaugural meeting of the Ulster Unionist Council and the Unionist parliamentary candidate for the ultra-marginal North Tyrone seat. In 1918 he became Solicitor General for Ireland and in 1919 Attorney General for Ireland. He served as the first Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland from 1921 to 1925. In 1923 he was created a Baronet of Cahore in County Londonderry.
Sir Denis Henry's father, James, died on 22 October 1880, aged 67, and his mother, Ellen, passed away on 3 October 1908, in her eightieth year. This Henry family has many ties and relations in Draperstown and the surrounding area.
The Henry family of Sir Denis were cousins to the Henrys of Maghera, whose father Peter Henry was a famous Royal Navy Surgeon who served in the Napoleonic Wars and formed part of the medical team that was on St Helena during Napoleons stay there. Alexander Henry, son of Peter Henry, was an attorney in Maghera.
All male descendants of Sir Denis Henry of Draperstown are encouraged to contact Doris Noland Parton, the administratrix of the Henry Surname DNA Project.
Sir Denis Stanislaus Henry's remarkable career is the subject of an excellent biography available from the Ulster Historical Foundation.