Sir Henry John Fanshawe Badeley was born at Elswick, near Newcastle. After graduating from Oxford University, he entered the Parliament Office in 1897, and from 1920 to 1930 he was principal clerk and taxing officer in the judicial department at the House of Lords. In 1930 he was made Clerk Assistant of the Parliaments and four years later, became Clerk and was created K.C.B.. When he retired in 1949, the Marquess of Salisbury, said: “He could almost be described as the father of the house, for he had been the guide, philosopher and friend to whom they had gone in their troubles”. Upon his retirement he was honoured by having the title of 1st Baron Badeley of Badley (in Suffolk) conferred upon him.
H.J.F. Badeley studied under Sir Frank Short at the Royal College of Art and appears to have remained in close contact with Short for many years, often choosing subjects which reflect Short’s own, such as the long pier and the tide marks at Rye in Sussex. Indeed, Short is known to have proved a number of Badeley’s etching plates.
Badeley’s work as an etcher and engraver was exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy between the years 1911 and 1951, and the famous P.& D. Colnaghi of Bond Street, were his publishers. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Painter Etchers and Engravers early in his career and was Honorary Secretary to the Society from 1911 until 1921. H.J.F. Badeley is best known for his exceptional line engraved bookplates, his few independent engravings being comparatively rare. In all Badeley made over 200 etched and engraved bookplates, including those for the library of the House of Lords and the Danish royal family.