Sir Henry Fane was born in 1778 in Lincolnshire.
He joined the army in 1792 and fought well in the Peninsular War and gained a reputation for his command of the cavalry. After stepping down from his position as MP for Lyme Regis in favour of his brother, Sir Henry lived a semi-retired life with Mrs Isabella Cooke, with whom he had six children. However, during the Duke of Wellington’s premiership in 1829, Sir Henry Fane was appointed Surveyor General of the Ordnance, a role he held until 1831.
During this time he also returned to politics, standing for Sandwich and Hastings. When Wellington returned briefly as Prime Minister, Sir Henry was appointed Commander-in-Chief in India, a role confirmed by the Melbourne ministry. Sir Henry Fane held this position until ill-health forced him to retire in 1839. He died in 1840 on his way back to England.