Audley was a royalist baron, born about 1175 to Adam de Alditheley and Emma, daughter of Ralph/Radulphus fitzOrm. HIs father Adam held Alditheley (Staffordshire) from the de Verduns of Alton in 1186. He began his career as constable to Hugh de Lacy (whose first wife was a de Verdun) when Earl of Ulster, and, on Hugh's disgrace (1214), attached himself to Ranulph, the great royalist Earl of Chester, and was rewarded by the crown with a forfeited estate (1216). He endowed the nearby Cistercian Abbey of St. Mary at Hulton in 1223, and donated to it a large amount of land, some of which was an inheritance from his mother and some of which was purchased.
He served as sheriff of Shropshire and Staffordshire 1227 and 1229, as deputy for the Earl of Chester, from whom he obtained large grants of lands. On acquiring Heleigh Castle he made it his chief seat, but was entrusted by the crown, with the constableship of several castles on the Welsh borders from 1223 to his death, which took place shortly before 11 November 1246, when his son James Audley did homage.
- Walker, R.F. (2004). "Audley, Henry (d. 1246), baron". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/892.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- "Fifth Generation". washington.ancestryregister.com. Archived from the original on 28 September 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
- Assize Rolls, 12 H. III. (p. 50, Vol. IV, Staff. Hist. Coll.), see p.8 Walter Chetwynd's History of Pirehill Hundred, published in 'Collections for a History of Staffordshire', Vol. XXII New Series (1909)
- Williams, Ann; G H Martin (2002). Domesday Book: A Complete Translation. London: Penguin. pp. 681, 1303. ISBN 978-0-14-143994-5.
- p.220, Walter Chetwynd's History of Pirehill Hundred], published in 'Collections for a History of Staffordshire', Vol. XXII New Series (1909): and by Bertha, the daughter of Ralph de Mesnilwarin 4 (with whom he had in frank-marriage ye manors of Smalwood and Snelston, and half ye town of Pickmere, co. Cestr.), left issue James Ld. Audley