Henry Wilks was born on the 2nd December 1921 in Bradford, Yorkshire. (dialogue throughout the serial indicates he was an only child). Henry's father and grandfather were fettlers in the mills. Henry grew up in poverty in Bradford as his family worked in the mills for a pittance. By the time he was 14, his parents had died and Henry worked in the mills. He had a first cousin Alice Wilks. Henry joined the Gunners in 1939. After leaving the army Henry married Maggie and they had a daughter Marian Wilks in 1954. Henry worked his way up in business to become a wealthy Bradford factory owner. One of his business associates was Franklin Prescott. Henry's wife died in 1971 and Henry took early retirement and decided to retire to the Yorkshire Dales, of which Beckindale village was his chosen location. He bought a big house in the village called Inglebrook.
1972-1991Henry upset the Sugdens when he introduced himself as their new neighbour and demanded a right of way across their bottom meadow to Inglebrook. Henry also sought legal advice over this, saying the law is on his side. Henry Wilks appeared to be a tough former businessman who was not to be messed with but he soon softened. Wilks soon got to know Annie Sugden and he saw the farm was in a sorry state and being a wealthy businessman himself, bought shares in Emmerdale Farm, the said farm. By early 1973 he had become friends with the landlord of the Woolpack, Amos Brearly and Amos even sought Henry's help when doing interviews for a new barmaid. In the end Henry bought half the pub with Amos off the brewery in October 1973 and he moved in with Amos whilst having shares in Emmerdale Farm and Beckindale village shop. In 1974 he fought with Dryden Hogben over the affections of Alison Gibbons. Alison left Beckindale that year and Henry allowed Norah Norris to run the shop. In January 1975, Henry seemed to be having financial difficulties and had to have an emergency meeting in Bradford. It appeared he was not as rich as he was when he arrived in Beckindale over 2 years earlier. The exact nature of Henry's finances was never pinned down. In early 1976 the Woolpack was found to be suffering from subsidence. New premises was found at the other end of the village. Amos was at first sceptical as he thought the new premises was haunted but Henry talked him out of these fears. They were in the new premises by February 1976.
In 1977 an old flame of Mr Wilks turned up. He had not seen her for 30 years. She soon left Beckindale. That year Amos and Henry employed a barmaid Dolly Acaster at the Woolpack. Amos was pompous towards her but soon warmed. In 1978 an old army friend of Mr Wilks turned up in Beckindale, Major Denyer. Major lied and said that he was buying a share in Emmerdale Farm. Major soon left Beckindale.Henry Wilks became friends with Alan Turner when Turner took over as manager of Home Farm in 1982. Turner was a regular customer.
In 1983 Henry became the accounts manager at Emmerdale Farm. In January 1986, Henry found the dead body of Harry Mowlam. Henry was visited by his daughter Marian again in 1987, the year him and the villagers were campaigning against a nuclear dump being built on Pencross Fell in the village. Marian's husband Paolo Rosetti was injured when chasing away Eric Pollard when Pollard was trying to rob his house. Paolo did not know it was Eric, Eric's revenge plan for mocking him. Henry became a grandfather that year to Nicolo Rosetti.In March 1988, Henry and Amos had a row and he considered moving to Italy but decided to stay with Amos in Beckindale. He realised at his age he would not cope in a foreign country. That summer, Marian returned for another visit to say she was trapped looking after Paolo since the accident. In late 1988, Denis Rigg tried to get his claws into Home Farm. In January 1989, Henry managed to get Annie Sugden to chuck her tranquillisers down the toilet. Dennis Rigg tried to turn Beckindale into a huge quarry. Henry knew how shady such businessmen were, and in July 1989, Denis was crushed to death by a bull. In July 1990, Amos suffered a stroke and decided to retire. He was 70 years old by then. Amos sold his share of the pub to Alan Turner.
Henry did not like Alan Turner's modernisation of the pub so soon sold his shares to Alan, making him the full owner. In the summer 1991, Henry Wilks moved into Emmerdale Farm. Henry carried on working at The Woolpack. Henry had gone from landlord to employee. In October 1991, Henry died in his sleep of a heart attack aged 69. Amos returned for his funeral. Henry was buried in Beckindale Village Cemetery.
Amos would mention his late great friend whenever he returned to the village for visits. In 1994 he reminisced about his time working with Mr Wilks. In September 2001, Jack Sugden mentioned Amos and Henry.
Full Name: Henry Wilks
Born: 2nd December 1921
Died: 3rd October 1991 (Aged 69)
First appearance Episode 1 (16th October 1972)
Last appearance Episode 1587 (29th August 1991)
"I was wondering where you'd got to" to Marian Wilks. First Line.
"Here you are love" to Rachel Hughes. Final line.
- Henry possessed a shoe polishing case that was a present from his wife, Maggie, the Christmas before she died. It was an item that was saved by Joe from the fire at Inglebrook (episode 76).
- According to Amos, Jerusalem was Henry's favorite hymn which he sung in his bath (episode 1599). He always got the words wrong.
Spouse Maggie Wilks (?-1971)
Children Marian Wilks (later Rosetti) (1954)
Grandchildren Nicolo Rosetti
Cousins Alice Wilks