PAULET, Chidiock (by 1521-74), of Wade, Hants.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Constituency

Dates

Oct. 1553

Family and Education

b. by 1521, 3rd s. of William Paulet, 1st Marquess of Winchester, by Elizabeth, da. of Sir William Capell of London. educ. I. Temple, adm. 1535. m. (1) Elizabeth, da. of (Sir) Thomas White II of South Warnborough, Hants, 1s. 3da., (2) by 1562, Frances, da. of Sir Edward Neville of Aldington, Kent, wid. of Sir Edward Waldegrave of Borley, Essex, 1s.3

Offices Held

Esquire of the stable by 1545, receiver, ct. augmentations, Glos., Hants, Wilts. by 1550-4, Exchequer 1554-d.; capt. Portsmouth May 1554-9; j.p.q. Hants 1558/59-d.; commr. subsidy 1563; treasurer, bp. Winchester 1566-d.4

Biography

Chidiock Paulet owed any success he achieved to his father. He attended the Inner Temple, where in 1535, at his father’s request, he was pardoned all offices and vacations and received a licence to dine with the clerks. Soon after his father became steward of the Household he received a minor appointment there and a lease of the manor of Odiham, Hampshire, together with the bailiwick of its lordship. It was from Odiham that in the summer of 1545 Paulet led 200 men to Portsmouth during the threat of invasion by the French. In the following year the townsmen of Southampton provided him with a gallon of wine ‘when he lay at Netley to see how far our guns would shoot’. His official duties concerned the defence of the Hampshire coast, and this responsibility became more particularly his in 1554 on his appointment as captain of Portsmouth.5

Paulet replaced (Sir) William Sharington in the Parliament of 1547 as one of the Members for Bramber, a Sussex borough with which he had no ties. The date of his by-election is not known, but his name ‘Chidiocus Powlet miles Dominus Powlet’ appears on the list of Members for the last session (1552). Paulet was presumably nominated by the Council, of which his father was president, as a man who could be relied upon to comply with official intentions. He was not re-elected at Bramber for the following Parliament and is not known to have sat elsewhere, but after the accession of Mary he was returned to the first Parliament of her reign for Gatton, a borough owned by the Copley family. Either he or his father may have approached Thomas Copley, a junior colleague at the Inner Temple, for his place on this occasion.6

Lacking his father’s personality and talents, Paulet was prominent only in his native county, and his few appearances on the public stage were undistinguished, as an incident during Wyatt’s rebellion indicates. As Sir Thomas Wyatt II moved along the Strand towards the City after defeating a force at Charing Cross, ‘certain of the lord treasurer’s band to the number of 300 men, whereof the Lord Chidiock Paulet his son was captain, met them, and so going on the one side passed by them on the other side without anything saying to them’. Paulet was less ineffective at Portsmouth towards the end of Mary’s reign, but despite the favourable impression he made there Elizabeth dismissed him in 1559 and appointed Sir Adrian Poynings in his stead. Poynings was to make himself unpopular with the townsmen for his overbearing attitude, but when Paulet was offered the post again in 1562 he declined it. Court gossip reported that Paulet had been ‘mildly revoked’, but no reason was given either for his dismissal or for his refusal of reinstatement.7

Paulet remained in the foreground of Hampshire politics, although in 1564 Bishop Horne of Winchester reported on his Catholicism. The Marquess of Winchester’s influence kept him on the commission of the peace even after he had refused to sign a submission to the Act of Uniformity. Tactfully the bishop wrote that ‘his lordship showeth himself otherwise an obedient and faithful subject, giving us thereby some hope of his good conformity in time to come’. Horne had good reason to know, for Paulet had succeeded his father-in-law, Sir Thomas White, as the bishop’s treasurer three years before. After the death of Elizabeth White, Paulet married the widow of a prominent Marian, but unlike her first husband he did not suffer for his faith.8

Paulet left a large estate in Hampshire and some property in Buckinghamshire when he died on 17 Aug. 1574. He had acquired most of this property during Edward VI’s reign. The will he made three days before his death omits his lands entirely. He bequeathed to his wife all the plate, hangings,