POYNINGS, Adrian (c.1515-71), of Wherwell, Hants.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. c.1515, illegit. s. of Sir Edward Poynings, treasurer of the household to Henry VIII, of Westenhanger, Kent. educ. G. Inn 1533. m. Mary, da. and coh. of Sir Owen West of Wherwell, 1s. d.v.p. 3da. Kntd. by Aug. 1562.

Offices Held

In household of Thomas Cromwell by 1538; lt. Boulogne citadel Feb. 1546; capt. June 1546-Apr. 1547; lt. Boulogne base town Mar. 1546; lt. Calais castle 1552; capt. Portsmouth from 1559; second in command expedition to France under Ambrose Dudley 1562; marshal, Le Havre Oct.-Nov. 1562.


J.p. Hants from c.1559, Dorset 1561; duchy of Lancaster steward, Dorset 1566; commr. musters, Hants 1569; v.-adm. Hants by 1570.1


Poynings was born in Ghent when his father was in the Netherlands as ambassador to the Emperor. He became a soldier, succeeding Thomas Wyatt to commands at Boulogne, and gaining large sums from the ransoms of prisoners. On several occasions in 1551 and 1552 he is referred to as a knight, but thereafter until 1562 as ‘esquire’ or ‘gentleman’, perhaps because a first knighthood was foreign and he thought it inexpedient to use the title in view of his alien status after he returned from Calais. Poynings was not employed during Mary’s reign. He was present at the battle of St. Quentin in 1557, with 48 foot soldiers, and returned to England soon afterwards. In June 1558 he was appointed lieutenant to Lord Talbot in the army which was being sent northwards, but a month later the commission was cancelled because he was unwilling to serve. He was still an alien when he was returned to Elizabeth’s first Parliament for Tregony, no doubt through a court connexion, perhaps the 2nd Earl of Bedford, who wou