BENNET, Sir Levinus, 2nd Bt. (c.1631-93), of Babraham, Cambs.
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Family and Education
b. c.1631, 1st s. of Sir Thomas Bennet, 1st Bt., of Babraham by Mary, da. and coh. of Levinus Munck, clerk of the signet. educ. G. Inn 1644. m. 6 July 1653, Judith, da. of William Boevey, merchant, of Little Chelsea, Mdx. and Flaxley Abbey, Glos., 2s. (1 d.v.p.), 7da. suc. fa. 28 June 1667.1
Sheriff, Cambs. and Hunts. 1652-3; commr. for assessment, Cambs. Sept. 1660-80, 1689-90, j.p. 1661-Mar. 1688, 1689-d., commr. for corporations 1662-3, complaints, Bedford level 1663, appeals 1668, pontage, Cambridge 1673, recusants, Cambs. 1675; freeman, Cambridge 1679; dep. lt. Cambs. by 1680-?87, 1689-d.2
Bennet’s grandfather, a London alderman, bought Babraham early in the 17th century. His father was accused, long after the Civil War was over, of supplying horses and money to the King’s army, but the charge was dismissed by the committee for the advance of money. He held local office during the Protectorate, but was created a baronet at the Restoration, and proposed as a knight of the Royal Oak, with an income of £2,000 p.a. Although Bennet was a second cousin of Sir Henry Bennet, he took no ascertainable part in politics before the exclusion crisis. He may have been outraged by the trickery which enabled two members of the Green Ribbon Club to represent the county in the first Exclusion Parliament. Joining forces with Sir Robert Cotton, he defeated them at the second election of 1679, and sat as knight of the shire for the rest of his life, though not without repeated contests. No doubt he opposed exclusion, but he left no trace on the records of the second and third Exclusion Parliaments. In 1685 he was appointed to two minor committees, one for the estate bill of Edward Meller and the other concerning the Bedford level. He was recommended for removal from the Cambridgeshire commission of the peace in March 1688, presumably as an opponent of James II’s religious policy. In the Convention, according to Anthony Rowe, he voted to agree with the Lords that the throne was not vacant; but he was again totally inactive as a committeeman. Nevertheless he was re-elected in 1690, but died on 5 Dec. 1693 and was buried at Babraham. The baronetcy became extinct in 1701 without further parliamentary service.3