FOWELL (VOWELL), Edmund (c.1598-1664), of Harewood, Calstock, Cornw.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



c. Aug. 1646
29 Apr. - 9 June 1660

Family and Education

b. c.1598, 1st s. of John Fowell of Plymouth, Devon by Anne, da. of John Croker of Lyneham, Yealmpton, Devon. educ. Broadgates Hall, Oxf. 1616; M. Temple 1617, called 1625. m. (1) by 1632, Jane (d.1640), da. of Sir Anthony Barker of Sonning, Berks., 2s. (1 d.v.p.) 1da.; (2) by 1647, Alice, da. of Sir Francis Glanville of Kilworthy, Tavistock, Devon, wid. of John Connock of Harewood, 2s. 2da. suc. fa. 1627.2

Offices Held

Town clerk, Plymouth 1627-47, coroner 1635; j.p. Devon and Cornw. 1647-9, 1650-Mar. 1660, Devon Apr.-July 1660, 1661-d.; commr. for assessment, Devon 1647-8, 1652, 1661-d., Cornw. and Devon 1657, Jan. 1660; bencher, M. Temple 1648; commr. for oyer and terminer, Western circuit 1655, militia, Devon Mar. 1660.3


Fowell’s father, a younger son of the Fowellscombe family, became town clerk of Plymouth, an office which Fowell inherited. A lawyer like his father, he acquired property there and at Tavistock and an interest in the fishing industry. His second marriage brought him the lease of a duchy of Cornwall estate on the other bank of the Tamar, which he purchased for £555 18s. at the sale of crown lands. A Presbyterian, he did not sit after Pride’s Purge, but was allowed to take his seat in the second Parliament of the Protectorate. Although he signed the Devon declaration for a free Parliament, he did not return with the other secluded Members in 1660. At the general election Fowell and John Maynard I were returned by the corporation and allowed to sit on the merits of the return. He was probably an opponent of the Court. As ‘Mr Vowell’ he was appointed to two committees, one to prepare for a conference on the regicides and the other to draft a declaration against recusants. On 30 May he was teller against the Lords amendments to the judicial proceedings bill; but he was unseated on 9 June on the merits of the election, and retired from political life. His lease of Calstock was renewed in 1661. He was incapacitated by a stroke in September 1663, when he signed his will with a mark, and was buried at Calstock on 27 Feb. following. Harewood reverted to the Connock family, and nothing further is known of Fowell’s descendants.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / J. S. Crossette / John. P. Ferris


  • 1. Did not sit after Pride’s Purge, 6 Dec. 1648.
  • 2. Vivian, Vis. Devon, 369, 412; M. Temple Bench Bk. 197; PCC 92 Harvey, 54 Coke.
  • 3. HMC 9th Rep. pt. 1, pp. 283-4; Trans. Devon Assoc. x. 312; Thurloe, iii. 296.
  • 4. Lysons, Cornw. 53; E320/D31; Lady Eliott-Drake, Fam. and Heirs of Drake, i. 421; Vivian, Vis. Cornw. 93; Cal. Treas. Bks. viii. 210; Calstock par. reg.