WENMAN, Sir Francis, 1st Bt. (c.1630-80), of Caswell House, Curbridge, Oxon.
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Family and Education
b. c.1630, 2nd s. of Sir Francis Wenman† (d.1640) of Caswell House by Anne, da. of Sir Samuel Sandys† of Ombersley, Worcs. m. (1) 4 July 1651, Mary (d. 13 Nov. 1657), da. and coh. of Thomas Wenman, 2nd Visct. Wenman of Tuam [I], 4s. (3 d.v.p.) 1da.; (2) Elizabeth, da. of Edward Fettiplace of Swinbrook, Oxon. 3s. 2da. suc. bro. 1664; kntd. by Aug. 1660, cr. Bt. 29 Nov. 1662.1
Commr. for militia, Oxon. Mar. 1660; j.p. Oxon. Mar. 1660-d., Oxford Aug. 1660; freeman and bailiff, Oxford June 1660; commr. for assessment, Oxon. Aug. 1660-d., Oxford 1665-d., Berks. 1673-4, Bucks. 1673-d., corporations, Oxon. 1662-3, dep. lt. 1668-d., commr. for recusants 1675.2
Wenman came from a cadet branch of the family; but his father’s learning and intellectual force earned him a distinguished place in the Great Tew circle described by Clarendon, as well as the representation of his county in 1628-9 and the Short Parliament before his premature death. Wenman’s elder brother was killed in the King’s service during the Cornish campaign of 1644. Wenman himself was proposed for the order of the Royal Oak with an estate of £1,500 p.a. He was narrowly defeated by Brome Whorwood at Oxford in the general election of 1661, but was returned for the county three years later, probably without a contest. He may have inherited poor health and a lack of energy from his father, for he never became an active Member of the Cavalier Parliament. He was named to the committee of elections and privileges in four sessions, and to only two others, one for taxing the Bedford level in 1667 and the other for suppressing pedlars in 1675. On the working lists he was entrusted to the management of Lord Norris on behalf of the Court, but Shaftesbury marked him ‘worthy’ in 1677, though he was apparently unable to come up that session through ill health. He died on 2 Sept. 1680 and was buried at Witney.3