MEWS, Peter (1672-1726), of Hinton Admiral, nr. Christchurch, Hants.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Constituency

Dates

1710 - 19 Mar. 1726

Family and Education

bap. 29 Aug. 1672, s. of Col. John Mews of St. Andrew Undershaft, London by Sarah, da. of John Mellish, Merchant Taylor, of Fenchurch Street, London, alderman of London 1667.  educ. ?Winchester by 1680–8; St. John’s, Oxf. 1688; All Souls, Oxf. BCL 1695.  m. 3 Sept. 1719, Lydia (d. 1751), da. and coh. of George Jarvis of London and Islington, Mdx., s.psuc. uncle Peter Mews, bp. of Winchester 1706; kntd. 13 July 1712.1

Offices Held

Chancellor, dioc. of Winchester 1698–d.2

Biography

Mews’s uncle, the High Church bishop of Winchester, turned him towards a civilian occupation, providing him with an appointment as chancellor of the bishop’s own diocese. Mews’s influence in the locality was undoubtedly increased by money inherited from his uncle, father and stepfather (the last being the merchant and former Tory MP Sir John Matthewes†), for in 1708 he was able to buy the manor of Christchurch, offered for sale at a reputed price of over £34,000, and thus obtain control of one of the borough’s parliamentary seats for which he sat from 1710 until his death. Apart from a Nonconformist cousin, one of the parish clergy ejected at the Restoration, Mews’s family associations were uniformly Tory, and he himself was classed as a Tory in the ‘Hanover list’. He was one of the ‘worthy patriots’ who in the first session of the 1710 Parliament exposed the mismanagements of the previous administration; voted on 18 June 1713 in favour of the French commerce bill; and was described as a Tory in the Worsley list and two other lists comparing the 1713 and 1715 Parliaments. Nor did he deviate from the party line after the Hanoverian succession, acting consistently in opposition to the Court, and in 1721 his name was included in the reckoning of potential supporters delivered in to the Pretender.3

Mews died on 19 Mar. 1726 and was buried at Christchurch. His widow inherited the estate, which she in turn bequeathed to her nephew, Jarvis Clerke.4

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: Paula Watson

Notes

  • 1. IGI, London; Westminster Abbey Reg. (Harl. Soc. x), 44; J. R. Woodhead, Rulers of London (London and Mdx. Arch. Soc.), 114; Winchester Long Rolls, 1653–1721, pp. 37, 41, 44, 51, 54, 57–58; Clutterbuck, Herts. i. 465.
  • 2. Westminster Abbey Reg. 44.
  • 3. HMC Fortescue, i. 34; Hutchins, Dorset, iv. 149; Bodl. Tanner 22, f. 131.
  • 4. The Gen. n.s. vi. 210; Westminster Abbey Reg. 44; VCH Hants, v. 93.

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