POWLETT, Francis (1640-95), of Amport, nr. Andover, Hants.
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Family and Education
bap. ?24 Jan. 1640, o. s. of Ld. Henry Powlett† of Amport by Lucy, da. of Sir George Philpot of Thruxton, Hants. m. 20 June 1674, Elizabeth, da. and h. of Sir Richard Norton, 2nd Bt., of Rotherfield, Hants, niece and eventual h. of Sir John Norton, 3rd Bt.†, 1s, 2da. suc. fa. 1672.1
Commr. wastes and spoils in New Forest 1676–80; capt. Calsholt Castle 1689–d.2
Powlett was the only known son of the royalist Lord Henry Powlett, although it is possible that the christening date given above may have been that of a short-lived elder brother, Powlett being described in his marriage licence as aged ‘about 31’, which suggests a date of birth in 1643. A cousin of the 1st Duke of Bolton (Charles Powlett†), Powlett had been a moderate Whig under Charles II and James II. Returned again in 1690 for Andover, he was identified as a Whig and probable Court supporter in Lord Carmarthen’s (Sir Thomas Osborne†) list of the new Parliament, and in a further list in December as a probable supporter of Carmarthen should his ministerial position come under attack in the Commons. Surveying the House in April 1691, Robert Harley* doubted whether he could be considered as a Country supporter, and he was classed as a Court supporter in Grascome’s list of spring 1693. An inactive Member, Powlett’s presence in the Commons was punctuated by frequent absences caused by the poor health of both himself and his wife. He was granted leave of absence on at least five occasions in this Parliament: in January 1692, January and November 1693, February and March 1694, and February 1695. The date of his death has not been ascertained, though his will, written on 15 May 1694, was proved on 1 Aug. 1695. In it he named his wife as executrix and John Smith I* and John Pollen* as overseers. His son Norton* was his principal heir, and he also left £100 to Andover corporation.3