ANNESLEY, Francis (1663-1750), of Castlewellan, co. Down and Thorganby, Yorks.
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Family and Education
bap. 24 Oct. 1663, 1st s. of Hon. Francis Annesley of Castlewellan (6th s. of Francis, 1st Visct. Valentia [I]), by Deborah, da. of Henry Jones, bp. of Meath. educ. I. Temple 1684, called 1690, bencher 1713. m. (1) 5 July 1695, Elizabeth, da. of Sir Joseph Martin, M.P., of London, 7s. 2da.; (2) July 1732, Elizabeth (d. 20 May 1736), da. of John Cropley of Rochester, wid. of William Gomeldon of Summerfield Hall, Kent, s.p.; (3) 31 Aug. 1737, Sarah, da. of William Sloane of Portsmouth (bro. of Sir Hans Sloane, 1st Bt.), wid. of Sir Richard Fowler, 2nd Bt., of Harnage Grange, Salop, s.p. suc. under will to personal and unentailed estates of cos. Arthur Annesley, M.P., 5th Earl of Anglesey, 1 Apr. 1737.
M.P. [I] 1695-9, 1703-28 Sept. 1703.
Commr. for sale of forfeited estates in Ireland 1699; commr. to build 50 new churches in London 1711; commr. of public accounts 1711-14.
A leading member of the October Club, Annesley stood at the 1715 election for the fourth time on Lord Abingdon’s interest at Westbury. After a double return he was seated on the merits of the return only to be unseated two months later on the merits of the election. In October 1716 he was appointed one of the trustees of Lord Bolingbroke’s forfeited personal estate.1 He recaptured his seat in 1722 when, though ‘the merits of that election [were] undoubtedly against him’, the resulting petition failed on technical grounds.2 He was again successful in 1727, voting against the Administration in all recorded divisions in that Parliament.
Outside the House of Commons he was a successful lawyer. The 1st Earl of Egmont describes him as ‘a man of strict honour and secrecy ... I have made use of him from a child ... he did all Lord Shelburne’s business’. He continued in charge of Egmont’s affairs until December 1743, when, at the age of 80, he was attacked by palsy. His son Arthur took out a writ of lunacy against him in 1746.3 He died 7 Apr. 1750.