BROWNE FFOLKES, Sir Martin, 1st bt. (1749-1821), of Hillington, King's Lynn, Norf.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009
Available from Cambridge University Press



1790 - 11 Dec. 1821

Family and Education

b. 21 May 1749,1 o.s. of William Folkes, barrister, of Hillington and 2nd w. Mary, da. and h. of Sir William Browne, MD, pres. RCP, of King’s Lynn. educ. Eton 1758-66; Emmanuel, Camb. 1766; L. Inn 1768. m. 28 Dec. 1775, Fanny, da. and coh. of Sir John Turner, 3rd bt.†, of Warham, 2s. (1 d.v.p.) 3da. (1 d.v.p.). suc. fa. 1773; cr. bt. 26 May 1774; styled himself Browne Ffolkes on d. in 1774 of grandfa. Sir William Browne. d. 11 Dec. 1821.

Offices Held

Sheriff, Norf. 1783-4; capt. Norf. rangers 1794, maj. 1805.


Browne Ffolkes, an independent Norfolk gentleman and lawyer whose politics were unknown to Charles James Fox† in 1803, could generally be counted upon to support the Whigs. ‘Not being a party man’, he did not sign the requisition to Tierney as opposition Commons leader, and from 1818 his attendance was increasingly interrupted by gout. No votes were recorded for him in that Parliament, but he attended to local legislation and Norfolk business as previously.2 On 29 Sept. 1819 he was awarded a £150 pension on the Scottish civil list as joint-executor with John Wright of the countess of Dundonald.3 Despite rumblings of discontent, he was returned unopposed for King’s Lynn, which he canvassed with Colonel John Walpole* on his own (Turner) and the corporation interest, at the general election of 1820.4 Illness and private business, which he received leave to attend to, 5, 27 June 1820, 11 May 1821, interrupted his attendance and he is not known to have spoken in the House in this period. He divided with opposition on crown droits, 5 May 1820. He did not support Catholic emancipation without securities, but (as in 1812) he voted to consider relief, 28 Feb. 1821. He died at Hillington in December 1821, predeceased by his wife, younger son and daughter Fanny, and was succeeded in the Ffolkes baronetcy and to estates in Norfolk and Cambridgeshire by his elder son, William John Henry Browne Ffolkes*.5 His will, dated 29 July 1817 and sworn under £60,000, provided for his daughters and nephew by marriage, the political economist Sir Edward West (1782-1828), recorder of Bombay 1822-8, whom he had raised with his own children and who married his daughter Lucretia, 26 Aug. 1822.6

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Authors: Robin Healey / Margaret Escott


  • 1. IGI (Mdx.).
  • 2. HP Commons, 1790-1820, iii. 285-6; Stirling, Coke of Norf. 302; H. Hillen, Hist. King’s Lynn (1978), ii. 503.
  • 3. CJ, lxxvi. 1170.
  • 4. Bury and Norwich Post, 8, 15 Mar. 1820.
  • 5. Norf. Chron. 15, 22 Dec. 1821.
  • 6. PROB 11/1652/17; IR26/903/35; Oxford DNB sub Sir Edward West.