FORTESCUE, Hugh (1665-1719), of Penwarne, Mevagissey, Cornw.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Feb. 1701
Dec. 1701

Family and Education

bap. 2 June 1665, 1st s. of Arthur Fortescue of Buckland Filleigh, Devon and Penwarne by Barbara, da. of John Elford of Sheepstor, Devon. m. (1) settlement 19 Oct. 1692, Bridget, da. and h. of Hugh Boscawen of Tregothnan, Cornw., 7s. (5 d.v.p.) 2da.; (2) Lucy, da. of Matthew Aylmer, 1st Lord Aylmer of Balrath [I], 1s. 1da. suc. fa. 1693.1

Offices Held

J.p. Cornw. July 1688-d., Devon 1689-d.; commr. for assessment, Cornw. 1689-90; dep. lt. Devon by 1701-d.


The Filleigh branch of the Fortescue family was descended from Sir John Fortescue, author of The Governance of England, who sat for various constituencies between 1421 and 1437. In contrast to the South Devon Fortescues, they supported Parliament in the Civil War. Fortescue’s father held local office under the Commonwealth and Protectorate, but was removed from the Devonshire commission of the peace after the Restoration as a dissenter. He purchased Penwarne, and had settled in Cornwall when Fortescue was born.2

Fortescue himself conformed to the Church of England, but as a Whig collaborator he accepted James II’s religious policy and was recommended as court candidate for the county in 1688, probably to keep him out of the Earl of Bath’s borough of Plymouth. At the general election of 1689 he was returned for Tregony, six miles from Penwarne, doubtless with the assistance of the Boscawen interest. An inactive Member of the Convention, he was appointed to only three committees, those to consider the petition from the widow of Sir Thomas Armstrong, to reverse his attainder, and to prepare charges against the former treasury solicitors, all in the second session. He supported the disabling clause in the bill to restore corporations, and remained a court Whig under William III and Anne. He died in the closing months of 1719. His eldest son was raised to the peerage in 1721, and a younger son sat for Barnstaple and Devon under George II as an opposition Whig.3

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: Paula Watson / John. P. Ferris


  • 1. Vivian, Vis. Devon, 355.
  • 2. Lysons, Devon, 82; Hoskins, Devon, 195; Paroch. Hist. Cornw. iii. 324.
  • 3. Hist. Reg. Chron. 41; Pol. State, xviii. 583.