FOUNTAINE, Andrew (c.1637-1707), of Narford, Norf. and Bell Bar, North Mimms, Herts.
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Family and Education
b. c.1637, 2nd s. of Brigg Fountaine (d.1661) of Salle, Norf. and the Inner Temple by Joanna, da. of Andrew Henley of Taunton, Som. educ. I. Temple 1655-7; travelled abroad c.1657-61. m. (1) Theophila, da. of Edmund Stubbe, rector of Huntingfield, Suff. 1621-59, wid. of William Wells of Halvergate, Norf., 1da.; (2) lic. 29 Apr. 1672, aged 35, Sarah, da. of (Sir) Thomas Chicheley of Wimpole, Cambs., 3s. (1 d.v.p.) 2da.1
Commr. for assessment, Herts. 1679-80, 1689-90.
Fountaine came from a Norfolk family which had been of local importance since the 15th century. His father, a barrister, may have had royalist sympathies during the Civil War: he was assessed at £400 at Haberdashers’ Hall in 1644. Fountaine became acquainted with John Coke I at the Temple, and allegedly saved him from drowning. After travelling with him on the Continent he became his steward, and extracted large sums of money from the estate. In 1666 he purchased the estate of Brookmans in Hertfordshire from Sir William Dudley. But three years later he was dismissed from his stewardship.2
Although Fountaine’s second wife complained ceaselessly of his boorish, drunken habits, it was she who found him a seat in the Exclusion Parliaments, highly desirable if he were to avoid a debtors’ prison. Her brother-in-law Richard Legh, who controlled Newton, even paid his election expenses. Legh was an opponent of exclusion, and Fountaine was marked as a court supporter on Lord Huntingdon’s list; but Fountaine had no compunction in voting for the first exclusion bill. Otherwise he was completely inactive. He does not appear to have sought election in 1685, but in 1689 he appealed to the young Peter Legh for a seat at Newton. Although his claim was supported by Legh’s mother, he was refused and never sat again. Increasing financial difficulties compelled him in 1701 to sell to John Somers his Hertfordshire estate, including his newly built house at Bell Bar. He died on 7 Feb. 1707 and was buried at Narford, the only member of his family to enter Parliament.3
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: Irene Cassidy
- 1. Blomefield, Norf. vi. 234-5; Vis. Suff. (Harl. Soc. lxi), 42; London Mar. Lic. ed. Foster, 505; HMC Lords, i. 115.
- 2. Blomefield, vi. 233; Cal. Comm. Adv. Money, 406; Chauncy, Herts. ii. 441; Clutterbuck, Herts. i. 454; C. J. James, Coke Fam. and Descendants, 106-7.
- 3. E. C. Legh, Lady Newton, House of Lyme, 291-2, 310; Lyme Letters, 101-2, 161; Le Neve’s Knights (Harl. Soc. viii), 472.