POULETT, Hon. John (c.1641-79), of Hinton St. George, Som.
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Family and Education
b. c.1641, 1st s. of John Poulett, and Baron Poulett of Hinton St. George by his 1st w. Catherine, da. and coh. of Horace, Baron Vere of Tilbury, wid. of Oliver St. John of Lydiard Tregoze, Wilts. educ. travelled abroad 1656. m. (1) lic. 17 Aug. 1663, aged 22, Essex, da. of Alexander Popham of Littlecote, Wilts., 2da.; (2) lic. 15 July 1667, Lady Susan Herbert, da. of Philip Herbert, 5th Earl of Pembroke, 1s. 2da. suc. fa. 15 Sept. 1665.1
Commr. for loyal and indigent officers, Som. 1662, assessment Som. 1663-5, Mdx. 1664-5; j.p. Som. 1663-d.; ld. lt. Dorset 1674-d.2
Poulett’s ancestors migrated from France to the west country in the reign of Henry II. John Poulet was knight of the shire for Devon in 1385, and the family had regularly represented Somerset since the reign of Elizabeth. Poulett’s father was a royalist commissioner of array and actively engaged in the Civil War until the surrender of Exeter. Involvement in royalist plots in 1655 and 1656 caused him to go abroad, taking Poulett with him. Poulett himself was returned unopposed for Somerset at a by-election in 1662. An inactive Member of the Cavalier Parliament, he was appointed to five committees, of which the most important was for the additional corporations bill, before succeeding to the peerage. In the Upper House he voted with the Court. He died in June 1679, leaving an estate of £4,800 p.a. to his heir, the first Earl Poulett, who sat in the House of Lords as a Tory, and acted as first lord of the Treasury in 1710-11. Two of his grandsons sat for Bridgwater under George II.3