POWLETT, Lord William (1667-1729), of Chilbolton, Hants and Marrick Priory, Yorks.

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
1727 - 25 Sept. 11729

Family and Education

b. c.1667, 2nd s. of Charles Powlett I, 1st Duke of Bolton, by 2nd w.; bro. of Charles Powlett II, Earl of Wiltshire. m. (1) settlement 26 Feb. 1689, Louisa, da. of Armand Caumont de la Force, Mq. de Mompouillon, 2s. 2da.; (2) lic. 26 Oct. 1699, Anne, da. of Randolph Egerton of Betley, Staffs. and coh. to her bro. James, 1da.1

Offices Held

Freeman, Winchester 1689, Lymington 1689; dep. lt. Hants 1689-d.; commr. for assessment, Hants and Yorks. (W. Riding) 1689-90; capt. of militia ft. Winchester by 1697; recorder, Grimsby 1699-d.; j.p. Hants and Lincs. 1699-d.; mayor, Lymington 1701-5, 1724-5, 1728-d.; keeper of Rhinefield walk, New Forest 1718-d.2

Farmer of green-wax fines 1690-1706; teller of the Exchequer 1714-d.3


Powlett was sent by his father in April 1688 to The Hague, where William of Orange arranged a match with one of his own kinswomen, the daughter of a Huguenot refugee. At the general election of 1689 he was returned for both Hampshire and Winchester, and on 4 Feb. took the unusual course of opting for the borough seat, presumably to let in Thomas Jervoise, another Whig, for the county. After being named to the committee on the bill to remove Papists from the London area, he obtained the leave of the House on 16 Mar. 1689 to go beyond sea for a month, and he left for Holland to fetch his bride, accompanied by Jervoise and a considerable retinue. A moderately active Member of the Convention he was appointed to ten committees in all, including that to inquire into the delay in relieving Londonderry. His application for the farm of the green-wax fines in the Exchequer at an annual rent of £500 was referred to the Treasury on 18 July, but no decision was reached until after the dissolution of Parliament. Clearly a strong Whig partisan, he acted three times as teller. He opposed a motion for the adjournment which would have averted debate on the arrest of Peregrine Osborne, an amendment to the corporations bill which would have restored them to their composition in 1675, and a proposal for a conference on the tithe bill. In the second session he was appointed to the committee of elections and privileges, and to those to examine references in the Journals to prisoners of state and to prepare charges against the late treasury solicitors. He served on the committee for restoring corporations, and supported the disabling clause. He remained a court Whig, and became one of the Junto spokesmen in the Lower House. He died on 25 Sept. 1729 in his 63rd year. Both his sons sat for various Hampshire boroughs as Whigs under George II.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Paula Watson


  • 1. Coll. Top. et Gen. v. 256-7; Westminster Abbey Reg. (Harl. Soc. x), 218, 354.
  • 2. Winchester corp. assembly bk. 6, f. 38; Gillett, Hist. Grimsby, 145; Eg. 1626, f. 46; E. King, Old Times Revisited, 184, 192; Cal. Treas. Bks. xxix. 545-6.
  • 3. Cal. Treas. Bks. ix. 607; xx. 594; xxix. 814.
  • 4. Dalrymple Mems. ii. pt. 1, p. 92; CSP Dom. 1687-9, p. 145; 1689-90, pp. 46, 190; CJ, x. 193, 233, 268.