COURTENAY, Francis (1652-99), of Powderham Castle, Devon

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1689 - 1 Apr. 1699

Family and Education

bap. 27 Feb. 1652, 2nd s. of Sir William Courtenay, 1st Bt.†, of Powderham Castle by Margaret (d. 1694), da. of Sir William Waller† of Osterley Park, Mdx.; bro. of George* and Richard Courtenay†.  m. settlement 26 Nov. 1670 (with £4,000), Mary, da. of William Boevey, merchant, of Little Chelsea, Mdx. and Flaxley Abbey, Glos., 3s. (2 d.v.p.) 9da.1

Offices Held


Courtenay, who was reported to have joined the Prince of Orange after the landing in 1688, took over the representation of Devon when his father’s health failed. He was classed as a Tory by Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†) shortly after being re-elected in March 1690, and in another of Carmarthen’s lists at the end of the year as a supporter of the Court. A list compiled by Robert Harley* in around April 1691 classified him as a Country party supporter. An inactive Member, he was granted leave of absence for six weeks on 23 Jan. 1692, and was accorded a further grant on 13 Jan. 1694 on the death of his mother. He appears to have displayed consistent support for the opposition, as evident from his recorded behaviour in 1696, being forecast in January as a likely opponent of the Court over the proposed council of trade, and, unlike his father, refusing the Association the following month. During March he voted against the government on the question of fixing the price of guineas at 22s., and on 25 Nov. voted against the attainder of Sir John Fenwick†. He was again granted leave of the House on 6 Mar. 1697. In the aftermath of the election in 1698 he was classed as a Country supporter in a list comparing the old and new Parliaments and was forecast as likely to oppose the government on the standing army question. He predeceased his father in London on 1 Apr. 1699, and was buried at Chelsea, the press reporting that he was ‘much lamented, he being a gentleman worthy of a good character’.2

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. Vivian, Vis. Devon, 248–9; A. W. Cawley-Boevey, Mems. Boevey Fam. 19, 156.
  • 2. Bodl. Fleming newsletter 3334; Cal. Treas. Bks. ix. 1767; Luttrell, Brief Relation, iv. 500; Post Boy, 1–4 Apr. 1699.