FOOTE, Francis (c.1681-1730), of Veryan, Cornw. and Gray’s Inn, London
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Family and Education
b. c.1681, 1st s. of John Foote of Veryan. educ. Pembroke, Camb. adm. 7 Jan. 1698, aged 16, BA 1701–2, MA 1714; G. Inn 1713, called 1714. m. bef. 1715, Mary, da. and h. of Benjamin Hatley of Cambs. and Beds., 3s. 1da. suc. fa. 1702.1
Commr. for managing lottery 1711–?12.2
Foote’s father had been steward of various hundred courts in the duchy of Cornwall, and he himself was a practising lawyer. Returned for Bossiney in 1708, he was appointed, on 29 Jan. 1709, to draft a bill to standardize English and Scottish treason laws, and on 1 Feb. told against bringing in candles in order to continue hearing the Newcastle-under-Lyme election case. This tellership appears to have been an attempt to prevent the House from proceeding further against a Tory election agent, but in 1709 Foote supported the naturalization of the Palatines and the following year he voted for the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell. Foote did not stand at the 1710 election, and his behaviour in the following two years suggests that he prudently tempered his previous Whig sympathies. In July 1711 he wrote to the Earl of Oxford (Robert Harley*) to thank him for the place he had been given managing the lottery, an office he received following the recommendation of George Granville*. This preferment did not satisfy Foote’s ambitions. In the summer of 1711 Sir William Trumbull* expressed a willingness to resign his place of clerk of the signet to Foote, a suggestion put to the Queen by Henry St. John II*. Though the application was unsuccessful Foote pressed for promotion in the lottery or appointment to either the stamp office or victualling commission, citing Robert Benson* and Edward Harley* as men who would testify to his good character. Such applications proved unsuccessful. Foote entered Gray’s Inn in 1713 and the following year was called to the bench, ‘having taken the degree of Master of Arts in the University of Cambridge and being of more than doctor of civil laws standing there’, an entry that may suggest that Foote was an established civil lawyer, though such an intimation cannot be confirmed. Little more is known of Foote before his death on 27 June 1730.3
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: Eveline Cruickshanks
- 1. Burke, Commoners, i. 372; Berry, Kent Gens. 26; Cal. Treas. Bks. xvii. 141.
- 2. Add. 70155, list of lottery commrs.
- 3. Cal. Treas. Bks. xi. 426; Add. 70197, Foote to [Oxford], 21 July 1711, 10 Jan. 1711–12, 18 Apr. 1712; SP 34/16, f. 200; Pens. Bk. G. Inn, ii. 160–1; Hist. Reg. Chron. 1730, p. 48.