POWLETT, Charles II, Marquess of Winchester (1685-1754), of Hackwood, nr. Basingstoke, Hants.

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



7 Dec. 1705 - 1708
1708 - 1710
1715 - 12 Apr. 1717

Family and Education

b. 3 Sept. 1685, 1st s. of Charles Powlett, Mq. of Winchester I*, by his 2nd w.  educ. Enfield sch. 1699; travelled abroad (Holland) 1700–4.  m. (1) 21 July 1713, Lady Anne (d. 1751), da. and h. of John Vaughan†, 3rd Earl of Carberry [I], s.p.; (2) 20 Oct. 1751, Mrs Lavinia Beswick (d. 1760), said to be da. of a lt. in the navy, actress, known as Lavinia Fenton, 3s. illegit. d.s.p. legit.  Styled Mq. of Winchester 27 Feb. 1699; cr. Ld. Powlett of Basing 12 Apr. 1717; suc. fa. as 3rd Duke of Bolton 21 Jan. 1722; KG 10 Oct. 1722.

Offices Held

Freeman, Southampton 1707, Winchester, by 1708; gov. Milford Haven and v.-adm. of S. Wales 1715–33; ld. lt. Carm. 1715–33, Glam. 1715–33, Hants 1722–33, 1742–d., Dorset 1722–33; warden of New Forest 1722–33, 1742–d.; high steward, Winchester, 1722–d.1

Gent. of bedchamber to Prince of Wales 1714–17; PC 1 June 1725; ld. justice 1725–6, May–Aug. 1745; capt. gent. pens. 1740–2.

Col. R. Horse Gds. 1717–33; lt.-gen. 1745.

Commr. for surveying lands for naval docks; gov. I.o.W. 1726–33, 1742–6.2


Winchester had been an unruly youth, his father having to remove him from Enfield school on a report from his schoolmaster in 1699 that ‘he declines all business and refuses to be governed, absenting himself from school and by no persuasions will be prevailed upon to follow his studies but takes what liberty he thinks fit upon all occasions’. He subsequently travelled abroad with Lord Ashley (Anthony*), paying his respects to William III at Loo in September 1700, and returning to England in August 1704. The following year he served as a volunteer in the campaign in Portugal, but was home in time to be returned at a by-election for Lymington. A Whig, like his father and uncle Lord William Powlett*, he was inactive in this Parliament. He was given leave of absence on 23 Dec. 1707 for six weeks. Classed as a Whig in two lists of early 1708, one with the returns for 1708 added, at the general election that year he transferred to the county, and in the first session of the new Parliament was appointed, on 25 Jan. 1709, to the committee to draw up an address desiring the Queen to remarry. On 12 Feb. he acted as a teller against a motion that Sir James Howe, 2nd Bt.*, had been elected for Hindon. On 24 Feb. he was a teller in favour of committing the bill for encouraging the export of tobacco and on 18 Apr., in a critical vote for the passage of the treason trials bill, he told for the Court against an opposition motion to adjourn further consideration of the Lords’ amendments to the bill. Powlett was given leave of absence for 14 days on 16 Feb. 1710, but was listed as supporting the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell later in this session.3

Winchester’s stand, and that of his family, on the Sacheverell trial, probably cost him his seat for Hampshire at the next election, when he and a fellow Whig were defeated by two Tories with the solid support of the Church interest. He was similarly defeated in 1713 and did not return to the Commons until the accession of George I, when he continued to support the Whigs. He died at Tunbridge Wells on 26 Aug. 1754 and was buried at Basing, having left all his estate to his wife who was also the sole executrix.4

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Authors: Paula Watson / Sonya Wynne


  • 1. Luttrell, Brief Relation, v. 460; Southampton RO, Southampton bor. recs. SC3/2, f. 42; Hants RO, Winchester bor. recs. ordnance bk. 8, f. 14.
  • 2. CJ, xvii. 457.
  • 3. HMC 11th Rep. VII, 151; Add. 28917, f. 295; Luttrell, v. 460; Post Boy, 31 Oct.–2 Nov. 1710.
  • 4. Post Boy, 31 Oct.–2 Nov. 1710; PCC 219 Pinfold.