POWLETT, Harry (1720-94).

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



26 Nov. 1751 - 1754
17 Jan. 1755 - 1761
1761 - 5 July 1765

Family and Education

b. 6 Nov. 1720, 2nd s. of Lord Harry Powlett and bro. of Charles Powlett. educ. Winchester 1728-9; acad. in Portsmouth dockyard 1733. m. (1) 7 May 1752, Mary Munn (d. 31 May 1764) of Eltham, Kent, 1da.; (2) 8 Apr. 1765, Katherine, da. of Robert Lowther, M.P., of Mauds Meaburn, Westmld., sis. of James Lowther, M.P., 1st Earl of Lonsdale, 2da. suc. bro. Charles Powlett as 6th Duke of Bolton 5 July 1765.

Offices Held

Lt. R.N. 1739, capt. 1740, r.-adm. 1756, v.-adm. 1759, adm. 1770.

P.C. 10 Dec. 1766; gov. I.o.W. 1766-70, 1782-91; v.-adm. Hants and Dorset 1767; ld. lt. Hants 1782-93.

Mayor, Lymington 1761, 1768, 1771, 1773.


Harry Powlett made the navy his career, earning his promotion more by virtue of his family connexions than by his own merit. Entered at the academy in Portsmouth dockyard by his father when lord of the Admiralty, he was promoted captain while his father was still in office. Serving at Cartagena in 1743, Toulon in 1744, and subsequently in the East Indies, he was a prosecution witness against Admirals Lestock in 1745 and Griffin in 1750. In retaliation Griffin accused Powlett of misappropriating stores, of gross breaches of discipline, of not engaging the enemy and of abject cowardice when engaged. When, after many delays, a court martial was held on 1 Sept. 1752, Griffin could produce no witnesses and Powlett, who had been returned on his family’s interest at Christchurch on the death of Charles Armand Powlett, was acquitted.1 He died 25 Dec. 1794.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Paula Watson


  • 1. Charnock, Biog. Navalis, v. 5-7.