FOULKES, Evan (?1751-1825), of 10 Southampton Street, Covent Garden, Mdx.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
b. ?1751 in Flints. ?unm.
Auditor, Westminster Fire Office, 1793, dir. 1809; solicitor to commrs. for auditing public accts. 1807.
Vol. London and Westminster light horse 1803.
Of obscure origin, Foulkes in his will left £100 to John Jones of ‘Laithaelwyd’, near Holywell, Flintshire ‘for the care and trouble he has already had respecting my family’ and to assist his executors in providing for his late sister’s family.1 In July 1781 he qualified as an attorney in King’s bench. He was in partnership with Bateman at Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, afterwards with Bateman and Gregory at King Street, (1787), moving before 1805 to Southampton Street. By then he was vestry clerk of St. Paul’s, Covent Garden.
Foulkes had a fashionable clientele. In 1791 he gave evidence in the House on the divorce proceedings of Henry Cecil†, the future Marquess of Exeter, whose solicitor he was. He negotiated loans for aristocratic clients. On 21 Jan. 1807 he promised Lord Beauchamp to find out whether the borough of Gatton was for sale.2 A few months later, while Lord Lonsdale was applying to the Duke of Portland for Foulkes to become solicitor to the stamp office, he found himself in Parliament, sitting as locum tenens for his friend John Maberly*, who purchased an Irish borough seat at government’s disposal.3 It was the chief secretary, Sir Arthur Wellesley, who vacated his seat for Foulkes, but he did not hold it for long: as trustee of the late Marquess of Exeter, whose heir was a minor, he was called upon to occupy a vacancy in the family borough of Stamford. He retained it for ten years, until a member of the family was eligible, and withstood a bid to open up the borough.4
At Westminster Foulkes was an unobtrusive supporter of successive administrations. This was unfavourably remarked on by the opposition at Stamford. He voted with ministers on the address and the Scheldt question, 23, 26 Jan., 5 and 30 Mar. 1810. The Whigs were ‘doubtful’ of him. He confirmed this by voting against the release of the radical Gale Jones, 16 Apr., against parliamentary reform, 21 May, and against sinecure reform, 17 May 1810, 24 Feb., 4 May 1812.
Listed a Treasury supporter in the Parliament of 1812, Foulkes voted against Catholic relief, 2 Mar., 24 May 1813, 21 May 1816, and paired against on 9 May 1817. It seems that he was in the minority against the corn bill, 23 May 1814. He was in the government minority of 3 July 1815 on the Duke of Cumberland’s marriage grant, and again on 18 Mar. 1816 in favour of the property tax. He voted with ministers on the army estimates, 6 Mar., the civil list, 6 and 24 May, the Irish vice-treasurership, 14 and 20 June 1816, the composition of the finance committee, 7 Feb., and (his last known vote) for the suspension of habeas corpus, 23 June 1817. No speech is known.
Foulkes died 8 Nov. 1825, aged 74.5 He directed that his freeholds in London, Rutland and Worcestershire be sold for legacies to his nephews and nieces. Brownlow, Marquess of Exeter was invited to select ten books from his library. He also remembered Lord Beauchamp’s family and his business partners. He concluded by describing himself as the ‘unworthy’ president of the Lowtonian Society.
Ref Volumes: 1790-1820
Author: R. G. Thorne
- 1. PCC 572 St. Albans. Foulkes cannot be traced in the baptismal registers of the Holywell district (information from L. Naylor). His sister was twice married and had a son, Joseph Needham, and other issue unnamed in the will.
- 2. Debrett (ser. 2), xxix. 631; Carm. RO, 1 Cawdor 131, Foulkes to Cawdor, 3 June 1808; Madresfield mss 136.
- 3. Portland mss, PwV114, patronage book (law); Wellington Supp. Despatches, v. 66, 109; Wellington mss, Long to Wellesley, 23, 24 May; H. Wellesley to same, 25 May, enc. Maberly to him, 24 May 1807.
- 4. Stamford Town Hall, Phillips coll., A Letter to Evan Foulkes Esq., MP, 25 Mar.; To Evan Foulkes Esq. 18 Apr. 1809.
- 5. Registers of St. Paul’s Covent Garden, iv. 487.