HAWLEY, Francis, 1st Baron Hawley of Duncannon [I] (1608-84), of Buckland Sororum, Som. and Scotland Yard, Westminster.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



7 Dec. 1665

Family and Education

b. 14 Jan. 1608, 2nd s. of Sir Henry Hawley of Wiveliscombe by Elizabeth, da. of Sir Anthony Poulett of Hinton St. George. m. bef. 1646, Jane, da. of Sir Ralph Gibbs of Honington, Warws., 2s. d.v.p. suc. bro. 1624; cr. Bt. 14 Mar. 1644; Baron Hawley of Duncannon [I] 8 July 1645.1

Offices Held

Commr. of array, Som. 1642, j.p. 1643-6, July 1660-d.; commr. for sewers, Aug., Dec. 1660, assessment Aug. 1660-80, steward of crown manors Aug. 1660-75; freeman, Bath 1661, Portsmouth 1668; commr. for loyal and indigent officers, Som. and Bristol 1662; dep lt. Som. 1662-d.; recorder, Bath 1662-9; asst. R. Adventurers to Africa 1668, 1671, R. Africa Co. 1672-d.; steward, Artillery Co., London 1673; member, R. Fishing Co. 1677.2

Col. of horse (royalist) 1642-5, June-Nov. 1660; dep. gov. Bristol 1643-4; capt. R. Horse Gds. (The Blues) 1661-76; gov. Deal Castle 1672-4.3

Gent. of the bedchamber to the Duke of York by 1669-d.; trustee for fee-farm rents 1670-3; commr. for prizes 1672-4.4


Hawley’s ancestors removed to Somerset in the reign of Henry VIII. His grandfather sat for Corfe Castle in three Elizabethan Parliaments as a servant of Lord Keeper Hatton. Hawley raised a troop of horse for the King in Somerset in 1642 and served, in his own words, as ‘an officer of quality’ under Rupert. He obtained the Speaker’s licence to go into exile with the Prince in October 1645, and compounded for his estates in 1647. His fine, originally set at £857, was reduced to £250 on his settling an annuity of £50 on the church. He seems to have intended to take part in the second Civil War, and was still abroad in 1650, after which nothing more is heard of him till 1660.5

Hawley was made colonel of a Cromwellian cavalry regiment at the Restoration, despite protests from the soldiers, until its disbandment. At the time of the Fifth Monarchist rising in 1661, he ‘told the King that the better he was guarded, the more his enemies would fear him and his friends love him’. This support of a standing army, in opposition to the views of Clarendon and Southampton, earned him not only a commission in The Blues, but the esteem of the Duke of York, who reported the remark and then or later took him into his household. He was active in suppressing conventicles in Yorkshire, and was sufficiently prosperous to advance £1,600 to the King for his personal use in 1662-4.6

On the death of Sir John Stawell Hawley announced his intention of standing for the county, but ‘laid down the cudgels’ owing to lack of support. He was, however, returned for Mitchell in November 1665, probably on the recommendation of the sitting Member, Matthew Wren, though he was recalled for military duty while on his way to attend the election. An inactive Member of the Cavalier Parliament, he was appointed to 26 committees and acted as teller in five divisions, the first being against a proposal on 7 Dec. 1666 to enable public accounts to be taken on oath. In March 1670 he was among those ordered to consider the Lords’ bill appointing commissioners for union with Scotland, the conventicles bill, and the bill to advance the sale of fee-farm rents. In his only recorded speech, on 1 Dec., he proposed a land-tax at the usual rate of £70,000 a month, of which he hoped to be appointed receiver for Gloucestershire and Somerset. After the Christmas recess he was teller against imposing double taxation on absentee Members and against appropriating the additional excise to paying off the existing debt. He was appointed to the committees on the bills to transfer the Cornish assizes from Launceston to Bodmin and to vest the fee-farm rents in trustees. He had already been appointed a trustee, at a salary of £400 p.a., and later received bounties of £1,200 for his services. He was included in both lists of the court party at this time as a dependant of the Duke of York, under whom he served, together with Wren, in the fleet during the third Dutch war. In the spring session of 1673 he was appointed to the committee for the Tone and Parret navigation bill, in which he was nominated a commissioner, and in the autumn he was teller against the motion for an address to remonstrate against the Duke’s second marriage to a Roman Catholic. He was named on the Paston list and the list of officials in 1675, and appointed in both sessions to the bill to prevent the growth of Popery. Increasing infirmity compelled his surrender of the stewardship of the crown manors in Somerset and his army commission. But he continued to attend the House, and was one of the three Cornish Members in 1676 of whom Danby, in the opinion of Sir Richard Wiseman, could be well assured. Shaftesbury marked him ‘thrice vile’, while the author of A Seasonable Argument described him as ‘a court buffoon, [who] has got in boons £20,000’. He was on both lists of the court party in 1678, and is unlikely to have stood for the Exclusion Parliaments. At his death on 22 Dec. 1684 he was said to have been for some time bedridden. His grandson, the second baron, inherited property in Dorset, Devon and Berkshire as well as Somerset, and was returned for Bramber in 1713.7

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. Sale of Wards (Som. Rec. Soc. lxvii), 24.
  • 2. CSP Dom. 1660-1, p. 214; 1661-2, p. 511; 1663-4, p. 264; Cal. Treas. Bks. iv. 703; Bath council bk. 2, pp. 292, 491; R. East, Portsmouth Recs. 359.
  • 3. Bellum Civile (Som. Rec. Soc. xviii), 19, 33; Cal. Comm. Comp. 1523; Cal. Treas. Bks. i. 66; iii. 1278; iv. 548.
  • 4. Cal. Treas. Bks. ii. 414, 732.
  • 5. Vis. Som. ed. Weaver, 113; Clarendon, Rebellion, ii. 297; Cal. Cl. SP, i. 285; Cal. Comm. Comp. 1523-4; HMC 4th Rep. 275; CSP Dom. 1650, p. 282.
  • 6. HMC 5th Rep. 194; Clarke, Jas. II, i. 391; CSP Dom. 1663-4, pp. 468, 586; Cal Treas. Bks. i. 400, 581, 661.
  • 7. Bristol RO, AC/C76-79; CSP Dom, 1665-6, p. 74; 1672, pp. 47, 428; 1676-7, p. 476; Grey, i. 315; CJ, ix. 203, 210, 284; HMC 9th Rep. pt. 2, p. 25; Cal. Treas. Bks. iii. 1164, 1210, 1347; iv. 703, 731; v. 820; PCC 5 Cann.