POWLETT, Norton (1680-1741), of Rotherfield Park and Amport, Hants.
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Family and Education
bap. 27 Sept. 1680, o. s. of Francis Powlett*. educ. Corpus Christi, Oxf. 1698. m. 1699, Jane, da. of Sir Charles Morley*, 8s. 3da. suc. fa. 1695.1
Freeman, Lymington, 1701, Winchester, by 1701; commr. of Portsmouth and Sheet Turnpike trust, 1711–d.; trustee, Churcher’s College, 1737–d.2
On his father’s death in 1695, Powlett inherited Amport near Andover. Through his mother he also inherited the manors of East Tisted and Rotherfield, eight miles from Petersfield, although these were put in trust to provide portions for his sisters. These lands, together with the proximity of Basing, the property of his kinsman, the 2nd Duke of Bolton (Charles Powlett I*), gave the family a strong influence in the borough, which he represented for nearly 30 years without a break. At the time of his marriage, his income was estimated at £2,000 p.a.3
In 1705 Powlett voted for the Whig candidates in the Hampshire elections and took over the Whig seat at Petersfield. In the first session he was listed as a ‘Churchman’, voted for the Court candidate for Speaker on 25 Oct., and voted with the Court on the ‘place clause’ in the regency bill proceedings on 18 Feb. 1706. On 1 Feb. 1707 he was included among those ordered to prepare a bill for a turnpike on the Petersfield to Butser Hill road. Two lists of 1708 classed Powlett as a Whig and he confirmed this analysis with continued support of his party in the new Parliament. On 1 Feb. 1709 he acted as a teller during the hearing of the Newcastle-under-Lyme election case, on a successful motion to bring in candles, thereby prolonging the debate sufficiently to enable a resolution to be passed condemning William Burslem* for bribery in procuring votes for the two Tory candidates who had already been unseated on petition. He again acted as a teller, on 5 Apr. 1709, against a motion to engross a bill to make two Dutch-built vessels free ships of Great Britain. He supported the naturalization of the Palatines in 1709 and the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell in 1710.4
In 1710 Powlett voted again for the Whig candidates in the Hampshire elections and was returned as usual for Petersfield, whereupon he was classed as a Whig in the ‘Hanover list’. On 4 Dec. he acted as a teller on the Whig side in the disputed return of James Stanhope* for Cockermouth. The local matter of the Petersfield to Portsmouth road reappeared again in this Parliament and Powlett was added to the drafting committee for a turnpike bill on 21 Feb. 1711. True to form, he voted for the motion of ‘No Peace without Spain’ on 7 Dec. and against the French commerce bill on 18 June 1713. Returned again for Petersfield in 1713, Powlett voted against the expulsion of Richard Steele on 18 Mar. 1714, and was subsequently classed as a Whig in the Worsley list and two other analyses of the 1713 Parliament. He continued to sit after 1715, a solid supporter of the Whig administrations, until he lost his seat in 1734. He died on 18 June 1741, his youngest son, George†, eventually succeeding as 12th Marquess of Winchester.5
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: Paula Watson
- 1. IGI, Hants; Collins, Peerage, ii. 388; PCC 135 Irby.
- 2. E. King, Old Times Revisited, Lymington, 192; Hants RO, Winchester bor. recs. ordnance bk. 7, f. 166; Portsmouth and Sheet Turnpike Commrs. Min. Bk. (Portsmouth Rec. Ser. ii), 169; [R. S. Atcheson], Churcher’s College, p. xv.
- 3. PCC 135 Irby; VCH Hants, iii. 31–35; iv. 339; Luttrell, Brief Relation, iv. 559.
- 4. Hants Poll 1705 (IHR), p. 8.
- 5. Hants Poll 1710 (IHR), p. 8; Gent. Mag. 1741, p. 332.