VINCENT, Sir Francis, 3rd Bt. (c.1621-70), of Stoke d'Abernon, Surr. and Dover Castle, Kent.
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Family and Education
b. c.1621, 1st s. of Sir Anthony Vincent, 2nd Bt., of Stoke d’Abernon by Elizabeth, da. of Sir Arthur Acland of Killerton, Devon. educ. Exeter, Oxf. matric. 12 May 1637, aged 16. m. (1) by 1644, Catherine (d. 16 Feb. 1654), da. of George Pitt of Sudbury Court, Harrow, Mdx., 3s. 2da.; (2) Elizabeth (d.1680), da. of Sir Henry Vane of Hadlow, Kent, 2s. 2da. Kntd. by 1648; suc. fa. c.1655.1
J.p. Kent and Surr. July 1660-d.; commr. for oyer and terminer, Home circuit July 1660; dep. lt. Surr. c. Aug. 1660-d.; commr. for assessment, Kent Aug. 1660-2, Surr. Aug. 1660-9, sewers, E. Kent Sept. 1660; freeman, Dover Nov. 1660, Guildford 1662, commr. for corporations, Kent and Surr. 1662-3, loyal and indigent officers, Surr. 1662.3
Vincent’s great-grandfather, of Northamptonshire origin, acquired Stoke d’Abernon by marriage under Elizabeth, and sat for Poole in 1584. His father, a passive Royalist, eventually contributed £200 in money and horses to the Parliament cause, but his mother, who had returned to her own family in Devon, was actively hostile, and Vincent no doubt took after her. He was presumably knighted for his services in the Civil War, but no details have survived. In July 1648 he was arrested and briefly imprisoned for tampering with the Oxford garrison, and he may have been the Francis Vincent of Canterbury who compounded at £20 with the Kent county committee. A persistent royalist conspirator, he was reported in 1655 as one of a group plotting to assassinate the Protector, and he may have gone abroad for a while. But he had returned by 1659, when, as ‘the most popular person in that county’, he led the Surrey rising in support of Sir George Booth. He was released on £5,000 bail after the ignominious collapse of the movement, but after the second return of the Rump orders were issued to apprehend him and search his house for arms.4
At the Restoration Vincent was made lieutenant-governor of Dover Castle with a pension of £182 p.a., served briefly as an officer in the army of the Commonwealth before its disbandment, and was granted a share in the profits of the subpoena office in Chancery. He was defeated by George Montagu in a by-election for the port in August 1660. As deputy to the lord warden, the Duke of York, Vincent ordered the Cinque Ports corporations in December to restore those officials displaced for their loyalty and remove those who had opposed the Restoration. He stood again for Dover at the general election of 1661 as the lord warden’s candidate. He was returned, probably unopposed, and listed as a friend by Lord Wharton. An inactive Member of the Cavalier Parliament, he was appointed to 36 committees, including the committee of elections and privileges in six sessions. He was named to the committee for the corporations bill, to two committees for the Wey navigation, and to that for preventing abuses in the sale of offices and honours. By June 1663 he had been replaced as lieutenant-governor by John Strode II, but his pension continued, although payments were irregular. He was not listed as a court dependant in 1664. In the Oxford session he was on the committee for the five mile bill. As a friend of Mordaunt and Ormonde, he is unlikely to have supported the impeachment of Clarendon, but in 1669 Sir Thomas Osborne included him among those independent Members who usually voted for supply. His will, leaving over £4,300 in legacies, with a nuncupative codicil dated 14 May 1670, was proved on 29 June. His grandson sat for Surrey as a Tory under William III and Anne.5
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: Basil Duke Henning
- 1. Vis. Surr. (Har. Soc. lx), 116; PCC 460 Berkeley.
- 2. Merc. Pub. 21 June 1660; Parl. Intell. 2 July 1660; CSP Dom. 1668-9, p. 247; HMC 7th Rep. 679.
- 3. Q. Sess. Recs. (Surr. Rec. Soc. xiii), 195; (xiv), 319; C181/7/56; Eg. 2985, f. 66; CSP Dom. 1660-1, p. 555; 1663-4, p. 438; Add. 29622, f. 228; Add. 29625, f. 177; Add. 6167, f. 207.
- 4. Vis. Surr. (Harl. Soc. xliii), 55-56; CSP Dom. 1648-9, pp. 193, 217, 221; 1655-6, pp. 133, 227; 1659-60, pp. 113, 177, 568, 570; Cal. Comm. Adv. Money, 310; Cal. Comm. Comp. 458; D. Underdown, Royalist Conspiracy, 172, 280; Cal. Cl. SP, iv. 18.
- 5. CSP Dom. 1663-4, p. 538; 1668-9, p. 433; 1670, p. 495; Add. 1660-85, p. 5; Adm. 2/1745, f. 33; HMC 13th Rep. IV, 236; VCH Surr. iii. 268, 548; PCC 68 Penn.