PINNELL, Henry (1670-c.1721), Bradenstoke Abbey, Wilts.
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Family and Education
bap. 13 Sept. 1670, s. of Henry Pinnell of Nash House, Wilts. by Elizabeth, da. of Richard Jones† of Stowey Court, Chew Magna, Som., sis. of Sir William Jones†. educ. Trinity, Oxf. 1685; M. Temple 1690. ?unm. suc. fa. ?1671.1
Pinnell was at least the third generation of his family to have resided at Nash House, the family seat, which, with other leased property, he inherited from his father. By 1694 he had moved four miles north, giving his address as Bradenstoke Abbey. Although he was himself a lawyer (and nephew of a former attorney-general), with property in a number of surrounding villages, in all probability he owed his return at Wootton Bassett in 1695 to the interest of Henry St. John I*, and possibly that of the lord of the manor, Lord Rochester (Laurence Hyde†). Nor can we ignore the possibility that he was influenced in his political sympathies by his stepfather Sir Richard Hart*, since he soon established himself as a staunch Tory. Forecast as likely to oppose the Court in the division on 31 Jan. 1696 over the proposed council of trade, he refused the Association, voted against fixing the price of guineas at 22s. in March, and, on 25 Nov. 1696, voted against the attainder of Sir John Fenwick†. In a comparative analysis of the old and new Parliaments in about September 1698 he was classed as a supporter of the Country party. On 22 Mar. 1701 he was added to the committee to draw up the address against the Partition Treaty, and subsequently blacklisted as having opposed preparations for war. Possibly in consequence, he was left out of the 1701–2 Parliament, but was recommended again to the Wootton Bassett voters in 1702. He was a teller on 22 Feb. 1703, on the Tory side, against adding a clause to the bill preventing frauds in the stamp duty, which was to enable the Treasury to compound with a defaulting receiver-general, and in February 1704 he was chosen in fifth place in the ballot for accounts commissioners. In mid-March Lord Nottingham (Daniel Finch*) listed him as a likely supporter in connexion with the Scotch Plot inquiries. In October 1704 he was forecast as likely to vote for the Tack, and despite approaches from Robert Harley*, through Thomas Mansel I*, he duly sided with the Tackers on 28 Nov. He was described as ‘True Church’ in a list of the 1705 Parliament, in which he sat for Camelford, having forfeited the favour of the St. Johns by his opposition to the ministry. He voted against the Court in the division on the Speaker on 25 Oct. 1705, and in the following February twice acted as a teller for the Tories: for an amendment to a naturalization bill to prevent those named from voting in parliamentary elections (25th); and against Crewe Offley* in the Newcastle-under-Lyme election (27th). Predictably, he figured as a Tory in a list of early 1708.2
Pinnell was not put up again. At some time in his later years he moved from Bradenstoke to Hanham Abbots in Gloucestershire, where his half-brother William Hart lived. He drew up his will in May 1720, naming Hart as his principal beneficiary, and died before 18 Apr. 1721, when it was proved.3