POOLE, Sir Francis, 2nd Bt. (?1681-1763), of The Friars, Lewes, Suss.
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Family and Education
b. ?1681, 1st surv. s. of Sir James Poole, 1st Bt., by Anne, da. of Thomas Eyre of Hassop, Derbys. m. 13 Mar. 1723, Frances, da. of Henry Pelham, M.P., of Stanmer, and 1st cos. to the Duke of Newcastle, 2s. 1da. suc. fa. between 1725 and 1736.
Dep. paymaster Minorca to 1747.
Poole was a faithful follower of the Pelhams, to whom he owed his seat and much of his livelihood. In 1754 he was in receipt of a secret service pension of £300 per annum, and his office of deputy paymaster in Minorca, since 1747 incompatible with a seat in Parliament, was held in trust for him by his son Henry; but the office disappeared with the loss of the island in May 1756. In November Poole was paid an additional £200 from secret service funds, but at the beginning of 1757 Lady Poole wrote to Newcastle from Lewes of ‘the utter impossibility without some assistance of our living here’.1 She explained that as her husband disliked being troublesome, their real circumstances had ‘never been truly represented’, and that their estate was small and diminished ‘by the additional expense we have for many years been obliged to live at’. Though Newcastle realised that, as he put it, the family were ‘starving by the loss of their place in Minorca’,2 he took no further action, and on 14 Jan. 1758 Henry Poole had to remind him that unless some help were given ‘it would be impossible for Sir Francis Poole to continue at Lewes. I have often endeavoured to persuade him to represent the situation of his affairs to your Grace, but have never been able to persuade him.’3 In November 1758 Henry Poole was paid £500 from secret service money, to be continued yearly until he was appointed to ‘the first vacancy in the customs or excise’ (£1000 p.a.), which was done in October 1760. He was turned out of his office in December 1762, to punish his father for following Newcastle into Opposition and voting against the peace preliminaries. Newcastle was greatly distressed, but Henry Poole reported that his father had taken the news with resignation. ‘He was indeed much affected when I told him the great concern your Grace felt at the measure, and begged you would keep up your spirits for he did not despair.’4
A week or so later Poole fell ill, and died on 15 Feb. 1763 at the age of 81.5