POWNEY, Peniston Portlock (?1743-1794), of Ives Place, Maidenhead, Berks.
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Family and Education
b. ?1743, 1st s. of Peniston Powney† of Ives Place by Penelope Elizabeth, da. and h. of Benjamin Portlock of Bedford. educ. Reading; Queen’s, Oxf. 1 Apr. 1761 aged 17. m. (1) 27 Dec. 1772, Melissa, da. of Frederick Frankland,1 1da.; (2) 20 Dec. 1776, Elizabeth, da. of Peter Floyer of Worcester, 3s. 1da. suc. fa. 1757.
Ranger of Windsor Little Park 1788-d.
Lt.-col. Berks. militia 1787-d.
For over a year before the general election of 1790, when he was again returned for Windsor on the court interest, Powney pestered Pitt for ‘a permanency’, both as a mark of royal favour and to help alleviate his serious financial problems. On the eve of the election the King agreed to make his rangership a life appointment, but did so with extreme reluctance, ‘from having too often found offices for life a ground of not supporting administration’.2
The royal doubts evidently proved groundless, for there is no indication that Powney deviated from his attachment to government. In his only recorded contributions to debate in the 1790 Parliament he criticized the confinement of offenders bill as expensive and socially dangerous, 3 Feb. 1791, and supported the lottery bill, 4 Apr. 1792. In April 1791 he was listed among opponents of the repeal of the Test Act in Scotland. While Powney’s close connexion with the crown made him a figure of fun in Whig circles, Wraxall had to concede that the King ‘on all occasions treated him with marks of familiarity and regard’.3 He died 17 Jan. 1794.
Ref Volumes: 1790-1820
Author: David R. Fisher
Preliminary paragraph based on the ped. in C. Kerry, Hist. Bray, 148.