HOVELL, Sir William (c.1637-70), of Hillington Hall, Norf.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1661 - 4 Mar. 1670

Family and Education

b. c.1637, o.s. of Sir Richard Hovell of Hillington by Dorothy, da. of Sir Thomas Chicheley of Wimpole, Cambs. educ. Wimpole (Mr Bagg); Caius, Camb. matric. 10 Oct. 1649, aged 12, BA 1654; G. Inn 1655. m. 29 Apr. 1661, Ethelreda, da. and h. of Thomas Lilley, merchant, of South Lynn, Norf., 3s. (2 d.v.p.) 3da. suc. fa. 1654. Kntd. 5 June 1660.1

Offices Held

J.p. Norf. July 1660-d., commr. for assessment Aug. 1660-9, maj. of militia horse Oct. 1660-?d.; freeman, King’s Lynn 1661; commr. for sewers, Bedford level 1663.2

Capt. of ft. regt. of Lord Townshend (Sir Horatio Townshend) 1667.


Hovell’s grandfather purchased the manor of Hillington, seven miles from Lynn, in 1610. His father was one of the Royalists who occupied the town in 1643 and escaped without penalty on the terms signed by the parliamentary commander, the Earl of Manchester. Hovell himself was knighted at the Restoration, and was returned for Lynn at the general election of 1661 as a court supporter, probably through the influence of his father-in-law, one of the chief merchants in the town. He was not an active Member of the Cavalier Parliament, but he served under Townshend in the invasion scare during the second Dutch war, and may have gone into opposition. His first appearance in the Journals was as an additional member of the committee of elections and privileges in the next session, and he was also appointed to a private bill committee in the month before his death. He died on 4 Mar. 1670, and was buried at Hillington. A posthumous son failed to survive infancy, and no other member of the family entered Parliament.3

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. Vis. Norf. (Harl. Soc. lxxxv), 22.
  • 2. Cal. Treas. Bks. i. 77; Lynn Freemen, 170.
  • 3. Blomefield, Norf. viii. 456; W. Richards, Hist. Lynn, 754-7; Cal. Comm. Comp. 2891; Blomefield’s Norf. Supp. ed. Ingleby, 181; J. J. Muskett, Suff. Man. Fams. ii. 36.