Francis Popham

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the English cricketer, see Francis Popham (cricketer).

Sir Francis Popham (1573–1644) was an English soldier, landowner and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1597 and 1644.

Popham was the only son of Sir John Popham of Littlecote and his wife Amy Adams, daughter of Hugh Adams of Castleton, Glamorgan. He matriculated at Balliol College, Oxford, on 17 May 1588 at the age of 15, and entered Middle Temple in 1589.[1] He saw service with the Earl of Essex in Spain and was knighted by him at Cadiz in June 1596.[2]

Littlecote House

In 1597 Popham was elected Member of Parliament for Somerset. He was a J.P. for Wiltshire from 1597 and for Somerset by 1602. He was also Deputy Lieutenant for both counties. In 1603 he was made Knight of the Bath. He was elected MP for Wiltshire in 1604. In 1607 he succeeded to the estates of Littlemore on the death of his father. He became constable of Taunton castle in 1613. In 1614 he was elected MP for Marlborough and in 1621, MP for Great Bedwin. He was elected MP for Chippenham at a by-election in 1624 and was re-elected for the same seat in 1625, 1626 and 1628. He sat until 1629 when King Charles dispensed with parliament for eleven years.[1]

In November 1640 Popham was elected MP for Minehead in the Long Parliament and sat until his death.[1]

Popham was considered to have inherited his father's grasping disposition. He was constantly involved in lawsuits, which he was charged with conducting in a vexatious manner. Like his father, he took an active interest in the settlement of Virginia and New England, and was a member of council of both countries.[3]

Popham was buried at Stoke Newington on 15 August 1644, but in March 1647 was moved to Bristol.[3]

Popham married Anne Dudley, daughter and heiress of John Dudley of Stoke Newington, Middlesex. They had seven daughters and four sons including John and Alexander who were both MPs and Edward, a General at Sea during the English Civil War.[3]


  1. ^ a b c "History of Parliament". History of ParliamentTrust. Retrieved 23 October 2011. 
  2. ^ Knights of England
  3. ^ a b c  "Popham, Francis". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. 
Parliament of England
Preceded by
(Sir) Francis Hastings
Edward Dyer
Member of Parliament for Somerset
With: Sir Hugh Portman
Succeeded by
(Sir) Edward Phelips
Sir Maurice Berkeley
Preceded by
Edmund Carey
Sir Edward Hungerford
Member of Parliament for Wiltshire
With: John Thynne 1604
? 1604-1611
Succeeded by
Sir Thomas Howard
Sir Henry Poole
Preceded by
Lawrence Hyde
Richard Digges
Member of Parliament for Marlborough
With: Richard Digges
Succeeded by
William Seymour, Lord Beauchamp
Richard Digges
Preceded by
Robert Hyde
Sir Giles Mompesson
Member of Parliament for Great Bedwyn
With: Sir Giles Mompesson
Succeeded by
Hugh Crompton
William Cholmley
Preceded by
Sir John Maynard
Charles Maynard
Member of Parliament for Chippenham
With: Sir John Maynard 1624-1625
Sir Edward Bayntun 1626
Sir John Eyres 1628-1629
Succeeded by
Parliament suspended until 1640
Preceded by
Francis Wyndham
Dr Arthur Duck
Member of Parliament for Minehead
With: Alexander Luttrell
Thomas Hanham
Succeeded by
Walter Strickland
Edward Popham