Sir Thomas Powys (1649 – 4 April 1719), MP, was Attorney General to King James II. He was chief prosecutor at the trial of the Seven Bishops, June 1688; and MP for Ludlow.He served as Justice of the King's Bench 1713–1714, but was dismissed.
The Seven Bishops were members of the Church of England tried and acquitted for seditious libel in June 1688.
Ludlow is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2005 by Philip Dunne, a Conservative.
Justice of the King's Bench, or Justice of the Queen's Bench during the reign of a female monarch, was a puisne judicial position within the Court of King's Bench, under the Chief Justice. The King's Bench was a court of common law which modern academics argue was founded independently in 1234, having previously been part of the curia regis. The court became a key part of the Westminster courts, along with the Exchequer of Pleas and the Court of Common Pleas ; the latter was deliberately stripped of its jurisdiction by the King's Bench and Exchequer, through the Bill of Middlesex and Writ of Quominus respectively. As a result, the courts jockeyed for power. In 1828 Henry Brougham, a Member of Parliament, complained in Parliament that as long as there were three courts unevenness was inevitable, saying that "It is not in the power of the courts, even if all were monopolies and other restrictions done away, to distribute business equally, as long as suitors are left free to choose their own tribunal", and that there would always be a favourite court, which would therefore attract the best lawyers and judges and entrench its position. The outcome was the Supreme Court of Judicature Act 1873, under which all the central courts were made part of a single Supreme Court of Judicature. Eventually the government created a High Court of Justice under Lord Coleridge by an Order in Council of 16 December 1880. At this point, the King's Bench formally ceased to exist.
Powys was the second son of Thomas Powys of Henley Hall in Shropshire, serjeant-at-law, a Bencher of Lincoln's Inn,and the representative of one branch of the ancient Welsh family of Powys, by his first wife, Mary, daughter of Sir Adam Littleton, bart. He was the younger brother of Sir Littleton Powys (1648?–1732). Powys was educated at Shrewsbury School, and was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1673.
Shropshire is a county in the West Midlands of England, bordering Wales to the west, Cheshire to the north, Staffordshire to the east, and Worcestershire and Herefordshire to the south. Shropshire Council was created in 2009, a unitary authority taking over from the previous county council and five district councils. The borough of Telford and Wrekin has been a separate unitary authority since 1998 but continues to be included in the ceremonial county.
The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn is one of the four Inns of Court in London to which barristers of England and Wales belong and where they are called to the Bar. Lincoln's Inn is recognised to be one of the world's most prestigious professional bodies of judges and lawyers.
Sir Littleton Powys FRS was a Justice of the King's Bench.
He became solicitor-general, and was knighted on 23 April 1686, when Heneage Finch was dismissed. Having acquiesced in the appointment of Roman Catholics to office, and argued in favour of the king's dispensing power, he was promoted to be attorney-general in December 1687, the same year that he became treasurer of Lincoln's Inn.
Heneage Finch, 1st Earl of Aylesford, PC, KC was an English lawyer and statesman.
He conducted the prosecution of the Seven Bishops in June 1688. The charge was seditious libel, in presenting to the King a petition against the enforcement of his second Declaration of Indulgence. The acquittal of the Bishops was a disastrous blow to the Crown's prestige, and Powys was heavily criticised for incompetence: inexplicably he forgot to adduce evidence that the Petition had ever been presented, so that the trial almost collapsed at the outset. However, given the immense public sympathy for the Bishops, and that two of the four judges directed the jury to acquit, it is unlikely that any prosecutor could have secured a conviction.
Sedition and seditious libel were criminal offences under English common law, and are still criminal offences in Canada. Sedition is overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that is deemed by the legal authority to tend toward insurrection against the established order: if the statement is in writing or some other permanent form it is seditious libel. Libel denotes a printed form of communication such as writing or drawing.
The Declaration of Indulgence or Declaration for Liberty of Conscience was a pair of proclamations made by James II of England and VII of Scotland in 1687. The Indulgence was first issued for Scotland on 12 February and then for England on 4 April 1687. It was a first step at establishing freedom of religion in the British Isles, although part of the king's intention was to promote his own minority religion, Catholicism, reviled by most of his subjects.
During the reign of William III he acquired a reputation for fairness, especially in defence of state prisoners, among whom was Sir John Fenwick, 3rd Baronet, and at the bar of both houses of parliament. He sat in parliament for Ludlow from 1701 to 1713, and, in 1702, served jointly as an MP for Truro. During the period of 1707 to 1719, he served as recorder of Ludlow. He was made Serjeant-at-law and queen's serjeant at the beginning of Anne's reign, and on 8 June 1713 a judge of the queen's bench.But as he and his brother, Sir Littleton Powys, too frequently formed judgments in opposition to the rest of the court, he, as the more active and able of the two, was removed, on Lord-chancellor Cowper's advice, when George I of Great Britain came to England (1714). Powys' rank of King's Serjeant was restored to him after an appeal, a position he held until his death.
William III, also widely known as William of Orange, was sovereign Prince of Orange from birth, Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelderland and Overijssel in the Dutch Republic from 1672 and King of England, Ireland and Scotland from 1689 until his death in 1702. As King of Scotland, he is known as William II. He is sometimes informally known in Northern Ireland and Scotland as "King Billy".
Sir John Fenwick, 3rd Baronet was an English Jacobite conspirator, who succeeded to the Baronetcy of Fenwick on the death of his father in 1676.
Truro was the name of a parliamentary constituency in Cornwall represented in the House of Commons of England and later of Great Britain from 1295 until 1800, then in the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1918 and finally from 1950 to 1997. Until 1885 it was a parliamentary borough, electing two members of parliament (MPs) by the plurality-at-large system of election; the name was then transferred to the surrounding county constituency, which elected a single Member by the first past the post system. In 1997, although there had been no changes to its boundaries, it was renamed as Truro and St Austell, reflecting the fact that St Austell by then had a larger population than Truro.
He lived in Shropshire prior to acquiring Lilford Hall in 1711, induced to inspect it by his friend, Sir Edward Ward. Powys is buried at Achurch.He died in 1719, and was buried at Lilford. He was twice married: first to Sarah, daughter of Ambrose Holbech of Mollington, Warwickshire; and secondly, to Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Philip Meadows. He had issue by both; and his great-grandson Thomas Powys, was created Lord Lilford in 1797. His portrait hangs at the Tarlton Law Library, University of Texas at Austin.
Lilford Hall is a Grade I listed stately home in Northamptonshire in the United Kingdom. It was started in 1495 as a Tudor building, with a major Jacobean exterior extension added in 1635 and a Georgian interior adopted in the 1740s, having a 55,000 sq ft (5,100 m2) floor area. The 100-room house is located in the eastern part of the County of Northamptonshire, south of Oundle and north of Thrapston. A Grade I listed building is considered by the UK government as of outstanding architectural and historic interest.
Sir Edward Ward (1638–1714) was an English lawyer and judge. He became chief baron of the exchequer, and is best known as the judge in the state trial for piracy of Captain Kidd.
Achurch is a village in the civil parish of Thorpe Achurch, in the East Northamptonshire district, in the county of Northamptonshire, England. It was called Asechirce in the Domesday Book. The population of the civil parish of Thorpe Achurch at the 2011 census was 421.
Robert Raymond, 1st Baron Raymond, was a British judge and politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1710 and 1724.
Thomas Powys, 1st Baron Lilford was a British politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1774 to 1797 when he was raised to the peerage as Baron Lilford.
Powys is a Welsh surname. Notable people with the surname include:
Sir Richard Rainsford SL (1605–1680) was an English judge and politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1660 and 1663. He became Chief Justice of the King's Bench.
Sir Job Charlton, 1st Baronet KS was an English judge and politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1659 and 1679. He was Speaker of the House of Commons of England briefly in 1673.
John Wilde (1590–1669) was an English lawyer and politician. As a serjeant-at-law he was referred to as Serjeant Wilde before he was appointed judge. He was a judge, chief baron of the exchequer, and member of the Council of State of the Commonwealth period.
Sir John Glanville, the elder, of Kilworthy, Tavistock, in Devon, was an English Member of Parliament and judge and was the first judge recorded as having reached the bench after beginning his career as an attorney.
Sir William Jones (1566–1640) was a Welsh judge, and a Member of Parliament (MP) for the Welsh Borough of Beaumaris.
Sir Charles Ingleby, was an English barrister and briefly a judge.
Sir Thomas Raymond or Rayment was a British judge. Born to Robert Raymond, he was educated at a school in Bishop's Stortford before matriculating to Christ's College, Cambridge on 5 April 1643. On 6 February 1645 he joined Gray's Inn, being called to the Bar there on 11 February 1651. In October 1677 he became a Serjeant-at-Law, before being appointed a Baron of the Exchequer on 1 May 1679 and knighted on 26 June. On 7 February 1680 he became a Justice of the Common Pleas, and on 24 April 1680 transferred to the Court of King's Bench. He died on 14 July 1683, leaving behind a set of law reports titled Reports of divers special cases adjudged in the courts of king's bench, common pleas, and exchequer in the reign of King Charles II, which were published in 1696, 1743, 1793 and 1803. His son, Robert Raymond, also later became a judge. Commentators of the time identified him as having "extraordinary servility" and being an "unprincipled judge", with his failure in a witchcraft trial to point out the "irrationality" of the defendants' confessions leading to their death.
Sir Edmund Probyn SL was a British judge.
Sir Giles Eyre was an English barrister, member of parliament, and judge.
Sir Thomas Walcot SL was an English judge and politician.
Thomas Bury (1655–1722) was an English judge. He took part in the decision regarding the 1704 Aylesbury election. King George I raised Bury to the position of Chief Baron of the Exchequer.
Sir Timothy Littleton was an English judge and politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1660 and 1670.
Thomas Powys, 2nd Baron Lilford was a British peer. He was the son of Thomas Powys, 1st Baron Lilford and Mary Mann of Lilford Hall. He succeeded his father as Baron Lilford in 1800. He was educated at Eton College, St John's College, Cambridge and Lincoln's Inn (1794). He married Henrietta Maria Vernon Atherton of Atherton Hall, Leigh on 5 December 1797 at Penwortham, Lancashire and they had twelve children.
Henley Hall is a building of historical significance and is listed on the English Heritage Register. It was built in about 1610 by the Powys family and then substantially changed in 1772. Additions were again made in the late 19th Century. It is a generally a three-storey building in brick with a slate roof. Flanking wings were added at both ends of the original linear building c. 1772 and further major extensions carried out in 1875 and 1907. The hall is surrounded by landscaped and formal gardens covering some 60 hectares. The hall itself is listed grade II* and the orangery, outbuildings, dovecote and Bitterley main gate are listed Grade II. It is situated 2.5 miles (4.0 km) northeast of Ludlow town centre, just off the A4117 road to Cleobury Mortimer. The Ledwyche Brook flows by the estate.
Matthew Skinner was an English serjeant-at-law, judge and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1734 to 1738.
Thomas Powys may refer to: