Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Foulis, David
FOULIS, Sir DAVID (d. 1642), politician, was third son of James Foulis, by Agnes Heriot of Lumphoy, and great-grandson of Sir James Foulis of Colinton (d. 1549) [q. v.] From 1594 onwards he was actively engaged in politics, and many of his letters are calendared in Thorpe's ‘Scottish State Papers.’ He came to England with James I in 1603; was knighted 13 May of that year; was created honorary M.A. at Oxford 30 Aug. 1605 (Oxf. Univ. Reg. vol. ii. pt. i. p. 237, Oxf. Hist. Soc.); was naturalised by act of parliament in April 1606; obtained with Lord Sheffield and others in 1607 a patent for making alum in Yorkshire (Cartwright, Chapters in Yorkshire History, p. 195); purchased the manor of Ingleby, Yorkshire, from Ralph, lord Eure, in 1609; and was made a baronet of England 6 Feb. 1619–20. He acted as cofferer to both Prince Henry and Prince Charles. Sir David, high in the favour of James I, was the recipient in 1614 of the famous letter of advice to the king sent from Italy by Sir Robert Dudley, titular duke of Northumberland [q. v.] In 1629 Foulis gave evidence respecting the document after it had been discovered in the library of Sir Robert Bruce Cotton [q. v.] As member of the council of the north he chafed against Wentworth's despotic exercise of the president's authority, and in July 1632 not only denied that the council existed by parliamentary authority, but charged Wentworth with malversation of the public funds. Wentworth indignantly repudiated the accusation, and Foulis appealed in vain to Charles I for protection from Wentworth's vengeance while offering to bring the gentry of Yorkshire to a better temper. He was dismissed from the council, was summoned before the Star-chamber, was ordered to pay 5,000l. to the crown and 3,000l. to Wentworth, and was sent to the Fleet in default (1633). There he remained till the Long parliament released him, 16 March 1640–1 (Lords' Journals, iv. 155 a; Gardiner, History, vii. 139–40, 232–7). Foulis appeared as a witness against Strafford at the trial in 1641 (Rushworth, Trial, pp. 149–54). He died at Ingleby in 1642. By his wife Cordelia, daughter of William Fleetwood of Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire—she died in August 1631 and was buried at Ingleby—he was father of five sons and two daughters. Foulis was the author of ‘A Declaration of the Diet and Particular Fare of King Charles I when Duke of York,’ printed in 1802 by Mr. Edmund Turnor in ‘Archæologia,’ xv. 1–12 (Nichols, Illustrations, vi. 596).
The eldest son and second baronet, Sir Henry, was fined 500l. by the Star-chamber when his father was punished in 1633; was lieutenant-general of horse under Sir Thomas Fairfax in 1643; married Mary, eldest daughter of Sir T. Layton, knight, of Sexhowe, and was father of Henry Foulis [q. v.] A second son, Robert, was a colonel in the parliamentary army. The baronetcy became extinct on the death of the eighth baronet, the Rev. Sir Henry Foulis, on 7 Oct. 1876.[Ord's Hist. of Cleveland, pp. 432–3; Thorpe's Cal. Scottish State Papers, vol. ii. passim; Commons' Journals, i. 298–301; Lords' Journals, ii. 399 a et seq., iv. 129 b, 148 b, 155 a, 186 a, 257 a, 272 a; Nichols's Progresses of James I; Foster's Baronetage; Rushworth's Collections, iii. App. p. 65; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1631–3, p. xxiv; Strafford Papers, i. 56, 145.]