Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 46.djvu/149

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


In November Popham returned to England (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 14 Nov.), and shortly afterwards resumed his station in the Downs in command of the ships in the North Sea. He died of fever at Dover, and in actual command if not on board his ship, on 19 Aug. 1651. The news reached London on the 22nd, and was reported to the house by Whitelocke, and at the same time Sir H. Vane was ordered ‘to go to Mrs. Popham from the council and condole with her on the loss of her husband, and to let her know what a memory they have of his services, and that they will upon all occasions be ready to show respect to his relations’ (ib. 22 Aug.). A year's salary was granted to the widow, Anne, daughter of William Carr, groom of the bedchamber. By her Popham had two children: a daughter, Letitia, and a son, Alexander, whose daughter Anne married her second cousin Francis, a grandson of Popham's brother Alexander, from whom the present Littlecote family is descended. Popham was buried at the expense of the state in Westminster Abbey in Henry VII's chapel, where a monument in black and white marble was erected to his memory. At the Restoration the body and the monument were removed, but, as Alexander Popham was still living and a member of parliament, the body was allowed to be taken away privately, and the monument to be placed in the chapel of St. John the Baptist, the inscription being, however, effaced and never being restored. A portrait by Cooper, belonging to Mr. F. Leyborne Popham, was on loan at South Kensington in 1868.

[Chester's Westminster Registers; Burke's Landed Gentry; Literæ Cromwellii, 1676, p. 15. The writer has to acknowledge valuable help from Prof. C. H. Firth.]

J. K. L.

POPHAM, Sir FRANCIS (1573–1644), soldier and politician, born in 1573, only son of Sir John Popham (1531?–1607) [q. v.] of Littlecote, matriculated at Balliol College, Oxford, on 17 May 1588, being then fifteen (Foster, Alumni Oxonienses), but does not seem to have taken a degree (Clark, Oxford Registers). In 1589 he was entered as a student of the Middle Temple. He was knighted by the Earl of Essex at Cadiz in 1596. Between 1597 and his death in 1644 he successively represented in parliament Somerset, Wiltshire, Marlborough, Great Bedwin in Wiltshire, Chippenham, and Minehead, sitting in every parliament except the Short parliament. He would appear to have inherited his father's grasping disposition, without his legal ability or training, and to have been 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. He was buried at Stoke Newington on 15 Aug. 1644, but in March 1647 was moved to Bristol. He married Ann (b. 1575), daughter of John Dudley of Stoke Newington, and by her had five sons and eight daughters.

His eldest son, John, married, in 1621, Mary, daughter of Sir St. Sebastian Harvey, was a member for Bath in the parliament of 1627–8, and died (without issue) in or about January 1638 at Littlecote, where he was buried with much pomp (cf. Cal. State Papers, Dom. 20 Jan. 1638).

Popham's second son, Alexander, born in 1605, matriculated at Balliol College, Oxford, on 16 July 1621, being then sixteen (Foster, Alumni Oxon.) In 1627 an Alexander Popham was outlawed as a debtor and his property assigned to his creditors (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 23 March, 15 Aug.), but the identification seems doubtful. From 1640 he sat continuously in parliament as member for Bath. On the death of his father in 1644 he succeeded to the estates of Littlecote. He took an active part on the side of the parliament in the civil war; on the death of Charles I he was at once appointed a member of the council of state, and was one of Cromwell's lords in 1657, which did not interfere with his sitting in the Cavalier parliament of 1661, entertaining Charles II at Littlecote on his way to Bath in 1663, or, as a deputy-lieutenant of Wiltshire, taking energetic measures ‘to secure dangerous persons’ (ib. 2 Sept., 14 Oct. 1663). He died in November 1669. Popham's youngest son, Edward, is separately noticed.

[Brown's Genesis of the United States; Cal. State Papers, Dom.; Burke's Landed Gentry.]

J. K. L.

POPHAM, Sir HOME RIGGS (1762–1820), rear-admiral, born on 12 Oct. 1762 at Tetuan, where his father, Stephen Popham, was consul, was the twenty-first child of his mother, who died in giving him birth. He was educated at Westminster, and, for a year, at Cambridge. In February 1778 he entered the navy on board the Hyæna, with Captain Edward Thompson [q. v.], attached to the Channel fleet in 1779, with Rodney in the action off Cape St. Vincent on 16 Jan. 1780, and afterwards in the West Indies. In April 1781 he was tranferred to the Sheilah-nagig (Sile na guig = Irish female sprite). On 16 June 1783 he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant, and was employed in the survey of the coast of Kaffraria. In March 1787