Townshend, Horatio (1630?-1687) (DNB00)


TOWNSHEND, Sir HORATIO, first Viscount Townshend (1630?–1687), born about 1630, was the second son of Sir Roger, the first baronet, by Mary, daughter and coheiress of Horatio de Vere, baron Vere of Tilbury [see under Viscount Townshend, Sir Roger, (1543?–1590)]. On the death of his elder brother Roger in 1648 he became heir to the Townshend baronetcy and estates. Three years before, on 27 Nov. 1645, he had been created M.A. of Cambridge.

Townshend was returned as one of the members for Norfolk on 10 Jan. 1658–9, and in the ensuing May was named a member of the council of state which was to hold office till December (Whitelocke, Memorials, p. 678). In the following month, however, Clarendon speaks of him as using his influence in Norfolk and borrowing money for the royalist cause; and in September Nicholas writes of him to Ormonde as one ready to attempt anything for the king if five thousand men could be sent from France or Flanders. Together with Lord Willoughby of Parham he planned the seizure of King's Lynn, but both were arrested before the attempt could be made. On 28 Jan. 1660 Townshend, with Lord Richardson and Sir John Hobart, delivered to Speaker Lenthall a declaration of three hundred gentry of Norfolk praying for the recall of the members secluded in 1648, and for the filling up of vacant places without oath or engagement (ib. p. 694; Kennett, Reg. Chron. p. 35). In the same month he delivered a letter from Charles II to Fairfax, causing him to assemble his old soldiers and march on York (Clarendon). On 14 May Townshend arrived at The Hague as one of the deputation sent to invite Charles II to return (ib.; cf. Kennett, p. 133). In September he received a letter from Charles appointing him governor of King's Lynn. In reward for his services in forwarding the Restoration he was created on 20 April 1661 Baron Townshend of Lynn Regis. In the ensuing August he was appointed lord-lieutenant, and a year later vice-admiral of Norfolk. In September 1664 he and Lord Cornbury went to Norwich to compose the differences between the city and the cathedral chapter. In March 1665 Townshend was granted two-thirds of ‘certain marsh lands in or near Walton and other places in the counties of Cambridge, Lincoln, and Norfolk, as settled upon the late king when he undertook to drain the same … on condition of his prosecuting his Majesty's right and title to the same at his own expense and paying certain fee-farm rents.’

In September 1666 Townshend was reported to Secretary Williamson as very active in sending fanatics to prison and in settling the militia; and five years later is spoken of as having purged ‘the House’ at Great Yarmouth of all the independents and most of the presbyterians. In June 1667 he received the command of a regiment of foot which he had raised, and on 14 Aug. Charles II wrote to thank him for his zeal in his service, especially during the late alarm from the Dutch fleet. In 1671 the king and queen paid him a visit at Rainham. In the same year Townshend was awarded 5,000l. damages in an action for scandalum magnatum at the Norwich assizes. In November 1675 he was one of the large minority who supported the address to the king for the dissolution of the parliament, and he signed the protest against its rejection (Rogers, Protests of the Lords, No. 47). He was advanced to the dignity of Viscount Townshend of Rainham on 2 Dec. 1682.

Townshend died in December 1687. He married, in 1658, Mary, daughter and heiress of Edward Lewknor of Denham, Suffolk; and, after her death without issue in 1673, Mary, daughter of Sir Joseph Ashe, bart., of Twickenham. She died in December 1685, leaving three sons, of whom the eldest, Charles, second viscount Townshend [q. v.], is separately noticed.

A portrait of Townshend was engraved by Edwards, and a fine original drawing in colours was made by Gardiner.

[Doyle's Official Baronage; G. E. C[okayne]'s Peerage; Ret. Memb. Parl; Blomefield's Norfolk, iii. 410, v. 510, vii. 136; Manship's Yarmouth, ed. Palmer, ii. 215 n.; Clarendon's Hist. of the Rebellion, xvi. §§ 24, 38, 117; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1658–71; Evans's Catalogue of Engr. Portraits; Hist. MSS. Comm. 6th Rep. p. 370, 10th Rep. vi. 196–9; the Townshend papers at Rainham (11th Rep. pt. iv.) containing the first viscount's correspondence.]

G. Le G. N.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.267
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

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Townshend, Sir Horatio, 1st Viscount Townshend: for Kennet read Kennett