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Hyder Collection

Sir Thomas Powys
Justice of the King's Bench

(1649-1719)

Thomas Powys, the younger brother of Littleton Powys, was admitted to Lincoln’s Inn on February 19, 1666. He was called to the bar on April 24, 1673. He was elected bencher, or senior member, of his inn in April 1686 and Sir Thomas Powyswas appointed Solicitor-General and knighted the same year. Powys served as treasurer of Lincoln’s Inn in 1687, the same year King James II appointed Powys Attorney General. As Attorney General, Powys prosecuted the Seven Bishops who were tried for seditious libel after refusing to read the second Declaration of Indulgence issued by James II in 1688.

In 1701, Powys began serving as a member of Parliament for Ludlow, a position he held until 1713. Powys served jointly as a member of Parliament for Truro in 1702. Powys became a serjeant at law in 1702 and he served as the Queen’s Serjeant from 1702 until 1713. From 1707 to 1719, Powys served as a recorder, or judge, of Ludlow. In June 1713, Powys was appointed judge of the Queen’s Bench and held the office until George I’s ascension, upon which Powys was removed at Lord Chancellor Cowper’s advice due to his endorsement of King James’s policies. Powys appealed and was appointed as King’s Serjeant in October 1714, a position he held until his death in 1719.

The artist is unknown.

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