1893 text

Thomas Povy, who had held, under Cromwell, a high situation in the Office of Plantations, was appointed in July, 1660, Treasurer and Receiver-General of the Rents and Revenues of James, Duke of York; but his royal master’s affairs falling into confusion, he surrendered his patent on the 27th July, 1668, for a consideration of 2,000_l._. He was also First Treasurer for Tangier, which office he resigned to Pepys. Povy, had apartments at Whitehall, besides his lodgings in Lincoln’s Inn, and a villa near Hounslow, called the Priory, which he had inherited from Justinian Povy, who purchased it in 1625. He was one of the sons of Justinian Povy, Auditor-General to Queen Anne of Denmark in 1614, whose father was John Povy, citizen and embroiderer of London.

9 Annotations

language hat   Link to this

L&M Companion:

Povey, Thomas (1615-c.1702). Pepys's colleague on the Tangier Committee... A close friend of Sir Martin Noell, Cromwell's principal financier, he was active in the Interregnum in the promotion of colonial and trading ventures. He is said to have proposed the establishment of the Committee of Trade in Nov. 1655, and to have been the most effective member of the Council for America (1657). In 1660 he was made Treasurer of the Duke of York's Household, a member of the Council of Trade, and in 1661 secretary and receiver-general of the Committee of Foreign Plantations. He also held other posts and when he was appointed Treasurer of Tangier in 1663 Pepys came to know him well, and found him incapable (perhaps because of his other commitments) of keeping his accounts in order. In 1665 he resigned his duties to Pepys, making an arrangement whereby they shared the profits equally. In 1686 he tried, without success, to apply the same rule to Pepys's successor, Will Hewer... At the same time he complained that Pepys had not always paid him his share.

He was an original FRS, skilled in mechanics, a man of taste, and well known for the elaborate formality of his speech and manners. His London house, which Pepys greatly admired, was one of the smaller ones in Lincoln's Inn Fields built in 1657...

Pedro   Link to this

Thomas Povey

In 1656 was also on a standing committee for the affairs of “his Highness in Jamaica and the West Indies.”

Later having known the Court of Oliver, would criticize that of Charles: here was now “no faith, no truth, no love, nor any agreement between man and wife, no friends.”

(Cromwell…Antonia Fraser.)

sdore   Link to this

Thomas Povey was the uncle and mentor of William Blathwayt, a prominent civil servant under James II, William and Mary and Queen Anne. (He had learnt Dutch early in his career which helped him remain in favour after 1688.) Blathwayt's country house, Dyrham Park, near Bath (now National Trust), contains large numbers of items either inherited or bought from Thomas Povey, including the Samuel Van Hoogstraten "perspective piece", A View Down a Corridor, which is probably the one that Pepys mentions admiring in his diary.

Terry F   Link to this

"As a London merchant-lawyer, Thomas Povey by about 1664-1666 was surveyor-general of the Victualling Dept., and by then he had already been interested as a [Charles Howard, 1st Earl of] Carlisle place-man in deals concerning West Indian islands....Povey was a barrister of Gray's Inn and a merchant with widespread interests, "well-known for exerting his influence". His brother Richard was secretary and commissary general of provisions at Jamaica; another brother was William Povey, provost marshal at Barbados." http://www.danbyrnes.com.au/business/business10...

Thomas Povey was one of the great merchants in whose career may be traced "[t]he history of the interlocking directorates in the companies of expansion and in the political control of empire...." Root, Winfred T., "The Lords of Trade and Plantations, 1675-1696." http://www.dinsdoc.com/root-1.htm

Terry F   Link to this

Thomas Povey was an Original Fellow of the Royal Society (20/05/1663), and in 1693 would publish The Method, Manner and Order of the Transmutation of Copper into Brass, etc. By Thomas Povey, Esq; Brought into the Royal Soc. of Which He is a Fellow. Thomas Povey, Philosophical Transactions (1683-1775), Vol. 22, 1700 - 1701 (1700 - 1701), pp. 474-475. http://www.journals.royalsoc.ac.uk/content/tr86...

Pedro   Link to this

More information concerning Povy that may not be in the above...

He had a love of pictures and is described by Evelyn as "a nice contriver of all elegancies and exceedingly formal." His interests ranged from the "qualities of the herb tea or Chee" to an invention for raising water. He presented rarities from the West Indies to the Royal Society and "curiosities of silk works" for the repository.

In August 64, as a member of the Committee of Correspondence which included Moray, Slingsby, Wilkins, Hooke and Oldenburg he looked at "books of voyages to be pursued for inquires, to be sent onto all parts of the world" with particular ones for the East India Company. Povy's activities suggest that the virtuosi were eager to combine the curious with the useful.

In April 66 he presented a paper to the Society on the method of painting by Robert Streater who had painted the hall of his Lincoln Inn mansion so that it produced no glare. Streator's recipe was to combine 3 or 4 eggs with one or two green figs or their branches...although the process had been understood by the ancients; Povy maintained that it had been forgotten.

Painting "hath been the study, delight and ornament of all ages and nations where peace or a civility has not been abandoned.'' He suggested a volume that combined history with practice, to look at artists' "several ways of working, the degrees of improvement of this art, and the rarity of their colours." He suggested that lesser arts such as bronzing, staining, engraving and etching could be combined as an appendix.

Pedro   Link to this

The above information from Darley's biography of Evelyn.

Pedro   Link to this

Correction to the above source it should read...

Consuming Splendor by Linda Levy Peck.

CGS   Link to this

From Parliament :

Auditor Povey, a Protection.

Ordered, That Mr. Auditor Povey shall have the Protection of this House, for the securing his Goods and Horses at Hounsloe, he keeping One of them for a Light Horse; and shall have Liberty to pass and re-pass from London to Hounsloc.


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