Henry Fownes Luttrell

1722 - Oct 30, 1780

Henry Fownes Luttrell, of Dunster Castle, Somerset, was High Sheriff of Somerset from 1754 to 1755, and a Member of Parliament for the borough of Minehead from 1768 to 1774.
Fownes was the son of John Fownes of Nethway and Kittery Court, near Dartmouth, and led the life of a country squire. In 1747, he married Margaret Luttrell, the heiress of Dunster Castle and added his wife's name to his own to comply with her late father's will. In accordance with the era's laws concerning the property rights of married women, on his marriage he became the legal owner of his wife's property, including not only Dunster Castle, but also the lordships of the manors of Dunster, Heathfield, and Kilton amongst others. The newly named Fownes Luttrell altered the castle considerably, remodelling its interior and park and building the Conygar Tower, a folly in the grounds. Following the death of his wife in 1766 he remarried in 1771.
When Fownes Luttrell's candidate for the 1754 election was defeated, he realised that his estate bought him relatively little political power. Frustrated, he set about nursing his interest in the borough.
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