Royal governor of Massachusetts (1757-60). Brother of Franklin correspondent John Pownall.
Went to America to serve as secretary for Danvers Osborn, who had recently been appointed governor of New York (1753). Upon Osborn’s suicide, he remained in the colonies as an observer for the Board of Trade.
Met and befriended Franklin, presumably during a 1754 trip to Philadelphia. Attended the Albany conference in an unofficial capacity (1754).
As governor, Pownall became unpopular among conservatives and was transferred to South Carolina (1760), but instead of accepting that position he returned to England.
Probably most famous for his book, The Administration of the Colonies (1764).
Married in 1765 to Harriet (Churchill) Fawkener. Married in 1784 to Hannah (Kennet) Astell.