Royal Governor of Massachusetts: 1757-1760
Born and educated in England, Pownall worked as a clerk at the Board of Trade before coming to New York to serve as secretary to Sir Danvers Osborn, the Governor of New York. When Osborn committed suicide in 1753, Mr. Pownall kept the Board of Trade apprised and was soon appointed Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey in 1755. He then declined the Governorship of Pennsylvania to become "Secretary Extraordinary" to Lord Loudoun, the commander of England's forces in North America.
He was commissioned as Royal Governor of Massachusetts in 1757, arriving in August to begin his service. As Governor he asserted his authority in Massachusetts and over his former superior, Lord Loudoun. He sought to strengthen ties with the General Assembly and create a broader base for his rule, which concerned the Crown.
Pownall was relieved of the governorship and returned to England in June of 1760. He declined the governorship of Jamaica and accepted the Governorship of North Carolina, but resigned the commission before leaving England. Instead he served in the English army as a Colonel, and was a member of Parliament before retiring from public life in 1780.