BRIDGEMAN, George (1606/7-1643), of Nympsfield and Prinknash Park, Glos.
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Family and Education
b. 1606/7, 1st s. of Sir John Bridgeman of Nympsfield and Prinknash Park, c.j. of Chester 1626-38, and Francis, da. and h. of Henry Daunt of Owlpen, Glos.1 educ. I. Temple 1621.2 m. settlement 27 July 1631, Heveningham (d. 16 Mar. 1674), da. of Sir James Pytts of Kyre, Worcs. 4s. 1da.3 suc. fa. 1638.4 bur. 20 Mar. 1643.5
Freeman, Much Wenlock 1626/7;6 commr. sewers, Glos. 1628-?d.;7 j.p. Glos. 1632-d.;8 commr. St. Paul’s Cathedral repair, Glos. 1632; member, Council in the Marches 1633;9 commr. assessment Glos. 1642;10 dep. lt., Gloucestershire 1642.11
Bridgeman’s father came from a junior branch of a Gloucestershire family. His marriage brought him a modest estate just outside Gloucester, while his success in the legal profession allowed him to purchase Nympsfield and Prinknash Park.12 His appointment as one of the justices of the Council in the Marches in 1625 led him to acquire recorderships in a string of boroughs, including that of Wenlock in August 1626. Bridgeman himself was admitted to the freedom of the borough shortly thereafter, presumably with a view to exploiting the parliamentary patronage which came with the recordership.13 Returned for Wenlock at the general election of 1628, he made a negligible impact upon his only Parliament. A Mr. Bridgeman was named to committees for two private bills (7 May 1628, 23 Feb. 1629), but this could equally have been Edward Bridgeman, MP for Wigan and son of Bishop John Bridgeman of Chester (no relation).14
The death of Justice Bridgeman in 1638 ended the family’s contacts with Wenlock, and Bridgeman himself had insufficient influence with his neighbours at Gloucester to look for election there in 1640. His nomination as a deputy lieutenant for the city and county of Gloucester in August 1642 suggests that the local parliamentarians hoped for his support, but his lands lay well outside the city’s defences, and after Prince Rupert’s invasion of the county in February 1643 forced the local gentry to declare their allegiance, it was at royalist Cirencester and not parliamentarian Gloucester that he sought refuge.15
Bridgeman was buried at Cirencester on 20 Mar. 1643. No will or administration has been found, but under the terms of the family entail his estates passed to his wife and mother as guardians to his under-age son, who made a promising match with a daughter of (Sir) Charles Berkeley*, but also died young. His eldest son, John Bridgeman, represented Gloucester in the Commons in 1700-2 but had no children, and in 1744, after the death of this man’s widow, the estates passed to a descendant of George Bridgeman’s daughter.16
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Author: Simon Healy
- 1. C142/604/125; Vis. Glos. (Harl. Soc. xxi), 27; Vis. Glos. ed. Fenwick and Metcalfe, 55.
- 2. CITR, ii. 129.
- 3. C142/604/125; Vis. Worcs. (Harl. Soc. xc), 81; Trans. Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. vii. 306.
- 4. C142/604/125.
- 5. Trans. Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. vii. 292.
- 6. Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 2), vi. 277.
- 7. C181/3, f. 251v; 181/5, p. 13.
- 8. C231/5, f. 87; SP16/40