BAGOT, Sir Walter, 3rd Bt. (1644-1705), of Blithefield, Staffs.
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Family and Education
b. 21 Mar. 1644, 3rd but 1st surv. s. of Edward Bagot. educ. Christ Church, Oxf. 1662; M. Temple 1666. m. lic. 25 June 1670, Jane (d. 20 July 1695), da. and h. of Charles Salusbury of Bachymbydd, Denb., 5s. (2 d.v.p.) 5da. suc. fa. 30 Mar. 1673.1
Commr. for assessment, Staffs. and Denb. 1677-80, Staffs. 1689, Denb. 1689-90; j.p. Staffs. 1677-Mar. 1688, Oct. 1688-?d., dep. lt. 1677-June 1688, Oct. 1688-1703; commr. for inquiry into recusancy fines, Staffs. 1687, Cheshire, Mar. 1688.2
According to his memorial inscription Bagot ‘had the honour to be unanimously chosen one of the representatives of this county in seven Parliaments’. The extremely modest election expenditure shown in his accounts confirms the unanimity claimed for his elections; but only six have been officially recorded. He first represented Staffordshire in the Exclusion Parliaments, and was marked ‘base’ on Shaftesbury’s list. His only committee in 1679 was on the bill for the better attendance of Members, and he was absent from the division on the first exclusion bill. During the second Exclusion Parliament he was given leave to appear in the Lords as a witness to sustain the credibility of Dugdale’s evidence against Lord Stafford. His only committee was for the disbandment accounts (24 Dec. 1680). ‘Often disabled by a complication of infirmities from attending the service’, he left no trace on the records of either the Oxford Parliament or James II’s Parliament; but he was listed among the Opposition in 1687. To Lord Aston, the Roman Catholic lord lieutenant, he said that he could not agree to the abrogation of the Penal Laws and Test Act ‘unless there might be an equivalent for securing the religion according to the Church of England’, and therefore he could not be expected to support candidates pledged to unconditional repeal. Nevertheless he was appointed to the local commissions of inquiry into recusancy fines, and Aston sought to retain him on the lieutenancy until he alleged ‘his disability to anything of business by reason of the extraordinary fits of gout and stone he is almost always labouring under’.3
Bagot had only just recovered by the general election of 1689, but he was returned to the Convention in which he was totally inactive. He did not vote to agree with the Lords that the throne was not vacant, and on 18 May he was given leave to go into the country. He lost his seat at the general election, but regained it as a Tory in 1693. He died on 15 Feb. 1705 and was buried at Blithefield. His epitaph claims that ‘he was hospitable and temperate, courteous and yet sincere. ... By his prudent management [he] improved his estate without impairing the reputation of his family.’ His son, the 4th baronet, sat for the county as an independent Tory from 1698 to 1708.4