BRIDGEMAN, John (c.1655-1729), of Prinknash Park, Glos.
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Family and Education
b. c.1655, 1st s. of John Bridgeman of Prinknash Park by Margaret, da. of Sir Charles Berkeley†, 2nd Visct. Fitzhardinge [I] and Earl of Falmouth. educ. Wadham, Oxf. matric. 26 July 1672, aged 17; I. Temple 1673. m. c.1710, Catherine (d. 1744), da. of Richard Ockold of Upton St. Leonards, Glos. s.p. suc. fa. by 1663; uncle James Bridgeman 1694.1
Freeman, Gloucester 1702.2
Bridgeman’s family had been established in Gloucestershire since at least the 15th century, acquiring Prinknash, some four miles from Gloucester, in about 1630. Orphaned by his mother’s death in 1663, Bridgeman was placed under the guardianship of his uncle James Bridgeman, a barrister of the Inner Temple, who did all he could to keep him from wasting his fortune, going so far as to stipulate in his will of 1691 that, as a necessary condition of making Bridgeman his own heir, he abide by a previous property settlement. Even then trustees were appointed for this new inheritance, James ‘finding by sad experience that John Bridgeman his nephew is not fit to have estates’. Bridgeman was returned for Gloucester in January 1701, although any activity during his brief sojourn in the House is concealed by the presence of another MP with the same surname, Orlando Bridgeman I. Moreover, there are only the vaguest clues as to his party sympathies which may have been Whiggish. He may have put up for the county at the second election of 1701 and in December 1702 contested Gloucester again at a by-election but was defeated, thereafter preferring to remain at Prinknash, where he enjoyed ‘a large old house, and pleasant gardens, and a park of large extent, and distant prospects over the vale, and a great estate in this and other places’.3
Bridgeman was buried on 3 June 1729. He was succeeded by Henry Toye, the family solicitor, who thereupon changed his name to Bridgeman.4