PIGOT, Granado (c.1650-1724), of Bassingbourn, Cambs.
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Family and Education
b. c.1650, 2nd s. of John Pigot of Abington Pigotts, Cambs. by his w. ?Mary. educ. Jesus, Camb. 1667, MA 1669; L. Inn 1668, called 1677. m. (1) lic. 15 Dec. 1679 (aged 29), Margaret (d. 1701), da. of Sir Robert Smyth, 1st Bt., of East Ham, Essex, 3s. (1 d.v.p.) 2da. (1 d.v.p.); (2) 29 July 1704, Alice (d. 1713), da. of Sir Brockett Spencer, 1st Bt., of Offley Place, Herts., sis. of Sir John Spencer, 4th Bt.* suc. fa. to property at Abington Pigotts and Litlington, Cambs. 1679.1
Freeman, Cambridge 1689; sheriff, Cambs. and Hunts. 1695–6.2
Pigot, the favoured younger son of a sequestered Royalist, inherited not only the small family estate in Cambridgeshire, originally purchased by an ancestor, a Hertfordshire wool merchant, in the first half of the 15th century, but also his father’s Cavalier prejudices. He had been removed from the commission of the peace by James II in December 1687, presumably for objecting, as a staunch Anglican, to the King’s policy of indulgence, and was to be equally unhappy at the events of the Revolution, although this unease did not show itself at first, for he was restored to local office as a j.p. and deputy-lieutenant under King William.3
When Pigot was returned for Cambridge in the 1690 general election he was still an unknown quantity on the national political scene, and in Lord Carmarthen’s (Sir Thomas Osborne†) analysis of the new Commons he was classed as ‘doubtful’. Subsequently, in December 1690, he was listed among those thought likely to defend Carmarthen from parliamentary attack. In the 1691–2 session, he told on 5 Feb. 1692 in favour of a Tory amendment to the Irish forfeited estates bill, namely to omit the clause vesting entailed estates in the crown, and on 9 Feb., in favour of a Lords’ amendment to the small tithes bill, namely to prevent those who had appealed to a j.p. from having further recourse to an ecclesiastical court. In the following year, on 10 Feb. 1693, a motion that he be given three weeks’ leave of absence was made a trial of strength between the two sides of the House and brought to a division before the leave was granted. He was given another eight days’ leave of absence on 20 Mar. 1695.
It would seem that Pigot stood down at the 1695 election, only to reappear as a candidate for the county at a by-election in December 1697. In the meantime he had lost his place on the Cambridgeshire commission of the peace as a result of his qualms over subscribing to the Association. He had not signed voluntarily but only upon statutory compulsion, having, it was alleged, scrupled over the words ‘rightful and lawful’ and ‘revenge’. Being deprived of his place on the bench may have provoked him into contesting the county on the Tory interest. The episode was certainly raised at the hustings by his Whig opponent, one of whose agents publicly objected to the election of ‘a man the King hath set a mark of disfavour on’. Defeated, Pigot then stood unsuccessfully as a Tory for knight of the shire in the general election of 1698. He was at last returned in 1702, this time apparently without a contest, and entered with some enthusiasm into the party conflict. A teller on the Tory side on 9 Dec. 1702 against a motion to discharge those held in custody following the hearing of the Colchester election case, he voted on 13 Feb. 1703 against agreeing with the Lords’ amendments to the bill for enlarging the time for taking the oath of abjuration.
In the 1703–4 session Pigot managed a Cambridgeshire highways bill through all its stages in the Commons, and in the next session told on 3 Feb. 1705 for a motion condemning local duties on coal imports imposed by the corporation of King’s Lynn as a ‘grievance’ and an ‘oppression’ to the inhabitants of Bedfordshire and Huntingdonshire. This solicitude for his constituents helped make his interest appear ‘formidable’ in his own county, but its effects were undermined by his continued association with the High Tories in the Commons. Forecast as a probable supporter of the Tack, he did indeed vote for it on 28 Nov. 1704, and suffered for this vote at the hands of Whig and Court propagandists: in the 1705 election for Cambridgeshire he came bottom of the poll. To add to his troubles, in December that year one of his sons was killed in a shooting accident, some apparently ascribing this to ‘providential vengeance’ for Pigot’s vote on the Tack.