PARSONS, Henry (1687-1739), of Wickham Bishops, nr. Maldon, Essex.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



25 Feb. 1724 - 17 Jan. 1727
25 Jan. 1727 - 29 Dec. 1739

Family and Education

bap. 24 July 1687,1 3rd s. of Sir John Parsons but 1st by his 2nd w.; half-bro. of Humphry Parsons. unm.

Offices Held

Purveyor, Chelsea Hospital 1714-d.; commr. of victualling 1727-d.; assistant, R. African Co. 1728-d.


Parsons, a London merchant, was appointed by his friend, Walpole, to be master baker at Chelsea Hospital, where ‘he became known as the purveyor, an unofficial position ... reputed to be worth £500 p.a.’.2 He secured from Walpole the contracts for meat, butter and cheese, as well as bread, and sold him the hospital’s victualling bills at five per cent discount.3 In 1717 he was heavily in debt, having borrowed from his father £4,000 as his share of his family’s estate, as well as owing ‘several great sums as yet unpaid’.4 After contesting Maldon unsuccessfully in 1722, he petitioned but withdrew his petition at Walpole’s instance.5 Brought in for Lostwithiel in 1727, he vacated his seat on being appointed commissioner of the victualling office, which, together with the purveyorship, was said to have brought his emoluments to £2,000 p.a.6 In 1727, instead of standing for re-election at Lost-withiel, he was returned unopposed at Maldon, where he managed the government interest.7 He steadily supported the Administration till his death, 29 Dec. 1739.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


PCC 19 Browne.

  • 1. Registers of Christ Church, Newgate (Harl. Soc. Regs. xxi), 66.
  • 2. C. G. T. Dean, Royal Hospital, Chelsea, 194.
  • 3. Ibid.; J. H. Plumb, Walpole, i. 205.
  • 4. PCC 42 Whitfield.
  • 5. See COMYNS, John.
  • 6. Gent. Mag. 1739, p. 306.
  • 7. See MALDON.