BISSHOPP, Sir Cecil, 6th Bt. (d.1778), of Parham Park, Suss.
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Family and Education
1st s. of Sir Cecil Bisshopp, 5th Bt., by Elizabeth, da. and h. of Henry Dunch of Newington, Oxon. m. 1726, Anne, da. of Hugh Boscawen, 1st Visct. Falmouth, 4s. 8da. suc. fa. 25 Oct. 1725.
Superintendent of foundries to the Board of Ordnance 1751- d.
Bisshopp began as an opponent of Newcastle in Sussex politics; became reconciled to him about 1746; and in 1751 was given a sinecure under the Ordnance. By 1754 Newcastle felt so sure of him as to return him for Boroughbridge.
You must be sensible [Newcastle wrote to Bisshopp on 6 Feb. 17551] that it is a seat in Parliament entirely my own, and without one farthing of expense. But I am very cautious not to choose any one but such as I can entirely depend upon in everything. It is always my desire to choose persons of the first rank and distinction; and, as far as I can, to take them from our county. Nobody answers all these views so well as yourself and therefore I make you the first offer, as a proof of my entire dependence upon and affection for you.
Nor did Newcastle stop there, but between 1756 and 1761 found places for two of Bisshopp’s sons; while on the accession of George III Bisshopp begged Newcastle ‘that in the disposition of employments your Grace would think of me’.2
Newcastle, in a list of 13 Nov. 1762, classed Bisshopp as a friend, but Bisshopp did not vote against the peace preliminaries in December 1762 and soon broke with Newcastle. Jenkinson in the autumn of 1763 classed him as a Government supporter, and on 16 Feb. 1764, the day before the general warrants motion, Lord Harcourt wrote to Grenville:3‘I made inquiries yesterday about Sir Cecil Bisshopp, intending to have sent an express to him, but I was told that he would be in town today without fail.’ He does not appear in the list of the minority on that division nor in Jenkinson’s list of ‘absent friends’. On 16 Jan. 1765, pressed by Jenkinson to attend the House, he replied:4
No one is, or can be, more desirous to support the present measures of Government than myself, but ... I am not capable of taking a journey. I must now ask pardon ... I take the liberty of doing it, hoping you will show the matter in its true light to Mr. Grenville.
Henceforth, no vote is recorded by him. In November 1766 he was classed by Rockingham as ‘Swiss’ and by Newcastle in March 1767 as ‘Administration’; and obviously Newcastle had no intention of returning him in 1768.
Bisshopp died 15 June 1778.