BISSHOPP, Sir Cecil, 8th Bt. (1753-1828), of Parham Park, Suss.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1780 - 1790
1796 - 1806

Family and Education

b. 29 Dec. 1753, 1st s. of Sir Cecil Bisshopp, 7th Bt., of Parham by Susan, da. of Charles Hedges of Finchley, Mdx. by Catherine Tate, heiress presum. to barony of Zouche. m. 27 July 1782, Harriet Anne, da. and h. of William Southwell of Frampton Cottrell, Glos., 2s. d.v.p. 3da. suc. fa. as 8th Bt. Sept. 1779; to barony of Zouche as 12th Baron on termination of abeyancy in his favour 27 Aug. 1815.

Offices Held

Capt. Suss. militia 1778, Parham yeomanry 1795-8.


Bisshopp was defeated in the contest for Shoreham in 1790 when the 3rd Duke of Richmond secured Pitt’s countenance for two other local men.1 He had himself supported Pitt in the preceding Parliament, though inconspicuously. He declined an opening at Shoreham in 1795 when one of his successful competitors died,2 but stood against the other, Sir Harry Goring, in 1796. Goring withdrew rather than go to a poll.3 For the next ten years Bisshopp made no mark in the House. No speech or vote is known. In 1802 he avoided a personal canvass for health reasons and was unopposed. In September 1804 he was listed ‘Pitt’ and in July 1805 ‘doubtful Pitt’. He retired in 1806 and failed to secure his son Cecil’s election in 1807—the latter had to find a seat elsewhere.

Bisshopp’s only ambition was to end the abeyance of the barony of Zouche since 1625 in his favour. On 27 Sept. 1799 he presented his case (based on female descent) to Pitt.4 The Lords, to whom he had stated his claim on 7 Feb. 1804, made a decision favourable to him, 24 Apr. 1807, but the royal assent was still required. Bisshopp duly appeared on the Duke of Portland’s list of peerage applicants; and in 1812 applied likewise to Lord Liverpool. The Prince Regent granted his wish in 1815 and he took his seat in the Lords on 1 Feb. 1816. By then he had lost both his sons and at his death, 11 Nov. 1828, the barony passed to his eldest daughter.5 He improved Parham, securing parliamentary authorization to divert a highway round the park, 5 May 1812.6

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. Lewes Jnl. 14 June 1790; PRO 30/8/171, f. 149.
  • 2. Sun, 26 May 1795.
  • 3. Lewes Jnl. 6 June 1796.
  • 4. J. W. Fitzwilliam, Parham in Suss. 81; PRO 30/8/113, ff. 287-91.
  • 5. LJ, xlvi. 189; Morning Chron. 27 Apr. 1807; Portland mss PwV 114; Add. 38249, f. 86; Fitzwilliam, 80-87.
  • 6. CJ, lxvii. 352.