BISHOPP, Sir Edward (1602-1649), of Parham, Suss.; later of Cannon Row, Westminster.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



1640 (Nov.) - 16 Dec. 1640

Family and Education

b. 6 Sept. 1602, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Sir Thomas Bishopp* and his 2nd w. Jane, da. of Sir Henry Weston† of Sutton Place, Surr.1 educ. Trin. Oxf. 1619; I. Temple 1620.2 m. 12 Sept. 1625, Mary (bur. 24 Dec. 1663), da. of Sir Nicholas Tufton*, 2nd bt., of Hothfield, Kent, 4s. (1 d.v.p.) 4da. kntd. 18 Dec. 1625; suc. fa. as 2nd bt. 26 Nov. 1626. d. 2 Apr. 1649.3

Offices Held

Sheriff, Suss. 1636-7;4 commr. sewers, Suss. 1637.5

Col. horse and foot (roy.) 1643-4.6


Bishopp was the son Sir Thomas Bishopp, an important Sussex magistrate with property close to Steyning. In 1625 he married the daughter of Sir Nicholas Tufton, a Kentish baronet and crypto-Catholic. After his death, the parliamentary committee for the advance of money described Bishopp as a recusant, but there is no other evidence that he was inclined to Catholicism.7 He was returned for Steyning in 1626 but left no mark on the records of the second Caroline Parliament. Later in 1626 he succeeded to his father’s estate, described by a correspondent of Sir Thomas Puckering* the following year as worth £1,500 or £2,000 p.a.8 Sir Thomas Bishopp had been executor of the widow of Sir Thomas Shirley I*, who had bequeathed him £300 on condition that he pay her grandson, Henry Shirley, an annuity of £40. Sir Thomas had confirmed the annuity in his will, instructing Bishopp to pay it out of the rents from a specified property.9 However, when Shirley came to collect his money from Bishopp’s lodgings in Chancery Lane in October 1627, Bishopp ran the unarmed Shirley through with a sword.10 William Prynne† subsequently wrote that ‘most report’ that Bishopp had been drunk.11

Bishopp fled after the coroner’s inquest and was subsequently found guilty of manslaughter, for which he was sentenced to be burned in the hand.12 A cousin of the victim was granted £279, which sum had been found in Bishopp’s chamber.13 Nevertheless, he secured a pardon in October 1628, after promising to continue paying the annuity to Shirley’s elder brother. However, he failed either to make good the promise or to pay the arrears due to the victim, and as a result Shirley’s creditors petitioned the Privy Council; the outcome is unknown.14 He also refused to surrender a legacy of £100 left by Lady Shirley to another grandchild, despite specific instructions in his father’s will to pay it.15

Appointed sheriff of Sussex in 1636, Bishopp promptly eased the Ship Money assessment of his own rape at the expense of its neighbour. He was also accused by the Privy Council of deliberately trying to obstruct the levy by appointing a recusant knight incapacitated by gout who resided elsewhere as collector in one rape.16 In 1638 Bishopp was granted a pass to travel aboard for three years, which may account for his failure to contribute to the Scots war the following year.17

Bishopp had returned to England by April 1640, when he unsuccessfully stood as a candidate at a by-election held at Bramber. He was involved in a double return for the same borough in the autumn of 1640, but the election was declared void due to corruption.18 Described by the committee for compounding as ‘very opposite’ to Parliament from the outset of the Civil War, he raised regiments of cavalry and infantry for the king and was taken prisoner at the surrender of Arundel Castle in January 1644. A proposed fine of £12,300 was eventually reduced to £4,790, which sum he had failed to pay by his death in April 1649; the estate was not finally discharged until 1654.19 He seems to have drafted a will in April 1643, which contained bequests of £1,500 each to three unmarried daughters, to which he had added a codicil in March 1649, but there is no evidence it was proved, or that letters of administration was ever issued. His widow married Percy Goring†, and a younger son, who succeeded to the baronetcy in 1652, was returned for Bramber to the Cavalier Parliament at a by-election in 1662.20

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Alan Davidson / Ben Coates


  • 1. J.W. Fitzwilliam, Parham in Suss. 50-1, 54.
  • 2. Al. Ox.; I. Temple database of admiss.
  • 3. Fitzwilliam, 50-51, 54; Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 190; CB, i. 156.
  • 4. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 141.
  • 5. C181/5, f. 69.
  • 6. Docquets of Letters Patent 1642-6 ed. W.H. Black, 61; J. Travers, An Exact and True Relation of the Taking of Arundel Castle (1644), p. 4.
  • 7. CCAM, 508.
  • 8. T. Birch, Ct. and Times of Chas. I, i. 279.
  • 9. E.P. Shirley, Stemmata Shirleiana, 263; PROB 11/151, f. 110v.
  • 10. Birch, i. 279.
  • 11. W. Prynne, Histrio-mastix (1633), f. 553v.
  • 12. Fitzwilliam, 55; CSP Dom. 1628-9, p. 356.
  • 13. CSP Dom. 1627-8, p. 495; 1628-9, p. 3.
  • 14. Ibid. 1628-9, p. 356; 1629-31, pp. 257, 461; 1637-8, p. 124.
  • 15. C78/452/14; PROB 11/151, f. 110v.
  • 16. A. Fletcher, County Community in Peace and War. 207.
  • 17. CSP Dom. 1637-8, p. 481; Historical Collections ed. J. Rushworth, iii. 914.
  • 18. Fletcher, 244; HMC 4th Rep. 25; M.F. Keeler, Long Parl. 67.
  • 19. CCC, 849-50.
  • 20. Fitzwilliam, 61-2.