BIGLAND, Edward (c.1620-1704), of Long Whatton, Leics.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. c.1620, 2nd s. of Edward Bigland (d.1650), rector of East and West Leake, Notts. 1621-46, by Mary Bendish. educ. Queens’, Camb. 1637, BA 1641, MA 1644; G. Inn 1647, called 1654, ancient 1671. m. lic. 28 May 1669, Anne, da. and h. of Peter Richier, MD, of Lincoln, 2s. 2da.1

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Newark 1663-4, Notts. 1677-80, Nottingham 1679-80, 1689, Leics. 1689-90, Serjeants’ Inn 1689; bencher, G. Inn 1677; recorder, Nottingham 1680-3; j.p. Leics. 1680-4, Notts. by 1700-d.2

Serjeant-at-law 1680-d.


Bigland’s father was in the Cavalier garrison at Ashby-de-la-Zouch; he was deprived of his living and long imprisoned at Nottingham. Fortunately he had private means, and Bigland was able to resume his education after the Civil War, qualifying as a barrister in 1654. His wife also came of a clerical family, her grandfather having been a pastor in Saintonge. Bigland acted as legal adviser to many of the leading families in the North Midlands. In 1680 he was advanced to the coif and elected recorder of Nottingham. He supported William Sacheverell in resisting the new charter, and was summoned before the Privy Council in 1682. Little more is heard of him until his election to the Convention, presumably as a Whig, when he must have been verging on 70. Effectively seconded by Sacheverell, he was responsible for introducing the abortive 24th article into the Declaration of Rights:

I would have notice taken of buying and selling judicial offices to keep honest men out and put others in, and the sheriff’s office to be considered, which influences the whole government. Bailiffs and sheriffs must gain, when they buy their places; and if no care be taken of buying offices, you will never get good administration of justice.

Bigland was more eminent as a conveyancer than a pleader. He did not shine even in private debate, and apparently never spoke in the House again. Nor was he active in committee work. He was named to those for inspecting the coronation oath and for putting the great seal in commission, but on 26 June he obtained leave to go into the country for five weeks and may never have returned to Parliament. He is not listed as supporting the clause to which Sacheverell’s name was attached. Nor was he reappointed recorder when the Nottingham charter was restored. He had acquired an estate in Leicestershire, though he was not lord of the manor, and he was buried there on 5 Aug. 1704, the only member of his family to enter Parliament.3

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: John. P. Ferris


  • 1. Nichols, Leics. iii. 1107; E. Godfrey, Notts. Churches: Hundred of Rushcliffe, 145; Add. 6705. f. 27.
  • 2. Nottingham Bor. Recs. v. 321.
  • 3. A. G. Matthews, Walker Revised, 292; Denizations and Naturalizations (Huguenot Soc. xviiii), 82; CSP Dom. 1682, pp. 437, 471; Grey, ix. 43; Notts. RO, DDSR 219/1/14, Duke of Newcastle to Ld. Halifax, 18 Oct. 1682.