BISHOP, Humphrey (c.1612-75), of Chilcombe, Dorset.

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



1661 - 20 Nov. 1675

Family and Education

b. c.1612, 1st s. of John Bishop of Chilcombe by Elizabeth, da. of Francis Hawley of Buckland Sororum, Som. and Corfe Castle, Dorset. m. lic. 4 July 1648, Anne, da. of Henry Goring of Highden, Suss., wid. of Theobald Michell of Stamerham, Suss., 2s. suc. fa. bef. 1641.2

Offices Held

Freeman, Poole Nov. 1660, Lyme Regis 1662; commr. for assessment, Dorset Aug. 1660-74, col. of militia ft. by Nov. 1660-d., commr. for corporations 1661-3, loyal and indigent officers 1662, j.p. 1662-d., dep. lt. 1664-d., commr. for pressing seamen 1665; sub-commr. for prizes, Portsmouth 1672-4; commr. for recusants, Dorset 1675.3


Bishop was descended from William Bishop who obtained a grant from the crown in 1544 of the small but well-managed estate of the Hospitallers at Chilcombe. His descendants married shrewdly, and entered their pedigree at the 1623 heralds visitation, but before the Civil War had not even attained the dignity of justice of the peace. It was subsequently asserted that Bishop raised a regiment for Charles I at his own expense. Although his nomination to the projected order of the Royal Oak might seem to lend support to this claim, he was never sequestrated. His estate, valued at £800 in the list, was heavily burdened with dowries and rent-charges till after the Civil War. The marks of trust which Bishop received at the Restoration are more plausibly ascribed to his kinship with Francis Hawley, Lord Hawley, than to his own services.4

Bishop held property in Bridport, four miles from his home, and some of his name served on the corporation. He was returned for the borough at the general election of 1661, but he was not active in the Cavalier Parliament. His 30 committees included in the first session those to consider the uniformity bill and the bill to encourage the sowing of flax and hemp, a matter of interest to the rope industry for which his constituency was celebrated. He was also among those added in May 1663 to the committees to inspect the Corporations Act and to prevent meetings of schismatics. Thereafter his activity declined, though he was appointed to the committee of elections and privileges in four sessions, and on 3 Apr. 1668 he was among those ordered to bring in a bill to redress defects in the militia laws. On the working lists of 1675-8 he was assigned to the management of Edward Seymour, and he received the government whip in September 1675, but died during the ensuing session. The value of his estate had shrunk to £550 p.a., and no other member of the family entered Parliament.5

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: John. P. Ferris


  • 1. New writ.
  • 2. Vis. Dorset (Harl. Soc. xx), 16; F. Brown, Som. Wills, vi. 70; J. Comber, Suss. Genealogies Horsham, 242; Hutchins, Dorset, ii. 740; E179/105/328.
  • 3. Hutchins, i. 32; Lyme Regis mss B6/11, f. 24; Bridport corp. mss 18; Add. 31947, f. 116; Dorset RO, D84, D124 (official); Nat. Maritime Mus., Dartmouth mss 6, pp. 1, 8.
  • 4. Hutchins, ii. 738; iii. 50; C142/422/35; C. H. Mayo, Dorset Standing Committee, 394; Burke, Commoners, i. 688.
  • 5. VCH Dorset, ii. 347-8; Som. and Dorset N. and Q. xvi. 3; Hutchins, ii. 739; Pythouse Pprs. ed. Day, 81.