HARFORD, Bridstock (1634-83), of Hereford.
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Family and Education
bap. 30 Sept. 1634, o.s. of Bridstock Harford, MD, of St. Owen’s Street, Hereford by 1st w. Elizabeth, da. of Richard Hereford of Sufton, Herefs. educ. St. John’s, Oxf. 1647, BA 1651; G. Inn 1650, called 1658. m.(1) Catherine, da. of Thomas Read of Ipsden, Oxon., 2s. (1 d.v.p.) 1da.; (2) 6 July 1670, Dorothy, da. and coh. of John Davies of Mynachty, Rad., wid. of John Vaughan of Hergest, Herefs., s.p.; (3) 1680, Elizabeth, da. of Thomas Brydges of Old Colwall, Herefs., wid. of John Dannett of Bosbury, Herefs., 1da.1
Commr. for assessment, Hereford 1663-9, Herefs. 1673-80, Hereford, Mdx. and Rad. 1679-80; j.p. Herefs. by 1671-d., Worcs. 1681-d.; alderman, Hereford by 1680-d., dep. steward 1682-d.2
Harford’s great-grandfather acquired several messuages in Hereford, formerly chantry property, under Edward VI. His father, a physician, served on most of the local assessment commissions during the Interregnum and was intermittently justice of the peace for the county, but does not appear to have held local office after the Restoration. Harford, a lawyer, and his father were described in 1663 as ‘implacable enemies of the King’. Nevertheless the old doctor, on rebuilding the city hospital in 1675, put up the inscription: ‘Fear God, honour the King, relieve the poor: these three are all’.3
On his return to the first Exclusion Parliament, Harford was noted by Shaftesbury as ‘honest’. He was named only to the committee to examine abuses in the Post Office. Though he had disappointed expectations by voting against the exclusion bill, he was again elected to the second Exclusion Parliament, in which he was totally inactive. Although described by Secretary Jenkins as ‘a worthy Member of the last Parliament’, he did not stand in 1681. Under the new charter he replaced William Gregory as deputy steward of Hereford. He died ‘of a lingering distemper’ in his father’s lifetime on 10 Apr. 1683. His son, the last of the family, was elected mayor in 1697, but never entered Parliament.4
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: Edward Rowlands
- 1. W. R. Williams, Parl. Hist. Herefs. 93; Arch. Camb. ser. 6, ix. 295-7; C. J. Robinson, Mansions and Manors of Herefs. 163.
- 2. Herefs. RO Q. Sess. minute bk. 1665-89; CSP Dom. 1680-1, p. 176; Duncumb, Herefs. i. 360; SP29/417/188.
- 3. Arch. Camb. 283-4, 295; CSP Dom. 1663-4, p. 284.
- 4. CSP Dom. 1680-1, p. 186; Beaufort mss., Robert Price to Beaufort, 20 Apr. 1683; Her. and Gen. vii. 422.