PIPER, Sir Hugh (c.1617-87), of Launceston, Cornw.

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



Oct. 1679

Family and Education

b. c.1617, 1st s. of Arthur Piper of Launceston by Frances Hatherley. m. (1) 8 May 1640, Mary (bur. 31 Aug. 1641), da. of John Escott, woollen draper, of Launceston, 1s. d.v.p.; (2) 17 Apr. 1644, Sibella (d. 4 Jan. 1705), da. of John Parr, merchant, of Exeter, 1s. d.v.p. suc. fa. 1647; kntd. 17 Aug. 1677.1

Offices Held

Capt. of ft. (royalist) by 1643; capt.-lt. of ft. Plymouth garrison 1661-d.; dep. gov. Plymouth 1672-d.; capt. Rougemont Castle, Exeter; constable, Launceston castle 1678-d.2

Commr. for assessment, Cornw. 1661-3, Devon 1667-80, Plymouth 1677-9; alderman, Launceston ?1662-d., mayor 1681-2; stannator of Foymore 1663; sub-commr. of prizes, Plymouth 1673-4; j.p. Devon 1678-d., Cornw. 1680-d.; capt. of militia ft. Cornw. by 1679-d.; freeman, Saltash 1683, Liskeard 1685; alderman, Plymouth 1684-d.3


Piper came from a merchant family prominent in the municipal life of Launceston since the early 16th century. He and his father were both in arms for the King in the Civil War. He served under (Sir) Bevil Granville and was three times wounded. In 1650 he compounded under the Exeter articles at £71 5s. 6d. He was denounced as one of the chief solicitors for royalist designs in Cornwall in 1651.4

After the Restoration Piper was given a commission in the regiment of Lord Bath, Granville’s son, at Plymouth, and in 1672 became deputy governor of the citadel with a pension of £100 a year. In May 1676 he was seriously wounded by a subaltern who accused him of sharp practice over the sale of a horse. He was knighted during the King’s visit to Plymouth in 1677. His only surviving son, Philip, having died in 1678, he succeeded him as constable of Launceston castle, where he was the senior alderman. He represented the borough in the second and third Exclusion Parliaments and James II’s Parliament as a court supporter. He was appointed to no committees and made no recorded speeches. When Bath remodelled the Cornish charters in 1685 Piper was reappointed to the Launceston and Plymouth corporations and made a freeman of Liskeard. He died on 24 July 1687, aged 70, and was buried at Launceston, leaving his ‘good friends’ Shilston Calmady of Leawood and Josias Calmady II as trustees for his grandsons. None of his descendants entered Parliament.5

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. The Gen. vi. 59-60, 123-5; R. and O. B. Peter, Launceston and Dunheved, 258.
  • 2. The Gen. vi. 124; CSP Dom. 1672-3, p. 328; Cal. Treas. Bks. iv. 44.
  • 3. The Gen. vi. 124; Peter, 408; CSP Dom. 1679-80, p. 61; 1685, pp. 48, 66; HMC 9th Rep. pt. 1, p. 281.
  • 4. Western Antiquary, ix. 82; SP23/220/415-22; HMC Portland, i. 584.
  • 5. CSP Dom. 1676-7, pp. 109, 113, 451; Hatton Corresp. (Cam. Soc. n.s. xxii), 130-1; The Gen. vi. 124-5; PCC 118 Foot.