SKIPPON, Sir Philip (1641-91), of Edwardstone, Suff.

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



Mar. 1679
Oct. 1679
27 Feb. 1689
1690 - 7 Aug. 1691

Family and Education

b. 28 Oct. 1641, 4th but 1st surv. s. of Philip Skippon of Foulsham, Norf. and Acton, Mdx. by his 1st w. Maria Comes of Frankenthal, Lower Palatinate. educ. Trinity Coll. Camb. 1655, BA 1660; G. Inn 1663; travelled abroad (Germany, Italy, Switzerland, France, Netherlands) 1663-6. m. (1) 1 Apr. 1669, Amy (d. 2 Dec. 1676), da. and coh. of Francis Brewster of Wrentham, Suff., 2s. (1 d.v.p.); (2) lic. 6 June 1679, Anne, da. of Sir Thomas Barnardiston, 1st Bt., of Kedington, Suff. 1s. d.v.p. 2da. suc. fa. 1661; kntd. 19 Apr. 1675.1

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Suff. 1677-80, Dunwich 1679-80, Suff. and Dunwich 1689-90, Norf. 1690; j.p. Suff. 1689-d., col. of militia 1689-d.2

FRS 1667.


The Skippons had been in Norfolk since the 13th century, but it was Skippon’s father, a professional soldier, who, after service in the Netherlands, acquired the manor of Foulsham in 1634. He fought in the parliamentary army in the first and second Civil Wars. A recruiter to the Long Parliament, he was appointed one of the King’s judges but never attended any of the hearings. He continued to hold high military and civil office throughout the Interregnum.3

Skippon himself, after several years at Cambridge, travelled abroad with the nonconformist naturalist John Ray, and on his return was made a fellow of the Royal Society. He travelled extensively in East Anglia between as his diary shows. In the summers of 1676 and 1677 he acted as foreman of the grand jury at Bury assizes.4

Skippon inherited the Brewster interest at Dunwich, for which he was returned to the Exclusion Parliaments, and classed as ‘honest’ by Shaftesbury. A moderately active Member in 1679, he was appointed to four committees, including those on the bills for regulating elections and for security against Popery. He voted for exclusion. In the second Exclusion Parliament he was again moderately active. His seven committees included those to prepare a bill for continuing the ban on Irish cattle and to consider the repeal of the Corporations Act. In the short Oxford Parliament he was named to the committee of elections and privileges, as well as to that appointed to draw up the third exclusion bill. The 1685 election at Dunwich was held under a remodelled charter and Skippon did not stand, but in April 1688 the King’s agents reported that Dunwich would return two members who would support the repeal of the Test Act and the Penal Laws and named Skippon as one of them. Later Sunderland recommended him to stand for the county with Sir Samuel Barnardiston. At the general election of 1689 he was involved in a double return at Dunwich, and seated on the merits of the election. An active Member of the Convention, he was appointed to 37 committees, including those to abrogate the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, and to consider the toleration bill. In the second session he supported the disabling clause in the bill to restore corporations, and was named to the committee for the bill to enforce a general oath of allegiance. He was re-elected in 1690, but died on 7 Aug. 169I, and was buried at Kedington. He was succeeded by his only surviving son, Philip, who sat for Sudbury in the Parliaments of 1705 and 1708.5

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Paula Watson


  • 1. G. A. Carthew, Hundred of Launditch, iii. 438-44; Norf. Arch. xxii. 147-88; Misc. Gen. et Her. n.s. i. 39-40.
  • 2. East Suff. RO, 105/2/11; Eg. 1626, f. 42.
  • 3. Norf. Arch. xxii. 147; DNB; Copinger, Suff. Manors, vi. 95.
  • 4. Norf. Arch. xxii. 156-88.
  • 5. HMC Portland, iii. 471; CSP Dom. 1687-9, p. 276.