CRESSETT, Edward (d. 1727), of Cound, Salop.
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Family and Education
o. s. of Robert Cressett of Upton Cressett, Salop by Elizabeth, da. of James Huxley of Darnford, Staffs., and cos. of Sir Edward Acton, 3rd Bt.* m. 8 Aug. 1695, Elizabeth, da. of John Doughty of Betton, nr. Shrewsbury, Salop, 7s. 5da. suc. fa. 1678, gdfa. Robert Cressett at Upton Cressett and Cound 1702.1
Freeman, Much Wenlock 1695, Ludlow 1696, Shrewsbury, Bridgnorth by 1719; sheriff, Salop 1702–3.2
A sound Shropshire Tory, Cressett came from a family established in the county since at least the 14th century, and during the Civil War his great-grandfather had been one of the leaders of the local Royalists. His first tilt at a parliamentary election was for a vacant seat at Shrewsbury in January 1710, when in spite of the strength of the Tory interest in the borough, and the personal support of a former Member, John Kynaston*, he was defeated by his Whig opponent. He was not deterred, however, and, alongside other prospective Tory parliamentary candidates in Shropshire, soon afterwards placed himself in the forefront of the local agitation on behalf of Dr Sacheverell. Having appeared among the gentlemen who welcomed Sacheverell to Shrewsbury during the celebrated ‘progress’, he provided an entertainment for the doctor at Cound. Later, when one of Sacheverell’s counsel, (Sir) Simon Harcourt I*, arrived at Shrewsbury on circuit he ‘was met out of town by 400 horse headed by Mr Owen [Roger*] and Mr Cressett’. The effect of all this stage management was nicely to focus the popular enthusiasm upon the Tory candidates at the general election of 1710, and in Shrewsbury Cressett and his confederates were returned at the top of the poll.3
Cressett seems to have been a back-bench Tory of unexceptional opinions: classed as a Tory in the ‘Hanover list’, he was one of the ‘worthy patriots’ who in the 1710–11 session detected the mismanagements of the previous ministry. In the same session, on 8 Jan. 1711, he was given leave of absence for one month, owing to his wife’s illness. He was a member of the October Club, and on 18 June 1713 voted for the French commerce bill. In the Worsley list he was classed simply as a Tory.
Cressett did not put up for re-election in 1715. Four years later he wrote to Lord Oxford (Robert Harley*), with whom he appears to have been seeking to ingratiate himself, to inform him of an impending vacancy in the parliamentary representation of Bishop’s Castle, which he thought would interest Oxford’s son Lord Harley (Edward*), adding, ‘I am unfortunate in not having a vote for that corporation, as I have in all the rest in Shropshire, otherwise my lord might command it’. His name figured in the list of ‘well-wishers’ supposedly drawn up for the Pretender in 1721, and the following year he ventured to stand for Much Wenlock in the general election, but came bottom of the poll. Cressett died at his house in Grosvenor Street, Westminster, on 9 Jan. 1727.4
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: D. W. Hayton
- 1. Info. from Mr W. Cash M.P.; Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. ser. 4, vi. 220; xii. 225; Salop Par. Reg. Soc. Lichfield dioc. ii, Cound, 45–46, 53–54; xv. 562, 578, 587, 601, 613, 631; Ped. Reg. ii. 31.
- 2. Salop RO, Forester mss, copy of Much Wenlock corp. bk.; Salop RO, Ludlow bor. recs. admissions of freemen.
- 3. Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. ser. 1, ix. 403–4; A. Fletcher, Outbreak of Eng. Civil War, 359–60; Bradford mss at Weston Park, John Bridgeman to (Sir) Arthur Owen ii*, 9 Jan. 1710; Luttrell, Brief Relation, vi. 532; Boyer, Anne Annals, ix. 203; G. Holmes, Trial of Sacheverell, 245; HMC Portland, iv. 539.
- 4. Add. 70221, Cressett to [Oxford], 25 Nov. 1719; info. from Mr Cash.