GILBERT, John (c.1650-1732), of Bridgwater, Som.
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Family and Education
b. c.1650, s. of John Gilbert of Bridgwater by Frances, da. of John Collard of Spaxton, Som. m. (1) by Apr. 1676, Joan, 1da.; (2) 24 Apr. 1682, Ann Turner (bur. 1682), s.p.1
Commr. recusants’ fines, Som. 1688; capital burgess, Bridgwater 1674, alderman by 1690, mayor 1690, 1697, 1706, 1710, 1722.2
Gilbert’s father had been a prominent townsman and member of Bridgwater’s corporation. He himself enjoyed a long association with the corporation, holding mayoral office on several occasions. Though not a Dissenter, he attracted criticism for his strong associations with the presbyterian community in the town, not least with its leaders, George* and Robert* Balch. As a Whig, he was elected to the January 1701 Parliament in partnership with George Balch, but in this, his only spell in the House, he left no trace in the record of proceedings, and he did not seek re-election. He appears to have ceased attending council proceedings in 1710 following the entrenchment of the Tory faction, but reappeared in 1717 and 1718 when the Whigs began to recover ground. He was a friend of John Oldmixon, the Whig historian, and was associated with him and Dr John Allen in the Duke of Chandos’ (Hon. James Brydges*) building schemes around Castle Street in Bridgwater in the 1720s. Gilbert died in 1732.3