PLEYDELL, Edmund (c.1652-1726), of Midgehall, Lydiard Tregoze, Wilts. and Milborne St. Andrew, Dorset

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



14 Dec. 1710 - 1715

Family and Education

b. c.1652, 1st s. of Oliver Pleydell of Milton, Oxon. by Mary, da. of one Goldsmith of Avebury, Wilts. nephew of John† and William Pleydell†.  m. by 1683, Anne (d. 1723), da. and h. of Sir John Morton, 2nd Bt.*, 7s. (4 d.v.p.) 4da. (1 d.v.p.).  suc. fa. by 1693, uncle John Pleydell at Midgehall 1693.1

Offices Held


Despite his family’s long parliamentary association with Wootton Bassett, and his own considerable resources, the fact that he was now an absentee tenant of Midgehall meant that it was mainly through the good offices of his friend and distant relation Henry St. John II* that Pleydell was returned for the borough. In 1708 St. John had made use of some residual influence with the ministry to keep Pleydell from being pricked as sheriff of Wiltshire, on the grounds that, while he was ‘as honest a good man as ever was’, his ‘health is so extremely ruined by sickness and his mind so broken by misfortunes that it would be an act of barbarity to force him into this employment’. Whether or not this was exaggeration, the sickness had abated and mental equilibrium (partly, no doubt, disturbed by the recent death of his eldest son John Morton Pleydell*) returned by the time he was chosen two years later at a by-election for a seat vacated by St. John. He was listed among the ‘worthy patriots’ who in the 1710–11 session exposed the mismanagements of the previous ministry, but if, as has been claimed, he was a ‘client and . . . follower’ of St. John he did not prove an especially useful one. On 26 Feb. 1712 he was granted six weeks’ leave from the House. Re-elected in 1713, he was marked as a Tory in the Worsley list, but his participation in parliamentary politics ended with the Hanoverian succession.2

Pleydell made his will on 4 Apr. 1724. He established a £500 trust for his daughter, naming Richard Bingham* as trustee, and bequeathed £2,000, land in Lydiard Millicent, Wiltshire, and unspecified property in Gloucestershire to his son Neville on condition he lived at the ‘mansion house’ at Midgehall. He gave other land in Purton, Wiltshire, and the family’s property at Milton to another son, Thomas. He died on 23 Nov. 1726, aged 74, and is remembered by an inscription in Milborne church calling him ‘a dutiful son of the Church, and a loyal commonwealth’s man’.3

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: D. W. Hayton


  • 1. Hutchins, Dorset, i. 196; ii. 599–600; Burke, LG (1937), 1817.
  • 2. Vis. Wilts. (Harl. Soc. cv–cvi), 152–4; HMC Bath, i. 195; H. T. Dickinson, Bolingbroke, 74.
  • 3. Hutchins, ii. 599; PCC 72 Farrant.