RIGBY, Edward (c.1653-1706), of Preston, Lancs. and Gray’s Inn

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



Feb. - Nov. 1701
15 May 1705 - 2 May 1706

Family and Education

b. c.1653, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Edward Rigby† of Gray’s Inn and Preston by 1st w. Alice, da. of Sir Thomas Wilsford† of Ileden, Kent.  educ. Preston sch.; Christ’s, Camb. adm. 21 Apr. 1670, aged 16; G. Inn 1670, called 1678, ancient 1702, bencher 1706. unmsuc. fa. 1686.1

Offices Held

Freeman, Preston 1679.2


Rigby’s father, a lawyer, had represented Preston after the Restoration, voting for the Exclusion bill in 1679, and had been steward of the borough court. Rigby contested Preston unsuccessfully in 1689, and again in 1690 when he was said to have ‘quitted his interests to the chancellor [of the duchy of Lancaster]’. He was dissuaded from standing for the borough at the by-election of 1690 by the Earl of Derby, and declared his support for the candidacy of Sir Edward Chisenhall*. Despite these setbacks Rigby appears to have maintained an interest at Preston, for example donating a street lamp to the borough in 1699, and in the first election of 1701 headed the poll. He proved to be an inactive Member, and at the next election was defeated. He stood again in 1705, when the Duke of Hamilton, a local magnate, reported that Rigby was one of two candidates ‘in low esteem in this place’. Hamilton also claimed that ‘if anybody of tolerable character had stood [against Rigby] they had infallibly have claimed it’. Despite Hamilton’s disapproval of him, Rigby appears to have been a Tory, being classed as a ‘Churchman’ and voting on 25 Oct. 1705 against the Court candidate for Speaker. He died suddenly on 2 May 1706. He left his property, including a mansion in Goosnargh, to his brother Charles, a lawyer employed by the duchy of Lancaster and who was active on behalf of Tory candidates in Preston in 1710 and Lancashire in 1713, and his sister Lucy.3

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Authors: Eveline Cruickshanks / Richard Harrison


  • 1. Vis. Lancs. (Chetham Soc. ser. 1, lxxxviii), 245–6; H. Fishwick, Hist. Preston, 172; Dobson, Parlty. Rep. Preston, 21–22; Lancs. RO, WCW, will of Edward Rigby.
  • 2. Preston Guild Rolls (Lancs. and Cheshire Rec. Soc. ix), 134.
  • 3. Bellingham Diary ed. Hewitson, 41, 107; Lancs. RO, Kenyon mss DDKe 9/131/36, Thomas Winckley to Derby, 27 Apr. 1690; Lancs. RO, Preston bor. recs. CNP/3/1/3, pp. 27–28; Bagot mss at Levens Hall, Hamilton to James Grahme*, 8 Apr. 1705; Staffs. RO, Sutherland mss D.868/7/3a, Hamilton to Ld. Gower (Sir John Leveson Gower, 5th Bt.*), 22 Apr. 1705; NLS, ms 8262, f. 42; Hamilton mss at Lennoxlove bdle. 4205, Charles Rigby to Hamilton, 9 Sept. 1712; Fishwick, Hist. Goosnargh, 149.