SKIPWITH, Sir Fulwar, 2nd Bt. (1676-1728), of Newbold Revel, Stretton-under-Foss, Warws.
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Family and Education
bap. 24 June 1676, o. s. of Humberston Skipwith (d.v.p. 1677 1st s. of Sir Fulwar Skipwith, 1st Bt., of Newbold Revel) by Elizabeth, da. and h. of Sir George Cony. m. lic. 18 Aug. 1703, Mary (d. 1738), da. of Sir Francis Dashwood, 1st Bt.*, 3s. 2da. suc. gdfa. as 2nd Bt. 18 Nov. 1677.1
Skipwith’s paternal grandfather, a Royalist naval commander during the Civil War, was a younger son of a long-established Lincolnshire family. He acquired his Warwickshire estates by marriage, and settled there, though in the year of his death he purchased from a second cousin one of his family’s Lincolnshire properties, at Ketsby. The 2nd baronet did not, however, return to his ancestral county, and prior to his marriage conveyed these lands to his prospective father-in-law Sir Francis Dashwood and another trustee, to be sold. The intention was that the sum of £4,000 from the proceeds be made over to Skipwith himself, with the remainder invested in land, presumably for his future wife’s benefit. In fact the sale did not take place until 1710, and at a price of only £3,200. By contrast, Skipwith’s attachment to Warwickshire, where in 1716 he was to build a new house, ‘a very handsome pile’, extended to the ambition to serve as one of its shire knights. In 1705, after a proposal to put him up at Coventry had failed, his father-in-law tested the water for him in the county with an approach to Lord Brooke (Fulke Greville†), but as it became clear that Brooke was pre-engaged to the outgoing Tory knights, and that the wide circle of greater gentry would ‘be long ’ere they requite him by making him a leader of their service’, he withdrew, claiming ‘so great a respect for the preserving friendship with the major part of the gentry’. His opportunity finally arrived in 1713, when he was elected at Coventry on the interest of his nephew and ward, the 3rd Lord Craven. A strong Churchman, having in 1710 waited on Dr Sacheverell on his visit to Craven at Coombe, Skipwith was described in the Worsley list as a Tory who would often vote with the Whigs.2
Skipwith was one of those Tories whose names were forwarded to the Pretender in 1721 as probable supporters in the event of a rising. Having lost his seat in 1715, he was defeated twice more at Coventry in 1722: in the general election, declared void by the Commons, and in the ensuing by-election. Thereafter, his aristocratic connexions kept him in the forefront of Tory society in Warwickshire: in 1724, for example, he accompanied Lords Craven and Denbigh on a drunken escapade following Rugby races. He died at Bath, 14 May 1728, charging his estates with legacies of £2,000 each to his younger sons, and portions of £3,000 each for his daughters, as compared with the £10,000 his own sister had reputedly brought with her at her marriage in 1697 to the 2nd Lord Craven.3
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: D. W. Hayton
- 1. Vis. Warws. (Harl. Soc. lxii), 116; W. O. Massingberd, Hist. Ormsby-cum-Ketsby, 112a; F. Skipwith, Brief Hist. of Skipwiths, 27; Burke, Extinct Baronetcies, 488.
- 2. HMC 5th Rep. 366; Dugdale, Warws. i. 83; Massingberd, 110–11, 307–8; Lincs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. lii), 892; Pevsner, Buildings of Eng. Warws. 421; W. A. Speck, Tory and Whig, 53; Add. 61496, ff. 84, 87; Staffs. RO, Bradford mss John Bridgeman’s letterbk. f. 67, John to Sir Orlando Bridgeman, 2nd Bt.*, 3 Jan. 1713; Folger Shakespeare Lib. Newdigate newsletter 8 Jan. 1710.
- 3. P. S. Fritz, Ministers and Jacobitism 1715–45, p. 152; Wentworth Pprs. 452; Boyer, Pol. State, xxxv. 516; PCC 224 Brook; Luttrell, Brief Relation, iv. 263.