FIREBRACE, Sir Cordell, 3rd Bt. (1712-59), of Long Melford, Suff.
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Family and Education
b. 20 Feb. 1712, o.s. of Sir Charles Firebrace, 2nd Bt., of Stoke Golding, Leics. by Margaret, da. of Sir John Cordell, 2nd Bt., M.P., of Long Melford, sis. and h. of Sir John Cordell, 3rd Bt., M.P. educ. St. John’s, Oxf. 1729. m. 26 Oct. 1737, Bridget, da. of Philip Bacon of Ipswich, wid. of Edward Evers of Ipswich, and Washingley, Lincs., s.p. suc. fa 1727.
Sir Cordell Firebrace was the grandson of a London vintner. His father acquired by marriage the Cordell estates, including Long Melford. Returned unopposed for the county as a Tory, he was absent, probably owing to illness, from the divisions on the Spanish convention in 1739 and the place bill in 1740. Re-elected unopposed in 1741, he voted against the Government in all recorded divisions except on the Hanoverians in 1746, from which he was absent. On 14 Apr. 1747 he spoke against the bill to abolish hereditary jurisdictions in Scotland.1
During the contested county election of 1747 it was claimed on behalf of Firebrace that he had discharged his trust ‘with great honour in the House of Commons’; that he ‘did associate and subscribe to support his Majesty’ with his ‘life and fortune’ during the late rebellion; and that insinuations to the contrary were unjustified.2 The 2nd Lord Egmont, who regarded him as one of ‘the heads of the Tories’,3 wrote of him in his electoral survey of c.1749-50:
Is sincerely with us; as he is the greatest instrument to bring about what has hitherto happened with the Tories, so he is the man that will be most instrumental to keep them in a proper disposition. He has solemnly protested to me that he never was in the least disposed to the Pretender’s interest. Yet he has a great deal of weight, as much as any body, with the Duke of Beaufort. He has a good estate, £3,500 per annum and £30,000 in money.
Egmont adds that Firebrace had a very considerable interest at Ipswich, ‘which he will give to the Prince, as in all other boroughs in this county’. In Egmont’s lists of persons to receive office on Frederick’s accession, Firebrace figures as a lord of the Admiralty. His only recorded speech in this Parliament was made in the debate of 19 Feb. 1753 on Nova Scotia.4 He died 28 Mar. 1759.