PARSONS, Henry (1687-1739), of Wickham Bishops, nr. Maldon, Essex.
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Family and Education
Purveyor, Chelsea Hospital 1714-d.; commr. of victualling 1727-d.; assistant, R. African Co. 1728-d.
Parsons, a London merchant, was appointed by his friend, Walpole, to be master baker at Chelsea Hospital, where ‘he became known as the purveyor, an unofficial position ... reputed to be worth £500 p.a.’.2 He secured from Walpole the contracts for meat, butter and cheese, as well as bread, and sold him the hospital’s victualling bills at five per cent discount.3 In 1717 he was heavily in debt, having borrowed from his father £4,000 as his share of his family’s estate, as well as owing ‘several great sums as yet unpaid’.4 After contesting Maldon unsuccessfully in 1722, he petitioned but withdrew his petition at Walpole’s instance.5 Brought in for Lostwithiel in 1727, he vacated his seat on being appointed commissioner of the victualling office, which, together with the purveyorship, was said to have brought his emoluments to £2,000 p.a.6 In 1727, instead of standing for re-election at Lost-withiel, he was returned unopposed at Maldon, where he managed the government interest.7 He steadily supported the Administration till his death, 29 Dec. 1739.
Ref Volumes: 1715-1754
Author: Eveline Cruickshanks
PCC 19 Browne.