COXE, Richard Hippisley (1742-86), of Ston Easton, Som.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1768 - 1784

Family and Education

b. 22 Sept. 1742, 1st s. of John Hippisley Coxe of Ston Easton by Mary, da. of Stephen Northleigh of Peamore, Devon. educ. Westminster 1754-9; Ch. Ch. Oxf. 1759-63. unm. suc. fa. 29 May 1769.

Offices Held


In 1768 Coxe stood jointly for Somerset with Sir Charles Kemys Tynte against John Trevelyan, who declined the poll. Coxe’s share of the election expenses came to over £2,600.1

In Parliament Coxe voted with the Rockinghams, although Rockingham had opposed him at his election.2 He was active in the House, especially during his earlier years. On 12 Feb. 1770, as one who ‘desires the character of a plain, honest country gentleman’, he seconded Dowdeswell’s motion to disfranchise revenue officers: ‘if ... Charles I had Government boroughs, if he had the disposal of so many lucrative boards, he would have died with his head upon his shoulders’; and on 2 Mar. 1772 Coxe seconded Montagu’s motion against the observance of 30 Jan. (when Walpole, Last Jnls. i. 39, described him as ‘a young man of very quick parts’). On 7 Feb. 1771 and 27 Feb. 1772 he seconded Savile’s motions on the rights of electors; on 7 Mar. 1771 he supported Dowdeswell’s motion on the rights of juries: etc.3 He spoke on 15 Feb. 1775 against the army estimates; and on 11 Mar. 1778, having just returned from France, he averred that war was imminent.4 He was re-elected without a contest in 1774 and 1780. About 1780 his health began to fail, and he is not known to have voted in any division after that year; but he spoke on two occasions: 16 Apr. 1782, for Crewe’s bill to disfranchise revenue officers, and on 12 June, on Mahon’s motion about election expenses.5 In 1783 he was thought to be dying; and he did not stand in 1784. He was ‘found to be lunatic under a writ de lunatico inquirendo’, and his brothers were put in charge of his person and estates by an order of the court of Chancery, 9 Dec. 1784.6

He died 26 Aug. 1786.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Sir Lewis Namier


  • 1. Kemys Tynte mss, Taunton RO.
  • 2. Rockingham to Newcastle, 30 Oct. 1767, Add. 32986, ff. 173-4.
  • 3. Cavendish’s ‘Debates’, Egerton 220, pp. 55-58; 234, pp. 216-17; 224, p. 108; 225, pp. 420-2.
  • 4. Stockdale, viii. 123.
  • 5. Debrett, vii, 51, 228.
  • 6. A. E. Hippisley, Notes on Hippisley Fam. ed. Fitzroy Jones, 118.