BAMPFYLDE, Sir Coplestone Warwick, 3rd Bt. (c.1689-1727), of Poltimore, nr. Exeter, Devon.
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Family and Education
b. c.1689, 1st s. of Col. Hugh Bampfylde of Warleigh, nr. Plymouth, Devon (d.v.p. s. of Sir Coplestone Bampfylde, 2nd Bt.†) by Mary, da. and h. of James Clifford of Kingsteignton, Devon. educ. Christ Church, Oxf. matric. 26 Jan. 1708, aged 18. m. June 1716, Gertrude, da. of Sir John Carew, 3rd Bt.*, wid. of Sir Godfrey Copley, 2nd Bt.*, 1s. 2da. suc. fa. 1691; gdfa. as 3rd Bt. 9 Feb. 1692; cos. Warwick Bampfylde to Hardington Park, Som. 1695.
Bampfylde’s father, ‘a young gentleman of the sweetest temper and the greatest hopes of any other in all those parts’, attended Prince William soon after his landing in 1688, but the family subsequently refused to accept the Revolution settlement. Personal tragedy struck shortly afterwards: in 1691 the colonel rode ‘hastily down a hill, fell from his horse and broke his neck’. Bampfylde’s grandfather, Sir Coplestone Bampfylde, was so grief-stricken that he gave in to gout which attacked ‘like an armed man surprising the castle of his heart’. Shortly before his death he had nevertheless ‘called his family together and left this in strict charge with them, “that they should always continue faithful to the religion of the established Church of England and be sure to pay their allegiance to the right heirs of the crown”’. The infant Bampfylde, who had inherited the estate and title, was cared for by his mother, ‘a lady of great worth and virtues’, who protected her son from a number of lawsuits disputing his property rights. One case concerned the widow of the 2nd baronet, who had persuaded her husband to bequeath part of the estate by will even though it had been entailed to Bampfylde’s father: a Chancery decision, made by Lord Somers (Sir John*), declared that Poltimore, which was ‘the chief seat of the family’, should remain in the hands of Bampfylde and his mother. A second case brought the family into conflict with Alexander Popham* over the estate of Henry Rogers, whose estate Popham had inherited, but which was held in trust by Warwick Bampfylde, whose estate had in turn passed to Sir Coplestone. When in 1696 a bill was introduced in the House to allow leases to be made during Bampfylde’s minority, Popham petitioned against it and was joined by William Blathwayt*, whose wife Mary had also been one of the beneficiaries of Rogers’ will. The estate bill therefore foundered, and had to be reintroduced in 1698 (again by fellow Devonian Nicholas Hooper*), this time successfully.1
Bampfylde entered Parliament as soon as his age made him eligible, representing Exeter, which lay only four miles from Poltimore. He was marked as a Tory on the ‘Hanover list’, and was included among the ‘worthy patriots’ who, in the first session, detected the mismanagements of the previous administration. On 27 Jan. 1711 he was granted leave of absence on health grounds. He was one of a group of High Tories, including Sir John Trevelyan, 2nd Bt.*, and Sir Francis Warre, 1st Bt.*, who were entertained by Henry Seymour Portman* that summer and, like them, had become a member of the October Club; but on 18 June 1713 he voted against the French commerce bill. The previous month he had also presented an address from his own locality of Bradninch, which thanked the Queen for her ‘good intentions towards the House of Hanover’, as well as fulminating against the ‘groundless jealousies contrived by a faction’. This activity might suggest that he belonged to the Hanoverian wing of his party; but his opposition to the commerce bill may equally well have stemmed from Exeter’s anxiety (as stated in the town’s petition of 4 June) lest there be ‘any obstruction to the exportation of woollen manufactures of this kingdom to Portugal’; and it may have been the influence of Francis Gwyn*, co-presenter of the Bradninch address, rather than Bampfylde’s, that ensured the Hanoverian tone. Certainly the government suspected Bampfylde of Jacobite sympathies, for he was taken into custody during the Fifteen (though retained as a j.p.) and included in 1721 on a list sent to the Pretender of presumed sympathizers. He seemed to confirm such hopes in 1722, after the discovery of the 1722 plot, when he sheltered Atterbury’s secretary, Thomas Carte.2
Elected for Devon in 1713, Bampfylde was classed as a Tory in both the Worsley list and another comparison of the 1713 and 1715 Parliaments. He continued to represent the county until 1727. In 1716 he married Gertrude, the sister of his close friend Sir William Carew, 5th Bt.*, who had also been placed in custody in 1715. Bampfylde died on 7 Oct. 1727, and provided in his will for a mourning ring to be given ‘unto all and every clergyman’ that attended his funeral. He left £2,500 to his wife, £20,000 to his daughter Mary, and the estate, in trust under his brother John†, Sir William Carew, John Worth* and Sir Hugh Acland, 6th Bt.†, to his son Richard, who was himself elected for Exeter in 1743.3
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: Mark Knights
- 1. J. Prince, Worthies of Devon (1701), 124–5; HMC 7th Rep. 416; Luttrell, Brief Relation, ii. 252; Vivian, Vis. Devon, 40; BL, Dept. of Printed Bks. 1560/4372, 4376; HMC Lords, i. 400; ii. 532; PCC 70 Irby.
- 2. Nottingham Univ. Lib. Manvers mss 4376, Gifford letterbk. Portman to Gifford, 19 Aug. 1711; London Gazette, 23–26 May 1713; Monod thesis, 523; L. K. J. Glassey, Appt. JPs, 250.
- 3. PCC 134 Brook; Morice mss at Bank of England, Sir Nicholas† to Humphrey Morice*, 14 Sept. 1708, 256, William Pole* to [–], 13 Nov. 1715.