BISHOPP, Sir Cecil, 4th Bt. (c.1635-1705), of Parham, Suss. and Culham, Oxon.
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Family and Education
b. c.1635, 3rd but 2nd surv. s. of Sir Edward Bishopp, 2nd Bt., of Parham by Lady Mary Tufton, da. of Nicholas Tufton, 1st Earl of Thanet. m. 17 June 1666, Sarah (bur. 12 Mar. 1680), da. and h. of George Bury of Culham, 2s. (1 d.v.p.) 3da. suc. bro. July 1652.1
Commr. for assessment, Suss. 1663-80, 1689, Berks. 1673-4; j.p. Suss. 1665-Mar. 1689, Aug. 1689-d., commr. for recusants 1675, dep. lt. 1685-?89.
Bishopp’s great-grandfather acquired a good estate in Sussex about the middle of the 16th century, partly by marriage and partly by purchase, and his grandfather sat for Gatton and Steyning under Elizabeth. His father, who represented Bramber in the Long Parliament until his election was declared void on 16 Dec. 1640, was from the first ‘very opposite’ to Parliament in the Civil War. He was taken prisoner at the surrender of Arundel in January 1644, and fined £4,790 on an estate of £1,500 p.a. Bishopp’s uncle, Col. Henry Bishopp of Henfield, was an active royalist conspirator during the Interregnum, but Bishopp himself does not seem to have been involved.2
Bishopp was returned to the Cavalier Parliament at a by-election for Bramber in 1662. An inactive Member, he was appointed to only nine committees, and thrice defaulted on calls of the House. On 15 Oct. 1667 he was appointed to the committee of elections and privileges for the only time; presumably he expected a subpoena from Chancery, in respect of which he successfully claimed privilege a month later. His most important committee was for settling the hearth-tax (27 Apr. 1675). Despite his inactivity and his royalist background Shaftesbury marked him ‘worthy’ in 1677.3
Under the terms of his marriage settlement Bishopp was obliged to reside on his wife’s property in Oxfordshire. After her death he appears to have divided his time between his two estates, and he continued to hold local office in Sussex, but he did not stand again. In his later years he became a Roman Catholic, replying in the affirmative to the lord lieutenant’s questions on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws. James II in exile promised him a peerage, but he accepted the Revolution and was restored to the bench. He died on 3 June 1705, and was buried at Parham. His grandson conformed soon after succeeding to the baronetcy, and was elected for Penryn in 1727.4