BRAGGE, William (1640-1713), of Sadborow, Thorncombe, Devon.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Oct. 1679

Family and Education

bap. 5 Oct. 1640, 1st s. of William Bragge of Sadborow by Anne, da. and coh. of Edward Powlett of Goathurst Som. educ. Hart Hall, Oxf. 1655; I. Temple 1657. m. 11 June 1663, Mary, da. of Francis Drewe of Broadhembury Grange, Devon, 1s. 5da. suc. fa. 1641, uncle Richard Bragge of Sadborow 1649.1

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Devon 1667-80, 1689-90, j.p. 1671-July 1688, Oct. 1688- d. , freeman, Lyme Regis 1679; maj. of militia ft. Devon by 1680, sheriff 1685-6.2


The founder of the Bragge family was a local clothier who bought Sadborow in 1576. Bragge’s uncle was a Cavalier, but he was brought up under the guardianship of his step-father Henry Trenchard, a Wiltshire Puritan and uncle of William Trenchard. No doubt this ensured the speedy desequestration of the Sadborow estate without fine; but Bragge seems to have retained the Anglican and royalist traditions of his own family. He may have stood for Bridport at the second election of 1679 at the instance of John Pole, who was colonel of his militia regiment. He was re-elected in 1681 after a contest with Sir Robert Henley, 2nd Bt. He left no trace on the records of either Parliament, and did not stand in 1685, but presumably opposed exclusion. He followed the lead of Sir Edward Seymour in reserving his position over the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws in 1688, and was removed from the commission of the peace. Although he exercised his vote at Lyme Regis in 1689 in favour of the unsuccessful Tory candidate, and held office after the Revolution, he did not stand again. He was buried at Thorncombe on 24 Mar. 1713, the only member of his family to sit in Parliament.3

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: John. P. Ferris


  • 1. Dorset Nat. Hist. and Arch. Soc. Procs. lxiv. 59, 66.
  • 2. Lyme Regis mss B1/10, f. 236.
  • 3. C. H. Mayo, Dorset Standing Committee, 30, 535; Som. and Dorset N. and Q. xii. 53; CJ, ix. 707; x. 141-2.