PARKER, Sir Philip, 1st Bt. (c.1625-90), of Erwarton, Suff.
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Family and Education
b. c.1625, 1st s. of Sir Philip Parker of Erwarton by Dorothy, da. and h. of Sir Robert Gawdy of Claxton, Norf. educ. G. Inn 1641. m. (1) 9 Apr. 1649, Rebecca, da. of Sir Walter Long, 1st Bt., of Whaddon, Wilts., 4s. 3da.; (2) 7 Nov. 1661, aged 36, Hannah, da. and h. of Philip Bacon of Woolverstone, Suff., wid. of Thomas Bedingfield of Darsham, Suff., 3da.; (3) 31 July 1677, Sarah, da. of Joachim Matthews of Great Gobions, Essex, 1s. 3da. cr. Bt. 16 July 1661; suc. fa. 1675.1
J.p. Suff. 1657-Apr. 1688, 1689-d., Essex 1657-?Mar. 1660, commr. for assessment, Suff. Jan. 1660-80, 1689-d., militia Mar. 1660, capt. of militia horse Apr. 1660, col. of militia ft. 1675-Feb. 1688, 1689-d., commr. for recusants 1675; freeman, Harwich 1679; dep. lt. Suff. 1682-Feb. 1688.2
Parker came of a family established in Suffolk since the reign of Richard III, but his grandfather, who sat for the county in 1601, was the first to enter Parliament. His father, a ship-money sheriff, was knight of the shire in the Long Parliament until Pride’s Purge, a Presbyterian elder and a committeeman, though the £800 at which he was assessed by the committee for the advance of money in 1643 was not completely paid until 1654. He remained a j.p. until 1653, and held office again after the Restoration, though he was not politically active.3
Parker’s residence at Erwarton lay just across the estuary from Harwich, for which he was returned at the second general election of 1679. A moderately active Member of the second Exclusion Parliament, and presumably a court supporter, he served on four committees, of which the most important were to consider the proceedings of the judges in Westminster Hall and the bill for regulating parliamentary elections. He was re-elected in 1681, but left no trace on the records of the Oxford Parliament. In 1685 he solicited the nomination from James II, who replied that he thought Parker had represented Ipswich, but that he would ask Samuel Pepys ‘to quit his pretences’ at Harwich. Pepys, nervous about his ‘supposed election’ at Sandwich, refused the King’s request, but James promised to recommend Parker to the Sandwich electors, and he was duly returned after a contest at the by-election caused by Pepys’s decision to retain his Harwich seat. His only committee was on the bill for licensing hackney coaches. He presumably opposed James’s policy on the Penal Laws as he was omitted from the lieutenancy in February 1688. He offered to stand for Harwich in 1689 but he was not seriously considered. After the Revolution he was active as a militia officer. His estates were heavily encumbered with debt and in November 1689 he wrote to his sister, complaining of ill health and begging for a loan of £10. He was unsuccessful at Harwich in February 1690 and died in the following month. His grandson sat for Harwich as a Whig from 1715 to 1734.4
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Authors: Gillian Hampson / Basil Duke Henning
- 1. Vis. Norf. (Harl. Soc. lxxxv), 91; St. Giles in the Fields par. reg.; PCC 48 Dyke.
- 2. Merc. Pub. 22 Apr. 1660; Eg. 1626, f. 42; HMC 13th Rep. IV, 466, 467; CSP Dom. 1666-7, p. 549; 1676-7, p. 588; 1685, p. 166; Harwich bor. recs. 98/4/58.
- 3. Copinger, Suff. Manors, vi. 18; County of Suff. Divided (1647), 1; Keeler, Long Parl. 295; Cal. Comm. Adv. Money, 302.
- 4. HMC Montagu, 190; HMC Buccleuch, i. 341-2; Bodl. Rawl. mss, A 179, ff. 144, 145, 149; Kent AO, SA/AC8, f. 251; Harwich Guildhall, borough mss, bdle. 69, f. 16; Copinger, vi. 37, 109, 123; Eg. 2410, f. 21; East Suff. RO, 105/2/11.