BLACKMORE, Abraham (c.1677-1732), of the Inner Temple
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
b. c.1677, 2nd s. of Thomas Blackmore of St. Martin Pomeroy, London, common councilman of London 1683, 1688–91, by Elizabeth Meredith of St. Giles, Cripplegate, London. educ. Sherborne sch.; adm. Trinity Coll. Camb. 21 Jan. 1693, aged 15, BA 1697; I. Temple 1694, called 1700. m. lic. 26 July 1713, Edith Stutford of Selworthy, Som.1
Commr. public accts. 1714.
Blackmore’s father, a distant relation of the physician Sir Richard Blackmore, had been a Tory common councilman of London who in 1690 was listed as one of those who should be consulted should the members of ‘the Church party’ be approached for a loan to finance the defence of a French invasion. Blackmore snr. had also been elected alderman in 1698 but passed over by the court. At his return for Mitchell in 1710, Abraham Blackmore was classed as a Tory in the ‘Hanover list’. On 18 Apr. he told against the retention of the existing managers of the post office in the dominions. By this time Blackmore had joined the October Club, and on 20 Apr. he came fifth in the election of commissioners for the resumption of crown grants made since 1689, a measure sponsored by the Club. The bill, however, did not pass. Given this record it is no surprise that Blackmore was listed among the ‘worthy patriots’ who in the 1710–11 session detected the mismanagements of the previous administration. During the 1711–12 session he told on two occasions: the first in favour of the expulsion of Adam de Cardonnel for peculation while serving as the Duke of Marlborough’s (John Churchill†) secretary (19 Feb.), and the second for a new duty upon the importation of black latten and prepared metals (29 Apr.). The 1713 session saw Blackmore tell, on 9 May 1713, against adjourning consideration of the report of the commissioners of accounts into the conduct of the Earl of Wharton (Hon. Thomas*), and six days later he told against the attempt to tack a place bill to the malt tax. The following day he was a teller against inserting a clause reflecting upon the family of the Scottish Jacobite George Lockhart* into a motion of censure against Wharton. His loyalty to the ministry was demonstrated on 18 June when he told in favour of engrossing the French commerce bill, being listed as a supporter of the bill in the printed division list.2
At the 1713 election Blackmore was ‘handsomely and readily chosen’ for Newton as part of the deal between Newton’s patron Peter Legh† and the Earl of Oxford (Robert Harley*), by which Legh’s brother Thomas II* received a place in return for granting Oxford the right to choose Legh’s successor at Newton. Blackmore spoke on 18 Mar. 1714 for the motion that Richard Steele* be made to withdraw while the charges against him were heard, and subsequently told for the majority in favour of Steele’s expulsion. He told on a further three occasions during this session: against allowing Lord Barrymore (James Barry*) to present a new petition on the Wigan election (6 Apr.); against adjourning the hearing of the Southwark election petition (15 June); and against the attempts of the Hanoverian Tories to recommit a motion that Thomas Heath II* had been duly elected for Harwich (29 June). On 17 June Blackmore had gained election, as one of the October Club’s slate, as commissioner of accounts, finishing fifth in the poll with 184 votes. Inactive in the second session of 1714, Blackmore wrote to Peter Legh in December that he had ‘determined with myself to quit the public scene’, claiming that his withdrawal was due to ‘a constitution that begins to feel the effects of living almost continually in this town [London]’, and that he had resolved ‘not only to leave the Parliament, but England too, for a year or two’. Blackmore instead pressed his political ally William Shippen* to apply to Legh for his seat, and Blackmore does not appear to have been a candidate at any subsequent election. He died in the Fleet prison on 18 May 1732, ‘having cut his [own] throat’.3
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Authors: Eveline Cruickshanks / Richard Harrison
- 1. J. R. Woodhead, Rulers of London (London and Mdx. Arch. Soc.), 32; Soc. of Geneal. par. reg. index.
- 2. Woodhead, 32; Beaven, Aldermen, i. 151; Dorset RO, Fox-Strangways mss D124/box 235 bdle. 4, Peter Rich† to Sir Stephen Fox*, 17 Mar. 1690; Huntington Lib. Q. xxxiii. 171; D. Szechi, Jacobitism and Tory Pol. 77, 81–82, 130; Daily Courant, 7 Apr. 1712; Bull. IHR, xxxix. 64.
- 3. John Rylands Univ. Lib. Manchester, Legh of Lyme mss corresp. Peter Legh to John Ward III*, c.21 Aug. 1713, Blackmore to Legh, 9 Dec. 1714, Shippen to same, 9 Dec. 1714; HMC Portland, v. 331; Douglas diary (Hist. of Parl. trans.), 18 Mar. 1714; Add. 70305, ballot list, c. June 1714; NLS, Advocates’ mss, Wodrow pprs. letters Quarto 8, f. 138; Gent. Mag. 1732, p. 775.