BRYDGES (BRIDGES), George (1678-1751), of Avington, Hants.
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Family and Education
b. July 1678, o. s. of George Rodney Brydges (Bridges)*. educ. ?Winchester 1686–91; ?travelled abroad (Holland) 1696. m. lic. 2 Dec. 1712, Anne, da. and coh. of Sir Joseph Woolfe (d. 1711), Mercer, of Hackney, Mdx., sheriff of London 1703–4 and alderman 1705–d., s.p. suc. fa. 1714; uncle Harry Brydges at Keynsham, Som. 1728.1
Freeman, Lymington 1701, Winchester 1701, Portsmouth 1710.2
Master keeper of south bailiwick, New Forest by 1704–aft.1720.3
Assured by his parentage of a privileged place in the first rank of Hampshire Whigs, Brydges represented his party at the Whitchurch election of 1708 and, although defeated at the poll after a stiff contest, was subsequently seated on petition by the Whig majority in the House. For the most part it has proved impossible to disentangle the record of his parliamentary activity from those of his various namesakes in the Commons, including his father. The exceptional instances are his support for the naturalization of the Palatines in 1709, his vote the following year in favour of the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell, and a grant of leave of absence (for ten days) made to him on 16 Feb. 1710. He did not stand at the 1710 general election, when he is found tendering moral support to Whig candidates at Andover, nor in 1713, but, having presented a statue of Queen Anne to the corporation of Winchester, he succeeded his father as Member there in a by-election in March 1714, and afterwards converted the seat into a lifetime possession with comparatively little difficulty. Although mistakenly classed as a Tory in a list of the 1715 Parliament, he remained, as he had indeed always been, a staunch Whig, and under the Hanoverians ‘served . . . Administration long and . . . affectionately’.4
Brydges died on 13 May 1751. He was ‘found drowned in the canal of his gardens at Avington . . . supposed by accident, [he] being 72 and paralytic’, and was buried in the parish church. The bulk of his estate, the value of which was now estimated at £6,000 p.a., and which comprised his father’s property in Hampshire, Middlesex (in Covent Garden) and Wiltshire, with property in Ireland, together with the family’s ancestral estates in Somerset, inherited from an uncle, was entailed upon his distant cousin the 2nd Duke of Chandos (Henry Brydges†), whose father, Hon. James Brydges*, had spent many years in cultivating the connexion in expectation of just such an eventuality. A portion, however, was reserved for another cousin, the naval captain George Brydges Rodney†, whom Brydges had helped to bring up and who was to go on to win fame as an admiral and in consequence a peerage as Lord Rodney.5
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: D. W. Hayton
- 1. HMC Bath, iii. 167; Winchester Long Rolls 1653–1721 ed. Holgate, 53, 56, 58, 61, 63, 65–66; CSP Dom. 1696, pp. 43, 53; Fac. Off. Mar. Lic. (Index Lib. xxxiii), 275; Beaven, Aldermen, ii. 120; PCC 223 Young; GEC Baronetage, i. 132; St. Helen’s Bishopsgate (Harl. Soc. Reg. xxxi), 57, 354; Lysons, Environs (1792–6), iii. 287, 299.
- 2. E. King, Old Times Revisited, 192; Hants RO, Winchester bor. recs. ordnance bk. 7, f. 174; R. East, Portsmouth Recs. 376.
- 3. Cal. Treas. Bks. xix. 440; Cal. Treas. Pprs. 1720–8, p. 36.
- 4. Hants RO, Jervoise mss, Stephen Barton to [Thomas Jervoise*], 24 Aug. 1710; Wilks, Hants, i. 16, 20; W. A. Speck, Tory and Whig, 125.
- 5. Gent. Mag. 1751, p. 236; C. H. C. and M. I. Baker, James Brydges, 1st Duke of Chandos, 218, 455; Pevsner, Buildings of Eng. Hants, 84; Wilks, 42; DNB (Rodney, George Brydges).