BURRIDGE, John I (c.1651-1733), of Lyme Regis, Dorset
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Family and Education
b. c.1651, 1st s. of Robert Burridge, merchant, of Lyme Regis by Elizabeth, sis. of John Cogan of Bristol. educ. Wadham, Oxf. 13 Mar. 1668, aged 18. unm. suc. fa. 1676.1
Freeman, Lyme Regis 1676, capital burgess by 1679, mayor 1680–1, 1696–7, 1715–16.2
Burridge, a merchant in Lyme Regis engaged in the import of wine and linen, was one of the Dissenters who had supported James II’s attempt to introduce toleration. In the 1690 Parliament, he was listed by Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†) as a Whig and in December 1690 as one of those who would probably support him in the event of an attack in the Commons. Robert Harley* classified him as a doubtful supporter of the Country party in April 1691. In the spring of 1693 Samuel Grascome listed Burridge as a Court supporter with a place or pension, but no known office may be attributed to him. He stood down in 1695 and did not return to the House until the second general election of 1701, when he was listed as a Whig by Harley. He continued to represent Lyme Regis in the next three Parliaments. Forecast as liable to oppose the Tack, he did not vote for it on 28 Nov. 1704. An analysis of the 1705 Parliament classed him as a ‘Church- man’, and he voted against the Court candidate for Speaker on 25 Oct. Classed as a Whig both before and after the election of 1708, he voted the following year for the naturalization of the Palatines. On 21 Dec. 1709 he obtained a leave of absence of one month. He voted for the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell in 1710.
During these years Burridge seems to have become financially embarrassed and at least one reason for his second spell in Parliament was to secure immunity from imprisonment for debt. It was alleged that at one election, either in 1702 or 1705, some sheriff’s officers had lain in ambush at his house to arrest him, but that his supporters had intervened, beaten off the sheriff’s men and escorted him to the guildhall, where he was unanimously elected. By 1710 his position had improved sufficiently to enable him to withdraw in favour of his nephew, John Burridge II*. He died on 6 Sept. 1733, aged 82, and was buried in Lyme parish church. In his will he left most of his property to his brother Robert and to Robert’s elder son.3