HEDGER, Nicholas (d. 1708), of Portsmouth, Hants.
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Family and Education
?s. of Henry Hedger of Portsmouth. m. 2da.
Freeman, Portsmouth 1659, alderman 1661–82, 1689–d., mayor 1673–4, 1689–90.
Hedger, a mercer of Portsmouth, was probably the son of Henry Hedger, who had been admitted a freeman of the town in 1644. He was elected a freeman himself in 1659, subsequently serving as alderman and mayor. He was omitted from the list of aldermen named in Charles II’s charter of 1682, and after the Revolution resumed his place on the corporation, though he was unable to act as a magistrate: on 26 Jan. 1689 it was noted in the town’s session book that
Mr Nicholas Hedger, one of the justices of the peace here, being so elected near three months since, having neglected to qualify himself according to the directions of the law in that behalf, and now having not time enough to do it doth refuse to act any longer in that office.
In the previous September he had been elected mayor. He resigned in February 1690 to contest the parliamentary seat, and was successful. Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†) classed him as a Whig in the list of the new Parliament and Robert Harley* included him as doubtful or perhaps a Country party supporter in a list of April 1691. Successful again for Portsmouth in 1695, Hedger initially continued in opposition, being forecast as a probable opponent of the Court in the division of 31 Jan. 1696 on the proposed council of trade, a division he probably missed, having been granted two weeks’ leave of absence on 29 Jan. On the other hand, he was among the early subscribers to the Association, and voted in March in favour of fixing the price of guineas at 22s. He seems to have carried this new-found attachment to government into the following session and beyond, voting on 25 Nov. 1696 for the attainder of Sir John Fenwick†, and was also noted in 1698 as being a Court supporter. He relinquished his seat however at the 1698 election.
In Anne’s reign Hedger continued to be active in local politics, and in the party disputes which split Portsmouth corporation after 1703 he sided with the Tory aldermen. He died in September 1708. In his will, in which his daughter Anne Shales, widow of a Portsmouth alderman, was named as residuary legatee, he mentioned a manor and farm in Alderstoke, Hampshire, property in Portsmouth and other land in Fareham.1
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: Paula Watson
- 1. PCC 250 Barrett; R. East, Portsmouth Recs. 194, 197, 315–16, 328, 353, 355, 762–72; Portsmouth RO, CE1/10, 11, 12.