BENNET, Philip (d.1761), of Widcombe Manor, Bath, Som. and Witham, Essex.
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Family and Education
1st s. of Philip Bennet by Jane, da. and h. of Scarborough Chapman, of Widcombe, Som. m. (1) Anna (d. 11 Apr. 1730), da. of Edmund Estcourt of Salcombe, Devon, s.p.; (2) Mary, da. of Thomas Hallam of Clacton, Essex, 1s.
Bennet inherited through his mother, the heiress of one of the chief and oldest Bath families, the manor of Widcombe, on the outskirts of the city, rebuilding the house in the Vanbrugh style about 1727.1 He was closely connected with Ralph Allen, ‘the man of Bath’, whose sister was married to his brother and whose property adjoined his own. Unsuccessful for Bath in 1734, he also stood for Shaftesbury, where he was returned but was unseated in favour of Stephen Fox on petition. Recovering his seat at a by-election in 1738, he was absent from the divisions on the Spanish convention in 1739 and the place bill in 1740. Returned for Bath in 1741, he voted with the Government in every recorded division. He did not stand in 1747, about which time he is said to have entered upon ‘a career of wild dissipation, squandering his fortune with reckless prodigality’.2
He died 8 Dec. 1761.