BLIGH, Hon. John (1719-1781), of Cobham Hall, nr. Gravesend, Kent.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1741 - 1747

Family and Education

b. 1 Oct. 1719, 2nd s. of John Bligh, M.P. [I], 1st Earl of Darnley [I], by Theodosia Hyde, suo jure 10th Baroness Clifton of Leighton Bromswold, da. of Edward Hyde, M.P., 3rd Earl of Clarendon. educ. Westminster 1727-35; Merton, Oxf. 1735; Grand Tour (Italy) c.1740. m. 11 Sept. 1766, Mary, da. and h. of John Stoyte, barrister, of Street, co. Westmeath, 3s. 4da. suc. bro. Edward as 3rd Earl 22 July 1747.

Offices Held

M.P. [I] 1739-47.


Bligh’s father, a wealthy Irish landowner, married the heiress to large but financially encumbered Kentish estates, including Cobham Hall, then much dilapidated. Clearing the debts with the income from the Irish estates, he and his sons restored and extended Cobham Hall.1

Returned in 1741 for Maidstone on the Aylesford interest as an opposition Whig, he voted against the Government on the election of the chairman of the elections committee in December. After the appointment of his brother, Lord Darnley, to be gentleman of the bedchamber to the Prince of Wales in Oct. 1742, he attached himself to Leicester House, voting for the Hanoverians in 1744 and 1746. At the general election of 1747 he was one of the candidates ‘to be brought into Parliament by His Royal Highness who are not able to bring themselves in’. Put up for Tregony, paying his own election expenses,2 he was defeated and did not stand again. He died 31 July 1781.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: A. N. Newman


  • 1. E. Wingfield-Stratford, Lords of Cobham Hall, passim.
  • 2. HMC Fortescue, i. 108, 119, 122.