ISHAM, Sir Edmund, 6th Bt. (1690-1772), of Lamport Hall, Northants.

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



31 Mar. 1737 - 15 Dec. 1772

Family and Education

b. 18 Dec. 1690, 4th s. of Sir Justinian Isham, 4th Bt. and bro. of Sir Justinian Isham, 5th Bt.. educ. Rugby 1699-1707; Wadham, Oxf. 1707. m. (1) 17 Feb. 1735, Elizabeth (d. 19 July 1748), da. of Edward Wood of Littleton, Mdx., s.p.; (2) 4 May 1751, Philippa, da. of Richard Gee of Orpington, Kent, s.p. suc. bro. as 6th Bt. 5 Mar. 1737.

Offices Held

Fellow of Magdalen, Oxf. 1720-36; adv. Doctors’ Commons 1724; judge adv. court of Admiralty 1731-41.


A younger son, expected to earn a living, Edmund Isham embarked on an academic and legal career. On succeeding to the title and estates he took it for granted that he would be adopted as the Tory candidate for the county. Within a week of his mother’s death he wrote to his wife to apply to a Northamptonshire landowner, Lady Betty Germain, for her interest, explaining:

I dare not apply to Lady Betty personally by letter, which I know would be proper, because the gentlemen as yet have not met, and I am not publicly to presume they will nominate me.

Always a dandy - at Oxford his laundress had complained that he wore ‘four, many times five, shirts a week’ - he wrote again to his wife about his dress for the election:

My dear - They tell me I must proceed to the election on horseback, and ought to make something of a figure, and should have a scarlet coat, therefore desire you would send to my tailor to order him to make me a scarlet cloth riding coat trimmed black and lined with a black alepine, the sleeves the same as my grey coat, faced with black and scarlet cloth breeches ... You may send it next Thursday by the Northampton coach, or at farthest the Monday after, for I believe the election will be on Thursday se’ ennight.1

Returned unopposed for the rest of his life, he voted against the Government in every recorded division under Walpole and Pelham, speaking against the Spanish convention in 1739. He opposed the bill for the naturalization of the Jews in May 1753, arguing that the Scriptures and history showed that unconverted Jews could never become true Englishmen.2

He died 15 Dec. 1772.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Romney R. Sedgwick


  • 1. E. G. Forrester, Northants. County Elections, 1695-1832, pp. 58, 59.
  • 2. Parl. Hist. xiv. 1379-83.