ISHAM, Sir Justinian, 4th Bt. (1658-1730), of Lamport Hall, Northants.
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Family and Education
b. 11 Aug. 1658, 3rd s. of Sir Justinian Isham, 2nd Bt., M.P., of Lamport Hall, Northants, being 2nd s. by his second w. Vere, da. of Thomas Leigh, M.P., 1st Baron Leigh. educ. Ch. Ch. Oxf. 1674; L. Inn. 1677. m. 16 July 1683, Elizabeth, da. of Sir Edmund Turner of Stoke Rochford, Lincs., 6s. 5da. suc. bro. 26 July 1681.
Sir Justinian Isham was the head of the Tories in Northamptonshire, which he and his descendants represented continuously from 1698 to 1772. He supported the Revolution, forming part of the guard for the Princess Anne at Nottingham in 1688, but voted against making William of Orange King, and refused to sign the association in 1696.
At George I’s accession, Isham proposed to retire but allowed himself to be persuaded to stand again ‘for the sake of preserving peace and good neighbourhood’, and because ‘if he should not ... the Whigs will undoubtedly get in’. His chief concern was for a place which he had secured for his eldest son after the Tory triumph in 1710. Writing from the country on 15 Nov. 1714, he advised his son to seek the good offices of the new first lord of the Treasury, Lord Halifax, a Northamptonshire neighbour, with whom the Ishams were on friendly terms.
It is what he may expect, and I think what I ought to do, and if you can be continued in your post upon so safe terms, both I and you should be wanting in ourselves in not doing it. I find everybody of the other side is not turned out ... and maybe they will not care to disoblige many Parliament men. I can rejoice in nothing so much as in doing, honestly and fairly, what can conduce to your advantage.
On 7 Dec. his son reported:
Lord Halifax sent for me to come to him yesterday morning and told me that he had a piece of news to tell me as disagreeable to him as it could be to me, for when he and the rest of the commissioners [of the Treasury] had agreed to continue me in commission, and my name laid before the King for a warrant, a certain person [Walpole] whom my Lord said it was not then proper to name insisted I should be struck out, and get one put in my room.
Isham was bitterly disappointed:
If you had not been put into such hopes, [he replied] but had been turned out by the lords of the Treasury it had been no more than what might have been expected, and I believe would not much have troubled either of us: but to be struck out by the King himself is a thousand times worse, it showing a particular mark of his disfavour.
On 18 Dec. 1714, Halifax wrote apologetically to him:
The King ... was very touched and concerned at your manner of taking the putting out of Mr. Isham. He has commanded me to assure you that the first opportunity he has to prefer Mr. Isham he will allow me to put him in mind of him, and he will convince you and all the world that he shall be glad to oblige you.1
Thereafter Isham voted consistently with the Opposition. His name was sent to the Pretender in 1721 as a probable supporter in the event of a rising.2 He died 13 May 1730.