Sir Orlando Bridgeman, 2nd Baronet

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For other people named Orlando Bridgeman, see Orlando Bridgeman (disambiguation).

Sir Orlando Bridgeman, 2nd Baronet (27 April 1678 – 5 December 1746)[1] was a British baronet and Whig politician.


He was the oldest son of Sir Orlando Bridgeman, 1st Baronet and his wife Mary Cave, daughter of Sir Thomas Cave, 1st Baronet.[2] His sister Penelope was married to Thomas Newport, 1st Baron Torrington.[2] Bridgeman was educated at Rugby School in Warwickshire and went then to Trinity College, Oxford, where he matriculated in 1694.[3] He succeeded his father as baronet on the latter's death in 1701.[4]


Bridgeman entered the British House of Commons following the Acts of Union in 1707, sitting as a Member of Parliament (MP) for Coventry in the first Parliament of Great Britain until 1710.[5] Five years later, he stood for Calne until 1722.[6] Bridgeman represented Lostwithiel from a by-election in 1724 until the general election of 1727,[7] when he was also successful for Blechingley, for which he chose to sit until 1734.[8] He was afterwards returned to the House for Dunwich, a seat he held for the next four years.[9]

In 1716, Bridgeman was appointed Auditor General to George, Prince of Wales, serving until the latter's accession to the throne in 1727.[4] He then joined the Board of Trade as a commissioner, an office he held until 1738.[3]


On 15 April 1702, he married Susanna Dashwood, daughter of Sir Francis Dashwood, 1st Baronet, and had by her three sons and two daughters.[3]


Bridgeman had built a new house at Bowood Park in Wiltshire, so that he got deeply into debt and the Chancery Courts started with proceedings against him in 1737.[10]

In 1737, Bridgeman was nominated Governor of Barbados, but disappeared before sailing.[11] He left farewell letters to his family and to the king.[4] On 10 June 1738, a body was found drowned in the Thames near Limehouse and because it had been disfigured by the water, the body was falsely identified as Bridgeman's.[12]

His principal creditor Richard Long acquired ownership of the estate after a Chancery Decree in his favour in 1739.[10] The diary of John Perceval, 1st Earl of Egmont says the following:[13]

Sir Orlando Bridgeman who, instead of going to his government of Barbados conferred on his last winter, made his escape (as he hoped) from the world, to avoid his creditors, by pretending to make himself away, and accordingly gave it out that he had drowned himself, was ferreted out of his hole by the reward advertised for whoever should discover him, and seized in an inn at Slough, where he had ever since concealed himself.

Bridgeman was found in an inn at Slough in October 1738 and was imprisoned.[3] He died at the gaol of Gloucester on 5 December 1746, aged 68, and was buried in St Nicholas' Church, Gloucester.[3]

Although his oldest son Francis is sometimes considered to have succeeded to the baronetcy, he in fact predeceased his father in 1740 and the title became extinct with Bridgeman's death.[3]


  1. ^ "Leigh Rayment - Baronetage". Retrieved 1 November 2009. 
  2. ^ a b Lodge, Edmund (1838). The Genealogy of the Existing British Peerage (6th ed.). London: Saunder and Otley. p. 82. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Eveline Cruickshanks, Stuart Handley and D. W. Hayton, ed. (2002). The House of Commons, 1690-1715. vol. I. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 324–325. 
  4. ^ a b c "ThePeerage - Sir Orlando Bridgeman, 2nd Bt". Retrieved 6 December 2006. 
  5. ^ "Leigh Rayment - British House of Commons, Coventry". Retrieved 1 November 2009. 
  6. ^ "Leigh Rayment - British House of Commons, Calne". Retrieved 1 November 2009. 
  7. ^ "Leigh Rayment - British House of Commons, Lostwithiel". Retrieved 1 November 2009. 
  8. ^ "Leigh Rayment - British House of Commons, Bletchingley". Retrieved 1 November 2009. 
  9. ^ "Leigh Rayment - British House of Commons, Dunwich". Retrieved 1 November 2009. 
  10. ^ a b Ralph Bernard Pugh, Elizabeth Crittall, D. A. Crowley (1957). A History of the County of Wiltshire. vol. XVII. p. 118. 
  11. ^ Haydn, Joseph (1851). The Book of Dignities: Containing Rolls of the Official Personages of the British Empire. London: Longman, Brown, Green and Longman's. p. 276. 
  12. ^ Courthope, William (1835). Synopsis of the Extinct Baronetage of England. London: G. Woodfall. p. 29. 
  13. ^ Perceval, John (1920). Manuscripts of the Earl of Egmont. vol. II. London: HM Stationery. p. 510. 
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Sir Christopher Hales, 2nd Bt
Thomas Gery
Member of Parliament for Coventry
With: Edward Hopkins
Succeeded by
Robert Craven
Thomas Gery
Preceded by
William Northey
William Hedges
Member of Parliament for Calne
With: Richard Chiswell
Succeeded by
Benjamin Haskins-Stiles
George Duckett
Preceded by
Lord Stanhope
Marquess of Hartington
Member of Parliament for Lostwithiel
With: Henry Parsons 1724–1727
Sir William Stanhope Jan – Aug 1727
Darrell Trelawny 1727–1728
Succeeded by
Anthony Cracherode
Edward Knatchbull
Preceded by
Sir William Clayton
Henry Herbert
Member of Parliament for Blechingley
With: Sir William Clayton
Succeeded by
Sir William Clayton
Sir Kenrick Clayton
Preceded by
Sir George Downing
Thomas Wyndham
Member of Parliament for Dunwich
With: Sir George Downing
Succeeded by
Sir George Downing
William Morden
Government offices
Preceded by
James Dotin, acting
Governor of Barbados
Succeeded by
Humphrey Howarth
Baronetage of England
Preceded by
Orlando Bridgeman
(of Ridley)
Succeeded by
(Francis Bridgeman)