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William Shippen (MP)

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Title: William Shippen (MP)  
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William Shippen (MP)

William Shippen (bap. 30 July 1673 – 1 May 1743) was an English Tory Member of Parliament and Jacobite.

Shippen was educated at Stockport grammar school, and entered Brasenose College, Oxford on 16 July 1687. Shortly one year after his matriculation he was elected king's scholar at Westminster. Admitted a pensioner of Trinity College, Cambridge on 26 June 1691 he became a scholar there the next year.[1] Shippen went to the Middle Temple in 1693 and graduated with a BA the year after and was called to the bar in 1699.[2] On 17 July 1712 he married Frances Stote (d. 1747), daughter of Sir Richard Stote of Jesmond Hall, Northumberland.[2]

Shippen was a member for Bramber, Sussex from 1707 to 1713 under the patronage of Lord Plymouth. In 1713 he was elected member for Saltash, Cornwall and in 1715 was elected member for Newton, Lancashire which he represented for the rest of his life.[2]

He gave a speech in the Commons in which he criticised George I's speech as "rather...calculated for the Meridian of Germany, then for Great Britain" and King George as "a Stranger to our Language and Constitution". The House resolved that Shippen had said words "highly dishonourable to, and unjustly reflecting on, his Majesty's Person & Government" and was sent to the Tower of London on 4 December 1717.[2] In March the next year he wrote to the Old Pretender, James Francis Edward Stuart, informing him that all his wishes would be obeyed "with the utmost pleasure as well as fidelity". In mid-1721 Shippen, as the main go-between of English and Scottish Jacobites, met at Newcastle George Lockhart to come to an agreement on the best way to correspond. However he was in 1740 dropped from the Pretender's correspondence with English Jacobites for a French-backed rising due to the way Shippen "trembles, and infuses his fears into the gentlemen to whom the King [the Pretender] wrote".[2] In February 1741 Shippen absented himself from the Commons rather than vote for Samuel Sandys's motion for Sir Robert Walpole's removal from office, declaring: "Robin and I are two honest men, he is for King George and I for King James; but those men with the long cravats only desire places either under King George or King James". He further commented that he would not "pull down Robin on republican principles".[2]


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