Xmera / Gloucestershire Gentry / Bridgeman of Nympsfield and Prinknash

Bridgeman of Nympsfield and Prinknash

John Bridgeman (1568/9 - 1638)

He was born into the parish gentry, being the son of John Bridgeman of Mitcheldean and Sudeley and Anne, daughter of William Gernon of Herefordshire. He was educated at Magdalen Hall, Oxford, before preceding to the Inns of Court. Called to the bar in 1600, within a few years he had married Frances (d. 1656), the sole daughter and heiress of Henry Daunt of Owlpen. (Owlpen passed after considerable dispute to her uncle Thomas, the heir male.) The couple initially settled at Nympsfield, and subsequently purchased Prinknash, the country retreat of the last abbot of Gloucester.

They had seven children:

A successful lawyer, in 1626 Bridgeman became chief justice of Chester, a position he held until his death.

George (1606/7 - 1643) Son

George entered the Inner Temple in 1621, but was intended for the life of a local gentleman rather than a pratcising lawyer. Through his father's influence he was elected MP for Much Wenlock in 1628, was a JP from 1632 and joined the council of the Marches in the following year. He married Heveningham (1674), daughter of Sir James Pytts of Kyre, Worcs. in 1631. A royalist, he died at Cirencester in 1643 and management of the estate passed to his mother and wife as guardians for his under-age son.

John (d. before 1663) Son

He married Margaret (d.1664), the daughter of Sir Charles Berkeley (d. 1665), subsequently viscount Fitzharding and comptroller of the household to Charles II around 1653.

John and Margaret's sons appear to have been the wards of his brother James and in the care of their aunt Jane Berkeley.

John (c1655-1729) Son

He was educated at Wadham College, Oxford and, following the family tradition, entered the Inner Temple. He sat for Gloucester in the parliament of 1701. Sometime around 1710 he married c.1710, Catherine (d. 1744), daughter of Richard Ockold of Upton St. Leonards, but had no children.

After John's death Prinknash descended to his cousin Henry Toye, who thereupon changed his name to Bridgeman.