Tag Archives: High Sheriff

Philips Colman

Philips Colman subscribed to Kirby’s Historical Account. He was a substantial Ipswich gentleman, and elected High Sheriff of Suffolk in 1746. Unfortunately, I know little about him. He was born about 1710 and died in 1779, presumably the offspring of Francis Coleman and Elizabeth Phillips, who married in Ipswich in 1709. He attended Cambridge, married Elizabeth Montagu, and is buried with the Philips family in Ipswich. He was a Portman of Ipswich and his father, Francis Colman was bailiff of Ipswich several times. Francis Colman left some property to charity when he died, and this is probably behind the fact that Philips Colman subscribed for six copies of Canning’s Ipswich Legacies. In the Ipswich Journal he appears frequently in relation to letting and selling farms and buildings, but not a lot otherwise.

Lamb Barry

Lamb(e) Barry (1704-1768) subscribed to Kirby’s Historical Account. A wealthy landowner from Syleham, on the Norfolk-Suffolk border, oddly little is known about him considering he was High Sheriff of Suffolk in 1748, when Kirby’s book appeared, and Gainsborough painted his portrait, although the date is uncertain.

He was born in 1704, the son of Anthony Barry and Isabella Lambe. Her parents were John Lambe and Susanna Acton, and a sister of Lamb Barry’s married into the Acton family, so they were doubly-connected. He was educated at Monk Soham school and went to Gonville and Caius college at Cambridge. He married Susan Morse and they had two (surviving) daughters, Anne, born 1750 and died in 1808, and her older sister Isabella, who was born c. 1739 and lived on until 1825. Neither daughter married.

Lamb Barry subscribed to several other works, including, An essay on hot and cold bathing, by John King, apothecary, and he appeared on the voting rolls in 1768, but died in November of that year. His widow lived on until 1786.

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Nathaniel Acton

John Sheppard

The person who lost the election to Philip Broke was John Sheppard. A John Sheppard also subscribed to Kirby’s Historical Account, and a John Sheppard subscribed to the first edition of Kirby’s Method of Perspective. These were probably not all the same person. The Sheppards of Mendlesham, Campsey Ash, and Wetheringset were a well-to-do family who had an alarming tendency to be called John and die without children, so that property was always bouncing between different branches of the family. The original John Sheppard lived at Mendlesham and was high constable of Hartismere in the time of Charles I. He had a son called John, who first bought High House, later known as Ash House, at Campsey Ash in 1654. This house was still the seat of the Sheppards in the late 1800s. However, the second John had a son called John, who in turn had a son, John. The third John died in 1669, and the fourth only two years later. The fourth John had no children, so the estate passed to a relative, Edmund, and then to his son John. This is probably our first subscriber John. John’s father Edmund was High Sheriff of Suffolk in 1689, and John himself was High Sheriff in 1709 and 1714. Hence, he is likely to be the John Sheppard who stood against Philip Broke. John married Anne, Countess of Leicester, who was the widow of Philip Sydney, 5th Earl of Leicester. They had no (surviving) children and she died in 1726. John then married Hannah Wilmot, a lady who augmented their already quite considerable estate. However, they had no children, and after John died in 1747, she married Sir Samuel Pryme, who gained a lasting reputation as a raconteur. Kirby’s Historical Account appeared in 1748, so it is entirely possible that the John Sheppard who died in October 1747 was the subscriber. It seems less likely that he subscribed to the Method of Perspective, which was not published until 1754. When John died, the Sheppard estates passed to another relative, Thomas Sheppard, and then to his son John. This John, although only born in 1730, could be the second subscriber. John, son of Thomas, never married, and when he died in 1770, the estate passed to a relative, John Sheppard, born in 1737. This John had a son, John, and six daughters by his first wife, and five sons and five daughters by his second wife. The first son, John, had only one child, John, who inherited on his father’s death in 1824. The Campsey Ash estate finally passed out of the family hands in 1882, when the last John Sheppard died without any heirs. According to the website of the Campsey Ash church, “It is believed that at least 14 members of the Sheppard [family] are buried in a vault in the chancel of the Church – but we don’t know exactly where!”

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Philip Broke