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Shippen, William

Shippen, William (1673–1743). Jacobite parliamentarian. The son of a clergyman, Shippen trained as a barrister. He became a Tory MP in 1707, and, but for one short interlude (1709–10), remained in Parliament for the rest of his life. During the Tory administration (1710–14) he emerged as an outspoken member of the Jacobite wing of the party, and in 1711 took an active part in the inquiry of corruption against the duke of Marlborough. In 1712 he married one of the wealthiest heiresses. With the ostracization of the Tory Party after George I's accession in 1714, Shippen settled into a routine of unrelenting opposition to successive Whig ministries. In the Commons he was invariably hostile to the Hanoverian dynasty, maintaining that the German connection undermined the British constitution. Such remarks earned him a spell in the Tower in 1717. Though leader of the Jacobite MPs by the later 1720s, he always shunned any form of conspiratorial activity with the pretender.

Andrew Hanham

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